Ezra 3:1-4:24 / 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4 / Psalm 28:1-9 / Proverbs 20:24-25

Standout verse:

Ezra 4:4-5“Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah.  They troubled them in building and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose.”

The book Ezra deals with the return of the Israelite exiles from Babylon.  Under King Cyrus (king of Babylon), a decree was made allowing those who had been exiled, by the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar, to return to their homeland of Judah to rebuild and restore the once glorious City of David (Jerusalem) that had been destroyed by the armies of Babylon. 

As the people of the surrounding lands heard of the exile’s return, they were threatened by the thought of Judah rising up out of the ashes to become, once again, a powerful and potentially threatening kingdom.  So, they set about to discourage, resist and barrage the people of Judah with insults and discouragement hoping to frustrate and stop their rebuilding process.  At one point, the ‘returnees’ got so discouraged that, despite their call form the Lord to begin this rebuilding process, they were temporarily stopped due to the threats, intimidation and lies from the enemy.

When we obediently walk in the steps that God is calling us to walk in, the enemy gets threatened.  He will use whatever means he can to intimidate and discourage us - even using threats in order to stop us from fully following and obeying what the Lord has called us to do. 

It is during times like these that we need to be especially vigilant so we will be able to identify the threats of the enemy and actively resist him (go on the offence!), putting on the FULL armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18 – awesome chapter!).  INSTEAD OF ALLOWING OURSELVES TO BE ‘TAKEN OUT’ AND KNOCKED DOWN, LET’S STAND UP LIKE WARRIORS, FIX OUR EYES ON THE LORD, AND CONTINUE SEEKING HIS SPECIFIC STRATEGIES THROUGH PRAYER AND FRUITFUL TIME SPENT WITH HIM.  The enemy cannot block the Lord’s work in us through discouragement and false accusation unless we give him our ear.  REMEMBER: GREATER IS HE IN US THAN he WHO IS IN THE WORLD!!

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