Tuesday, August 30, 2005

God's Sovereignty

As I am reading through Ezra, I’m amazed at the level of sovereignty or control the Lord has in the lives of people. We know that each of us is responsible for our individual decisions, but it’s also interesting to see how the Lord is at work in those decisions, moving history along according to His will and good pleasure. In Ezra 1:1 it says that the “Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom…” to have the temple rebuilt. After Cyrus’ challenge to the people, “all those whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.” (1:5) All of those God moved went up. It isn’t as though God commanded and then forced compliance. It is the moving of God’s Spirit in their hearts that generated the motivation to follow through. Opposition arose “but the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that [the opposition] could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius.” (5:5) When the temple was completed and the celebration commenced, “they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them.” (6:22)

We like to think we are in charge of everything that takes place, but it is obvious that God is in charge and He moves in the affairs of men to do as He pleases.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Our Steps are of the Lord

I was reading in Proverbs this morning and came upon 20:24 which says, “A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?” Isn’t that an interesting thought? Sometimes we struggle so hard in life trying to determine what is God’s will for each decision for each step we take. We end up fretting over something which God already has well under control. The goal of our lives ought to be to please God and live in obedience to Him, but we need to trust Him with our steps because they are of Him. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down’ for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” These are very encouraging thoughts right now as I learn to trust God with all the circumstances of my life and learn to trust Him with each step, because each step is ordered by Him.