Pastor Tim Romero
2 minutes reading time (438 words)
Ezra 8:21 (ESV): "21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods."Fasting is a way in which man expresses his desperate need for God. It's a means by which we put away the desires of our flesh in search of a deeper relationship with Him.
The first wave of exiles from Babylon experienced all kinds of adversity after returning to Judah. While trying to build the Temple they received threats by surrounding nations. They stopped building for a period of sixteen years forsaking the call of God for fear of man and they focused on building their own houses and became comfortable in their disobedience. Then God sent a prophet named Haggai amongst them to stir them back to good works and they completed the Temple.
There was a period of sixty years after the Temple was complete that nothing was happening in Judah. It was during this time that the events recorded in Esther took place. After this, the Lord sent Ezra with a second wave of exiles back to Jerusalem to teach the law of God to His people. Ezra was being prepared while in exile and God would send him back by the hand of Artaxerxes. Just before leaving Babylon Ezra called for those returning to fast with him for protection on their journey. So they fasted and God heard and granted their prayer.
The land of preparation is never what we think it will be. That is why it's important to grow where you're planted. Ezra could have wasted his time in Babylon but he didn't. He studied and grew and the Lord used him to lead the second wave of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. What will God do with you if you remain faithful in your time of exile seeking His face and desiring to know Him more? As Pastor Chuck always said, "everything is preparation for something." Be proactive and stay vigilant seeking the Lord wherever you might be. Give yourself over to fasting and seek deeper intimacy with the Lord. You will receive far more than expected. Deny the flesh, seek the Lord, and watch Him move!
Father, how great You are that You can work every situation out for the good of those who love You who are called according to Your purpose. As we deny our flesh, move us to deeper places of intimacy. Use us to bring glory to Your name we pray in Jesus' name, amen.