In Saturday’s blog, one of the points I made is that when God wants to accomplish something on earth He usually inspires one person. What an awesome thing to be used by God to accomplish His purposes. Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, goes so far as to refer to himself and his fellow workers for Christ as “partners with God.” I love that He doesn’t save us just to have us sit around and enjoy the free gift of salvation. I love sitting around and enjoying the free gift of salvation, but I love it even more that He values me enough to want me to partner with Him to accomplish eternal purposes while I am here on earth.

In the book of Ezra, we saw God use many people. The first (in this book) was King Cyrus, an unbeliever. God gave him the desire to help the Israelites rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. But a King’s decree is just that – an order for something to be done. And building a temple is a huge job. So God inspired and enabled the leaders if the Israelites to move to Jerusalem, settle there and rebuild the temple. Zerubbabel emerged as a leader and lead the building effort and stood against Israel’s enemies when there must have been great temptation to let them join in the effort. (After all, more hands would have meant easier work for everyone.)

The rebuilding of the temple was not a short-term or easy assignment. It took seven months just for the people to relocate. Then the rebuilding began. After building for some period of time, opposition forced the work to stop…for about sixteen years! Imagine how disappointed Zerubbabel must have felt. Imagine how defeated he would have been tempted to feel. But it was Zerubbabel who again started the building process sixteen years later.

The outcome would have been much different if Zerubbabel had not been obedient to the call of God.Zerubbabel’s life would have been much different if he had not been obedient to God’s call. There were many places in the story when he could have said “Me? No thanks! I’ll let someone else do that job!” At the beginning it must have seemed like an insurmountable task. When facing the attacks of Israel’s enemies, he must have been as tempted to be discouraged as everyone else. When work stopped, it would have been easy to give up hope. When it was prophecied that they should begin to build again, it would have been so tempting to say “been there, done that! It didn’t work the first time, why should I stick my neck out and try it again? Find another sucker.” But that’s not Zerubbabel’s story. His story is one of faithful servanthood.

God changes the world through faithful servants. People like you and me who say “Yes!” to God. I’ve focused on Zerubbabel, but each person who moved to Jerusalem and helped rebuild the temple and each person who provided finances to make it possible were used by God to accomplish His purpose. In each case, the outcome would have been a bit different if they hadn’t said “Yes.” Maybe a portion of the temple would have been built differently or wrongly. Maybe some of the work would have been delayed or altered because of lack of finances. God desires to use all of us, according to our gifts and talents. But he gives us the option. We can be the faithful servant like Zerubbel or we can hinder God’s work by saying “I think I’ll sit this one out.”

I hope you won’t sit this one out. Say “Yes” when you feel God stirring your heart about something. That’s how He usually speaks – by starting a process in our hearts so that we begin to feel a draw toward something that maybe we wouldn’t naturally pursue. Like relocating and rebuilding a temple. Like giving offerings of money and personal property to see the work of the Gospel move forward.

God wants you to partner with Him on an upcoming project. Will you join Him? The results will be God-enabled. And that’s a pretty cool thing! No, that’s a WAY cool thing.

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