A beautiful thing about the Old Testament is that it gives us insight into the lives of the men and women that God used. We get see Abraham lie, David commit adultery and conspiracy to commit murder. We see Elijah run from Jezebel, Samson fall in love with the wrong women and Moses lose his temper a few times. Yet, despite all their weaknesses, God was able to redeem and use them to shape the course of history. This should encourage all who desire to be used by God in a mighty way.
In this blog we will take a brief look at the life of Ezra in order to see what made him stand out as a great leader in his day.
1.We need the Lord’s help.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the meaning of the name Ezra. The name Ezra means: ‘The Lord has helped’. Our understanding of our we need for The Lord’s help in all that we do, is the first lesson we can take from the life of Ezra. Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing. ( JOHN 15:5).
2. We have a spiritual inheritance.
The next point that stood out to me was the fact that Ezra was a descendant of Aaron the high priest. This means that he had a spiritual heritage and a generational blessing.
You and I may not have a biological spiritual heritage, but we have been born again into the family of God and are joint heirs with Jesus. (ROM 8:18). Our spiritual heritage is Christ Jesus, and that is greater than any biological inheritance.
3. Babylon can not keep us from our destiny.
In prophetic language, Babylon is symbolic of the world systems. Ezra was a man of God that was captive in the Babylonian system and had to serve within it. However, that could not keep him from his God given destiny.
In the same way, there are many people who are called to function in ministry within secular employment . If you are one of those people, do not be discouraged. Serve faithfully where you are, and The Lord will move you as and when required. He is a faithful God who knows best.
4. Be well versed in the scriptures.
Ezra was a scribe well versed in the law of Moses. We are not required to study and observe the law of Moses as new covenant believers. However, we are to be well versed in scripture, so that we can given an answer to anyone who asks us to give a reason for our faith. (1 PETER 3:15)
5. Favour from man comes as a result of God’s Hand being upon us. (EZRA 7:6)
In the life of Ezra, we see that favour from the king came to Ezra, because the Hand of God was upon him. There are many people out there who curry favour with those in power hoping that those individuals will favour them. This will not get them very far. (Read the story of Haman in the Book of Esther). Jesus said that we should seek the honour that comes from God and not men. (JOHN 5:44)
In closing, Ezra 7:10 shows us the three vital practices in the life Ezra that made him a great leader. Firstly, he was devoted. That means he studied the scripture consistently and loyally. Secondly, he obeyed the scripture. Thirdly, he devoted himself to teaching the scripture.
Like Ezra, we must devote ourselves to the study of the Scripture. Then we must apply that which we have learnt. And finally, from a place of application, we must teach.
Much love All!
Marlon R Oliver