I've been reading in Ezra, and the Lord has been speaking to my heart about being open not only before Him but also before my brothers and sisters in the local church. I know you may be wondering how I got that from the book of Ezra..hang on, I'll connect the dots.
I think there might be a "trend" in the church today, and maybe it's primarily a trend within the church in America, but the tendency toward "handling things on our own" seems to be increasing.
Now, I'm in total agreement with the practice of total reliance upon God as a demonstration of His faithfulness (as demonstrated in the lives of George and Mary Mueller). I hope I can phrase this in a way that doesn't sound as if I don't believe in total reliance upon God alone. Here goes nothing...
In the Old Testament book of Ezra, we read about the Israelites returning to to Jerusalem following a terrible time of exile. They began the work of rebuilding the Temple, and faced strong opposition while they went about their work. It took a long time, and a lot of prayer and patience, to complete the task. But they would not have gotten much done if they had each worked on their own, gone solo, done their own thing, kept their burdens and their work load private and to themselves. They needed each other as a community, as God's children, to accomplish God's will in the rebuilding of His Temple.
Today we often keep too much to ourselves - although some people share too much, too often, with too many. (That's another blog post altogether!). And maybe this isn't a problem women face as much as men, being they are hard wired to man up and lead the charge. But it is an honest-to-goodness problem within the church today. For example, it can be hard to ask a couple of other believers, who are mature in their faith, to pray for you regarding a specific situation. Yet that may be what needs to happen for God to do His work in that situation. It requires humility and interdependence in the church to pray in this way. Some of us are just too proud to ask for this type of prayer. We may not want anyone to speak into our lives, or we may wish to handle things privately.
Some people, some families, live in a constant state of spiritual defeat. One reason may be because they fail to have others pray for them in an open and honest manner. God is glorified when His church functions as a healthy Body, and Jesus taught us to gather in groups of two or more when we pray, giving us the promise that what we ask will be done. Lone Rangers and Armies of one cannot coexist within the Body of Christ.
In the end, Ezra recorded the completion of the Temple. What will the end of our record say? Will we be able to say the work was completed, we were united with our brethren in the Lord, we humbled ourselves before others and allowed them to pray for us in an open and honest way? Do others speak into your life, or do you live your life as a Lone Ranger Christian?
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and be sure to tell the Lord how thankful you are for His blessings on you as a homeschooling mother!
Day 134 done :)
Jan L. Burt