Is there something bugging you – something in the back of your mind that keeps popping up – but you have neither the time nor the inclination to give it any attention?
Perhaps God is speaking to you about something He wants you to do. God might speak to you through your conscience. His Holy Spirit leads us in this manner, sometimes by way of a subtle hint or feeling, and sometimes through a clear, attention-grabbing jolt of realization or epiphany. Either way, its always a good idea to stop and listen. Perhaps God wants to use you to further His will on earth, for some grand purpose, or perhaps His Holy Spirit is simply letting you know how to improve your own life; your relationships with others, or your relationship with Him.
We want to live according to God’s will, but sometimes we need encouragement from those who might say…
“Arise, for it is your task and we are with you. Be strong and do it.”Ezra 10:4
In the book of Ezra we learn how Cyrus, the king of Persia, decrees that the Jewish people may return to the land of Judah from their exile in Babylon. This occurs over a number of years, eventually leading to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. It was a grand accomplishment, not without its challenges, and it took the strength and determination of those led by God to make it happen.
One such person was the priest and scribe Ezra, whom God tasked with leading the people back into compliance with His law. Israel’s disobedience to God weighed heavily on Ezra and he was stricken with guilt and remorse for the actions of his people, particularly with regard to God’s instructions around marriage outside of the Jewish community.
As the faithful joined Ezra in his weeping and confessing before the house of God, we might imagine how Ezra was disheartened and paralyzed with inaction as he contemplated the measures that would need to be taken to rectify the situation. Ezra needed encouragement.
So God used a man named Shecaniah to affirm what Ezra already knew God wanted from him, that is, to make a covenant to send away those who, against God’s will, had married into the Jewish community. Shecaniah reminded Ezra that the matter was in his hands, that Ezra had the support of the people, and that he should take courage and just do it.
…they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). In Psalm 46:10 God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
What does God want from you? Take the time to listen. And then arise, for it is your task and we are with you. Be strong and do it.