Ezra 7,8; Luke 20
“… and the King granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him … for Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:6, 10)
Ezra succeeded greatly in his ministry of bringing and leading the exiles back to Jerusalem. One recurring phrase often repeated is the fact that the “hand of the Lord was upon him.” What a comforting and confidence-building thought! This has always been one of my greatest prayers: that regardless of what I do or say, my prayer is that the good hand of the Lord is on my life and ministry.
I have seen the hand of the Lord move from one leader to another. I have seen a church, which once had a thriving ministry, almost lose that fire overnight. I have also seen the hand of God on certain churches remain indefinitely over the years.
There’s one critical element that Ezra reminds us of: “… and the King granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him … for Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:6, 10).
There are three non-negotiables that must be firmly in place for sustaining the hand of God on our lives:
- Set your heart to study the Law of the Lord: There’s a difference between visiting the Word and dwelling in the Word.
- Practice it: What God says cannot become opinion. It has to become shoe leather.
- Teach His statutes and ordinances: What God says must become part of who I am and how I live so that others see and hear God’s principles in my interactions. There are no 007’s in the Kingdom.
Father, I want Your hand to stay on us. I pray that You would help us to maintain the heart and attitude of Ezra and not only invite but embrace and be faithful to steward the hand of God on our lives!