I am sure everyone in this coffee shop thinks I’m insane.
I keep bending my head and shutting my eyes to keep my focus on what I think I’m supposed to say.
My eyes are blurry from tears, and my hands are trembling ever so slightly as I type this.
You know what, guys? We have been given some amazing promises.
We have been assured that this battle is won, and we have been delivered out of captivity and we have been told - Jesus is coming back.
We have been told that before that happens, there’s work to be done.
He has given us His Spirit and commanded us to go, and make disciples from every nation, and He has promised that when all His kids have heard the good news and have been adopted in to our family – He will come back.
Do you remember when you first heard these great promises, and accepted your mission?
I do. I was filled with fire and focus. I set my hands to His work feverishly and fervently.
But something happened. Not just to me, to all of us. We got tired or annoyed or distracted or something. Our kids got sick, our bodies got over purity, our egos got hurt, our desires got frustrated and we became weary and afraid and so, we stopped.
We stopped setting our hands to the work of God. It was a ‘season’ of rest, we told ourselves.
I read our story on the pages of Ezra today:
- God promised the Israelites He would bring them out of Babylonian captivity and that the temple would be rebuilt
- God delivered. He brought them back to Jerusalem and they began to re-build the temple
- adversaries rose up against them. They became discouraged and afraid.
- So they stopped building. For 15 years, they just…stopped.
I refuse to roll my eyes at the Israelites. They are not caricatures and they are not crazy. Do you know what it took to derail their rebuilding of the temple? Persecution; the real kind. People came against them with power and force.
Let’s be honest, our adversaries don’t use force and power. They don’t need to.
We are derailed from the mission of God by far less. We are distracted from His mission by the potential of a family or a bigger house. We are kept from the fight by a good TV show and a comfortable night in. We are made afraid – not by people threatening our lives and our children’s lives – but by fear of people thinking we’re stupid if we say the name of Jesus too loudly.
The unction I feel in this moment will dissolve within an hour as I let my mind drift to what movie I’m going to watch tonight.
My eyes are blurry with tears because – despite how easily I am derailed – God is faithful.
God refused to rebuild the temple without His people, but He promised that the temple would be rebuilt.
In Ezra 5, God sent prophets to His people to ‘help’ them by asking them some hard questions like:
“is it a time for you to sit in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruin?”
When the people heard God’s words through these prophets they were made brave and courageous and set their hands so diligently to the rebuilding of the temple, and guess what? They re-built the temple. They got to stand in the presence of God just like He had promised, and they experienced great joy because God had fulfilled His promise through them.
Make no mistake – God is not going to fulfill this mission without us. But take heart – He is going to fulfill it through us.
He knows where you are today. He sees you; your fading heart. He knows you are discouraged, distracted and afraid. He knows you aren’t fighting like you once did.
He’s not going to bench you. He doesn’t want you to sit this season out. He is going to speak to you. And when God speaks, His people are filled with courage and faithfulness and joy.
You don’t need a new prophecy to spur you on. He has written down all the words you need to hear. And when you hear them in faith you will find yourself brave and courageous. You will find your hands working diligently at His great commission.
Child of God, is it a time for you to sit in your paneled houses, while the house of God is incomplete?
Can it possibly be time for us to worry about what hair cut to get while God has children who live today with ears untouched by the Gospel?
Is their time to read articles about how to get a hubby or how to be a great mom when God’s word sits unopened in our back seat?
Is it a time for complaining? Is it a time for apathy? For rest? For indifference?
How can it be? Our sweet Savior stands read to return, held back by the will of the Father until this mission is complete.
Strengthen your weak knees, speak Maranatha to your soul, and spend today for Him.