The Strategies Of A World Changer
Ezra Chapter Seven
Welcome to Redefining the Wilderness where we follow a trail of grace along a meandering path through a chronic life. Your wilderness may look different than mine. To redefine our wilderness we must turn our hearts towards the presence of God.
The Psalmist says, “We lift our eyes.” Yes, we lift our eyes above our circumstances, shifting our hearts to the One whose ways are higher than ours. We redefine our wilderness with things above rather than the temporary.
Last week I shared my word for 2020 with you, tested and held the weight of turning sixty, wondered the possibilities, desiring to make the miles ahead count for something bigger than me. Today, The Strategies Of A World Changer.
Before we explore the strategies of a world changer, Let’s review.
Ezra was a scribe born during Israel’s captivity in Babylon. He was a descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Most scholars believe he was somewhere around the age of twenty-two upon his return to Jerusalem. More or less a college kid by today’s standards.
Beyond his impressive heritage, Ezra was godly, seeking the Kingdom of God above himself.
“this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.” Ezra 7:6 (ESV)
“Skilled in the Law of Moses,” tells us Ezra knew the Scriptures. He knew the contents of the Torah.
Tradition says this world-changer had the Law memorized and could recall and write it from memory.
The Lord had blessed Ezra with ability. Coupled with God’s equipping, Ezra had invested time honing his skills. Yes, Ezra had God-given abilities, but, Ezra had studied the Scriptures.
Imagine the time this young world-changer invested. Am I willing to do the same?
Are we willing to do the same?
Hard questions in today’s self-seeking, self-gratification culture.
I struggle with Scripture memorization. Furthermore, I am easily distracted in today’s digital world. The noise, information overload, and all the sparkly things add up to a significant amount of wasted time by day’s end. Lack of boundaries around my phone shame me.
Can you relate?
Ezra faced his own obstacles.
After all, he was an obscure Jewish priest and scholar born in Babylonian captivity. Ezra faced his own obstacles and still, he pressed on, committed to the Scriptures.
“For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” Ezra 7:10 (ESV)
Ezra’s world-changing strategy-three things.
- He set his heart to study the Law
- To live and obey the Law
- And, to teach the Law
Ezra was committed to what he believed. Imagine the knowledge and intimacy Ezra experienced in God. With God.
I. Want. That.
To be a world-changer we must invest the time and talents God has blessed us with.
I’m wondering if Ezra would tell us he was less interested in changing the world and more interested in God’s presence. I have a feeling Ezra would say, without God, without the hand of God upon him, he might have fallen on his face.
Ezra sought Kingdom success over worldly success and because of that; God placed his hand upon Ezra. Ezra’s priorities were in order.
Hence, the question:
Do I want to be a world-changer with Kingdom impact or am I building my own kingdom?
Are we seeking a kingdom filled with busyness, worry, and stress? Too much stuff, not enough presence, distracted and skimming the surface of life?
Self-inflation has become the norm in today’s culture.
In the midst of all our connectedness, I fear we have become a people disconnected.
Disconnected from our hearts and souls, our lives, our people. Our God.
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” Amos 8:11 (ESV)
While on the outside we appear to be full, on the inside we are empty.
Completely void. Hollow spaces carved into our lives. Seeking all the wrong things.
Hollow spaces were created for the presence of God, the fullness of His Spirit.
What can we learn from Ezra, the young world-changer?
To set our hearts on the Word of God.
When we invest in the Sacred Text, plant the seeds, we will reap a harvest of fullness and joy.
Three things we can learn from Ezra:
- We set our hearts to study the Word
- To live and obey the Word
- And, to share His Word
Are you willing?
I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Wilderness Guide,
* Catch up here.
*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com
PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.
“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word