Ezra 5-6:15

Refocus and Resume

Back in Chapter 4 we read that there was resistance to the people rebuilding the Temple. A letter was written to Artaxerxes who was king at the time. Artaxerxes only reigned for a short time before Darius I killed him and took the throne. Darius I claimed that Artaxerxes was an impostor and not a son of Cyrus the Great, and had no right to the throne. The death of Artaxerxes resulted in revolt which Darius I  eventually put down.

While all of this was going on the work on the Temple had stopped and the people started to build their own houses establishing themselves in the land. It was at this time that the Lord sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to the people to give the people a wakeup call. Opposition had caused them to lose sight of the goal. The people were taking the easy path of blending in. A second letter was written and the construction resumed. Those in opposition were forced to provide the resources to complete the project.

It is interesting to me that when the people of Israel were focused on the things of the world they never had enough. But when they refocused on what God had for them to do they had all the resources they needed. Pastor Chuck used to say, “Where God guides, God provides.” When opposition abounds and the resources are thin we need to check and see if we got bumped off track from what God has called us to do.

In our walk with the Lord we will find opposition to keeping God on the throne in our “temple.” Our new life in Christ is not a sprint but a marathon.  Opposition will come and so will discouragement especially when we get our eyes off the Lord and on to this world. The things of the world, and the ways of the world, are meant to appeal to our sin nature and the lust of the flesh. They are also deceptive in that they promise but never really deliver what they promise or what we expect. Our enemy does not want to see the Holy Spirt on the throne in the Temple of our body. 1 Corinthians 3 and 6 describes the battle we face. To those of us who have found ourselves in such a battle, the Apostle Paul is the prophet God has sent to get us back on track. He reminds us that we were redeemed by Christ Jesus for a price and we are to glorify Him and not ourselves.

If you find yourself in a similar battle here are some verses to help bring victory.

Matthew 6:22-23; Romans 12:1&2; 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Timothy 4:8; 1Corinthians 10:31.

Be victorious!

Pastor Dave