by Jerry Branch

Faith-Test-Is It Time to Consult God?
Jerry Branch
Ezra 8:21-23
February 27, 2000

As you know, we've been looking at the book of Nehemiah these past weeks, but we're going to deviate today, because the Lord has really burdened my heart about the need for all of us, all of us Christians, both individually and as a body, to get humble before God, and seek Him more than we ever have in the past.

I really sense that we as a church, need to be seeking Him concerning the unity of Spirit in our church, and I really sense that we must be seeking Him concerning getting active in reaching our community, which means, we need to be seeking Him in how He wants us to be about fulfilling our mission as His representative here in Lansing. Because of this troubling or burden if you want to call it that, in my soul, all this, late this week, I just kept coming up really empty on a Word from the Lord for this week's message, and then, like He always does as I'm seeking what He wants preached, He showed me this passage from Ezra.

Let's read it together. Ezra 8:21-23 21 "Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.22 For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him."23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.1"

There are several things this passage tells us, and there are some real challenges that it presents to us to right now, here at Bethany. So let's look at them.

One of the very first things I noticed as I read this, was that Ezra recognized the Sovereignty and Power of God.

This reminded me that you and me alike, we too, have that same need that we pe ...

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