Our victory over all things was accomplished through Jesus’ death on the cross. When we obey His command, ‘Take up your cross daily,’ we are positioned for the victory He has called us to walk in. Our cross denies our flesh that wants to act independent of God.
1 John 5:4 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” How do we increase our faith? Romans 10:17 says that it comes by hearing the word.
Sunday my pastor used a verse that fits in really well right here. Ezra 7:10 says, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.”
Are you a seeker? I used this verse the other day but it bears repeating. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Did you notice how that faith and seeking are connected? I love David’s words. Psalm 27:8 says, “When You said, Seek My face, my heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Faith words or faith affirmations are without substance unless they come from the heart.
Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Lord through His word. He wanted to make it part of his life, so that he would be an example for others to follow. Years ago I heard John Maxwell say something like, “If you are supposed to be leading, and no one is following, then you are just taking a walk.
Moses was God’s leader for the children of Israel. In Deuteronomy 4:1-4 he reiterated what he had taught them so that they could live. Verse 5 says, “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me…” Note the chain of command. “…that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.”
Verse 6 says, “Therefore be careful to observe them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding nation.”
Authentic followers of Jesus walk in obedience to His word. We are not just taking a walk. Everyone in our sphere of life follows us by observing our words and actions which come from our thoughts. Is your faith visible to others?
Ezra 7:10 in the Amplified says, “…had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, (to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it)…” I’m going to James 4:5 to pick up the Greek definition for yearn. It means to intensely crave possession. More on this tomorrow