Tuesday, August 9, 2011

AUGUST 9 "WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE"

     It's refreshing to finally read about a true Man of God after all the decrepit Kings we have been reading about. Ezra has the goods, so lets learn from him.  Ezra is a spiritual man, practical and very level headed.  He does not "over spiritualize matters" but he knows where to draw the line.  Ezra could have been "super spiritual" and not even have asked for supplies, but he does ask for supplies from the heathen king, but when tempted to also ask for more, ie: armed protection, this is what Ezra confesses, "I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him".   ...we had told the king, in other words we have already testified about our God, how awesome he is, bad enough that we are going to a heathen king for supplies, but now we are going to ask for him to protect us? Some might say, "why not, ask while the king is feeling liberal, is this not favor from God, work with it, get all you can out of the King while God is moving on his heart!" And that is a very logical argument, however, Ezra felt checked here, "no, if I ask for this I've gone to far", he must have thought to himself.  How many times have I been tempted to go to my unsaved family (that I know has lots of money) and ask them for help in desperate financial times.  I knew just a phone call and a sob story would have money in my hands within days. But how could I?  How could I go to those I'd preached to about the goodness and faithfulness of my God, Jehovah Jireh and then turn around and beg them for money after all I had told them?  Even if my family did not outright say it, you know they would think to themselves, "where is his Jehovah Jireh now?!"
     Not only would Ezra asking for soldiers for protection, have been a bad testimony to the King, but it would have robbed the people of God from experiencing a true miracle of God, thus drawing them closer to God and increasing their faith .  The best thing Ezra could have done, he did...he chose to save the greatest need, their lives..for God to meet. He challenged the people to seek God and believe him for this particular need.  No doubt this was nerve recking for them, but in the end they were able to see the supernatural hand of God at work in their lives.  And this is what separates the religious from genuine converted soul. Religious people talk allot about God but never leave the lives hanging in the balance, waiting for God to come through because inside, they don't truly believe. It's one thing to talk spiritual platitudes, it's another thing to say, "okay, if God is real, than we can get out of this boat and walk on water and Jesus will not let us drown".         
     There comes a time in each and every one of our lives where God will check us and say, "okay, this is where you need to draw the line in asking for help, at this point you simply need to believe in me"  And it will be in those critical times and decisions that we not only reveal to God, but also to ourselves if we are just a bunch of religious, superficial, spiritual talk or if we truly believe in the power of our God, to see us, hear us, protect us and come through for us in our time of need..