Tag Archives: ezra

A Credible Faith

Have you ever had a boss who had no idea how to do what you do, and then tried to tell you how to do your job? I’ve had my fair share of those. Early in my career, I determined that when I rose to the rank of manager I would take it upon myself to learn each job in the store so I could better lead them and understand them. I spent a week at each position, which didn’t make me an expert, but went a long way towards being empathetic to what each team member went through. It also helped me to be able to teach them and new employees going forward. I’ve always believed credibility was a key component of leadership, and I wanted to have it.

Credibility is also a key component of faith. Think of the seven sons of Sceva. These men tried to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.” One of the demons retorted, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:13-15 NIV) Those men wanted to power of Jesus name without taking time to sit at His feet. They’re not so different from so many people today. They want to bear the name of Christ without reading His Word, spending time in prayer or applying Scripture to their lives. Faith is not something you talk about, it something you must live in order to be credible talking about it.

Ezra was a good example of a credible leader. Ezra 7:10 says, “For Ezra had set his heart (resolved) to study and interpret the Law of the LORD, and to practice it and teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (AMP). He didn’t just read Scripture, he studied it, interpreted it and applied it. So when it came time to teach it, he was credible. God honors our faith when we take the time to study, interpret and apply what He’s told us to do. He then puts us in position to teach others and to help them grow. Your credibility comes when you move past the knowledge piece of His Word and start applying it. When you do that, you can speak with confidence and authority.

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Battling Resistance


When you are called by God to do something, and you begin doing it, you can expect resistance. Sometimes it comes in the form of people, and other times it is in the form of the elements. In April of this year, I went to Washington, D.C..to pray with Church leaders from across the nation. I expected people to try to prevent us, but it was really the weather that did its work. Once we started praying, the temperature dropped. It began to rain first, then came hail. After that, it started snowing, which got very heavy unlike anything I’ve seen. Then the wind started blowing and got up to 50 mph. When the time of prayer and fasting was over, the sun came out immediately. 

Through all of that, most people stayed to pray. When I think of resistance to the work of God, I think of the book of Ezra. While the Jews were in captivity in Babylon, God put it in the king’s heart to send the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Several years later, and under the rule of another King, people tried to intimidate the Jews and wrote to the new king to stop the work. They were successful. What the Jews did next, we can all learn from when we face resistance.

The first thing they did was surround themselves with people who would pray for them and over them. Ezra 5:1 says. “At that time the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem. They prophesied in the name of the God of Israel who was over them” (NLT). When we surround ourselves with God’s people, we receive encouragement to continue the work. God often speaks to us through others when we get distracted. It’s important to have people around you who allow God to speak through them.

Next, you need to begin the work again and accept help from godly people. If you’ve been pressured into quitting, and you were called and reminded by God to do it, start doing what He called you to do. Ezra 5:2 says, “Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jehozadak responded by starting again to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them and helped them.” No work of God is done alone. He places people in your path to work with you. Don’t push them away and try to carry the burden yourself. Look around, see who God has placed in your life, invite them to help you, and begin working.

Lastly, they were bold. Ezra 5:3-5 says, “But Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues soon arrived in Jerusalem and asked, “Who gave you permission to rebuild this Temple and restore this structure?” They also asked for the names of all the men working on the Temple. But because their God was watching over them, the leaders of the Jews were not prevented from building until a report was sent to Darius and he returned his decision.” Remember, there is no higher authority than God. When He calls you to do something, no one else has the authority to stop you. Be bold, keep working, and trust God.

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