Recently, we began talking about A Believer’s Response to Bad Economic News. There’s so much more to talk about along these lines, but today let’s focus on the question we asked:

Does what we believe have the ability to produce what we need?

The starting point for this is that we do believe that God Himself has the ability to supply what we need. This isn’t in question.

Are you in crisis?

Are you in crisis?

But… will He produce and supply it for us?

This can be the harder question. Again, it isn’t just “in Whom” I believe — it’s what I believe about Him that will affect the results that I get…

In the book of Ezra, there’s a moment in Israel’s history that I’ve gone back to again and again these last few months. It’s not the most popular book of the Bible for sermons, so a little background may be useful if you haven’t read it recently.

Ezra was a priest during Israel’s captivity under the Persian empire. He began to search out God’s Word and eventually went to King Artaxerxes and, with great favor upon him, requested — and got — permission and funding to go back to Jerusalem and re-establish the temple and the sacrifices.

He hit a snag, however, when he and the several hundred he recruited to make the journey to Jerusalem with him set out. They had a very dangerous road in front of them, and the trip would ultimately take several months.

In other words, he had a dream. He had discovered his God-given purpose. He had some of what he needed to succeed, but he had a major area of lack — security and protection in his case.

Here was his response:

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a straight and right way for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy along the way, because we had told the king, The hand of our God is upon all them for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.”
(Ezra 8:21-22 AMP)

This passage strikes such a strong chord within me. Where do we turn?

Notice that he and the others needed to know how to proceed because their lives, their little ones, everything they owned, and their God-given purpose was all at stake. This wasn’t a time when a nice-sounding prayer and a religious platitude would help.

Their faith had to manifest a result. Period. End of story. We quite literally wouldn’t be reading this story if they hadn’t received their answer. The risk was real — enemies on the road, uncertainty, failure.

Are you in that kind of situation today? Does your relationship with God have to manifest what you need?

To be continued…

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