Your story matters. It makes a difference. In fact, your story has an “upper story”–God’s story. I’m learning this in our sermon series and the book God Story.
Ezra is an Old Testament book that does not get a lot of attention. As our pastor shared the message, I read the small book of Ezra, and I realized how relevant the story is to our modern-day events. History repeats itself. In some ways that frustrates me, but in other ways it brings me comfort to know that I’m not the only one facing difficult odds and difficult decisions.
The first chapter of Ezra is a reminder of the Sovereignty of God. He moves those in leadership and “gives them a desire”. God moves His people and places desires within them to move, change, and engage in His Kingdom work.
“The Lord fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy by giving King Cyrus the desire to send this proclamation throughout his empire.” Ezra 1:1
This King announces that Jehovah, the God of heaven exists, and is the reason that he, as King, is surrounded by a vast empire. He also proclaims, organizes, and provides the means for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of Jehovah, who is the God of Israel and of Jerusalem! “May His blessings rest upon you”, said the King. Imagine the blessing and provision to rebuild that which was destroyed!
God not only placed the desire within the King, but also within His people.
“Then God gave a great desire to the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin…..” Ezra 1:5
Pray for those in leadership to hear the voice of God and act upon the desire He places within them regardless of their position and beliefs. Trust that God is sovereign and will act and create the upper story that we may not be privy to. Trust. Be still and know that He is God. Pray for God to give you a desire that you just can’t deny, and pray for the strength to act and move forward. God purposefully did not place the desire for all the people to go. So, the King, encouraged those who would not go and build to give to those who were going. A desire to support those who are going, building, and working in the Kingdom is equally important.
“What desires has God placed within your God story?”
“How have you supported someone else’s God story?”