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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
December 9, 2018
Central Passage
Ezra 7&8
Description

Sometimes we find that being obedient creates a whole new set of problems. What do you do when this happens? Stop, Pray, then Go

 

Here are a copy of the Pastor's notes for the service

 

 

The Problem you long to be free from, however, may actually be the circumstances that allow you to become what you long to be. – Elmer Towns

Ezra 7:21 The king determines to send the Jews back to beautify the temple.

Ezra 7:27-28 Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem, 28and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the LORD my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.

Ezra is about to be used by God to go and prepare the temple, but he has a problem.

Ezra 7:21-23 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22For 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.” 23So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

The road to the temple was covered with thieves and murderers. Before the exile the Jews were accomplished farmers. During the exile they became expert shopkeepers and money makers. Many of the Jews did not leave Babylon because their lives were so comfortable. Rather than going, they sent money. This meant that they had little protection and plenty of goods to be stolen.

What do you do as Church when God commands us to go, but we know that trouble is coming?

  • Between the great things we can’t do and the little things we wont do, the danger is we shall do nothing at all.

Sadly, for most churches today they would rather disobey God and turn around, but while it is an option, it is not a godly option.

    1. You cannot run from Problems
    2. You cannot keep Problems from happening
    3. You can solve problems

3 sources of problems- Change, Differences, and Circumstances

 

  1. First, they got still v15
    1. They didn’t pray while on the move. They stopped and committed to prayer. Serious problems require serious attention.
    2. Now, we can look at this in different ways, the ones that stayed were still a part because they sent money, but the majority of the money was from the King, not those that stayed. The truth is Church, when God calls only the faithful will respond.

 

  1. Second, they gathered the spiritual leaders. V15
    1. V16 men of insight, v17 men of discretion
    2. Not everyone thought the same. Its wise to gather those with a common goal, but different views on how to complete the goal.
    3. The question is whether to obey, it is how they are going to do it.
  2. Third, they fasted for the answer.
    1. Humbled
      1. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of others first and yourself less often.
      2. For example, if we suggested to change Sunday school, what would be a problem that we might encounter? Would it be our preference or would it be something spiritual?
      3. We lack humility because we are no longer desperate for God. We believe that we know it all and can do it all, but the facts don’t back that up.
    2. Sought How to do
    3. Saw God as the answer and not human strength
      1. Jesus in the garden, not my will but yours. He didn’t offer his suggestions, but listened for direction.
    4. Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
  3. God’s answer
    1. Divide the treasure up
    2. Make the priest accountable for the treasure
    3. They believed and trusted in God to provide protection, day and night.

What are the problems of our church today? We often ask the question of what to do about it, but rarely to we gather together to pray about it.

Is our problem a lack of humility? Is our problem because of others? If they would just start__________.

What if we accepted the challenge to pray from Sunday down to Sunday down? A Sunday night till a Monday night.

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