Hi Impact Family,
It was so good seeing each one of you yesterday and the Presence of God was so sweet. As we began to declare the name of the Lord, the atmosphere shifted as if there were angel wings moving the air. What a blessing when we enthrone Him on our praises.
I want to ask you to take a little time and read the book of Ezra. It is such a powerful book and speaks of God’s faithfulness to His Word and Covenant with us. It reveals the importance God places on each of us and His desire to be in relationship with us. God has predestined a king names Cyrus nearly 150 years before he took the throne and had called Cyrus to release the people to rebuild the temple. This Cyrus did in response to the Word of the Lord. (Ezra 1; Isaiah 44-45)
When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem, there were two things that had to be done.
First, they had to rebuild the altar. Altars represent places of sacrifice and worship unto God and a place where He will enthrone the praises of His people. We must examine the altars in our life to see exactly what type of worship/sacrifice is being offered. We must close all altars that allow demonic process to operate in our life and open the altars of worship, praise and sacrifice to the living God. This is one of the reasons the Kings of Israel were instructed to tear down the high places where altars had been established to Pagan gods. When the altars were down, the demonic process was aborted.
Secondly, they had to re-lay the foundations. The Word of God is the foundation of our life as children of God. His Word is our lamp, our pathway, our strength, our wisdom and our security. His Covenant is His Word to us and we must closely adhere to the foundational principles found in His Word, both OT and NT. Some believe that the OT is no longer applicable to us today. This is so foolish and those who believe this do not realize that Jesus quoted from 24 different OT books and quoted 180 times or more from those books. The Apostles quoted nearly 700 times from the OT. This certainly gives credence to the validity of the entire Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. We have been warned that in the last days, people will not endure or tolerate sound doctrine, but will want what satisfies their “itching” ears. I encourage you to become a student of the Word of God and allow Holy Spirit to assist you as you prayerfully meditate upon the Word of God. He will give you wisdom and counsel from His Word.
When the enemy comes as we see this happen in Ezra 4, then the foundation that has been put into place and the God centered altars that have been erected that will allow us to stand in the face of assault and not become discouraged. It was the prophet Haggai who came in and prophesied to the people and shook them out of their discouragement to begin the work again. Then Haggai could proclaim that the glory of this latter house was greater than the glory of the former, even though the former was more splendid in appearance(Haggai 1:9). It is the glory of God that we desire and His glory will make even the quaintest of buildings glorious as He fills the atmosphere with Himself.
One of my favorite Scriptures from the book of Ezra is
Ezra 7:9–10 — 9 On the first of the first month he started out from Babylon, and on the first of the fifth month he arrived in Jerusalem, for upon him was the good hand of his God. 10 For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord [to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it], and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances. What a glorious promise to those who will set their heart to seek after God and to do and teach His ways to others. This is our goal. We are crying for revival. Let’s not be satisfied with church as usual, but go after His glory!