Today I read about something Ezra did that I have often done myself - but it's his response that I want to adopt into my own life.
What did he do? He boasted in his God. Sounds simple. We should all do this... and often!
However, when it got time for him to travel - which was a dangerous thing at that time - listen to what he did....
Ezra 8:22-23 (ESV)
For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, "The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him."
So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty.
Oh my! How often I have bragged about how awesome my God is... how He is an all-powerful God - and then go running to a weak human for support or protection BEFORE ever turning to my all-powerful God!
Basically Ezra realized 1) the king just gave us a TON of resources to rebuild our Temple and 2) is letting us return to Jerusalem after being exiled and 3) I just boasted about how God will be for our good.... so how can I ask him to send soldiers to ensure our safety?!
We must actually TURN to Him in times of our greatest need.
We should never act like, "this is too big for God," or "this is too small a deal for God" - and as a result act in such a way that actually negates what we really believe about Him!
This morning I find myself again wanting to do what Ezra did - fast and implore of the Lord.
I can attend class after class about how to be a good teacher. I can walk up and down the halls and copy the practices of exiting good teachers, and yes, I can even ask others to pray for me - BUT I MUST FAST & PRAY MYSELF!!!
A long time ago, I asked my Mother to pray for a particular situation in my life. At the time I was not walking with the Lord as I should and she knew that! When I asked her to pray, she said, "Yes, I will pray. But you need to be praying too!"
Today, don't take everything to everyone around you - take time first to seek the Lord. He's WAY more powerful than anyone around you!
Quick note... just 2 things....
1) Did you notice he fasted & prayed? When was the last time you fasted?
2) The reason I bring this up is based on the results of Ezra's actions. Read verse 23 again.
"He listened to our entreaty."
I want desperately for the Lord to hear my cries for help. I'm not saying fasting is the magic formula, but it certainly shows the Lord your heart - to empty everything out so you can be filled completely by Him and Him alone.
Today, show God you believe what you say about Him - go to Him first. And then give Him your complete and total attention!