FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH
89 Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. 91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. Psalms 119:89-91
There are nights that it seems as if we can see into eternity. The nights with the clearest skies and no noise from the lights or business of the world. It seems as nothing else exists and we can just sit in those moments forever. I remember growing up in a rural part in North Carolina and I promise there were nights that we could lay on a blanket and feel as though the universe was at our fingertips. Every night, God seemed to redesign His canvas and we were the primary audience. I remember seeing shooting stars and airplanes go across the night sky, and in my young mind I really could not fathom that there was another side of the world where life was going on. I was lost in the beauty and vastness of God and I never wanted to leave that moment. There are days that I truly wish I could go back and relive those innocent days. Days where I never worried about decisions but knew that God had everything covered and I had the chance to just live my life out playing kickball and hanging out with my friends. Those were the simpler days of my life.
The older we get, I believe we continue to lose sight of the beauty in which God created. We start inviting chaos into the equation and our schedules will not surrender the time that we need to just sit and watch God at work. The older that we get, the more it seems that life gets in the way, and we just forget the importance of truly stepping back and taking a deep breath and soaking it all in. The opportunity and connection is still available, it is just the point that we have to make it intentional. Walking through these days of Lent, I have been
able to take a step back and honestly pray and watch God continue to work and reveal things around me. Things that are both good and bad. Things that I truly would have missed if I was not intentionally focusing on God's Word each day and stripping out the things that needed to be removed so I could once again come with an open heart and canvas for God to begin recreating a new vision inside of me. The same could be said about all of us. I think that many of us truly live in absolutes and fail to realize that there are lives and stories happening on the other side of the world that are just as important to the Kingdom of God. Where heaven touches earth, we recognize the power of God as it still continues to hover over the world. Even if it is a different time zone or continent, the same God provided a connection with us all through the life of Jesus.
As we dig into the message from Ezra the priest and scribe, we are able to recognize that there is sin and a need for redemption that outlives time and location. The fact the fast food restaurant got our sauces wrong on our order is a first world problem where others would be thankful just to have any food at all. Ezra is trying to help open our eyes to the reality of the Law that God has given us as the WORD that connects us all together. It does not matter if you live in America, China, Brazil or Africa, the Word of God continues to be foundational point for the Gospel to be lived out all over the world. These are powerful words that Ezra is saying. The Word of God is eternal and impacts ALL things that serve God. We can no longer think that Christianity is only for America. I remember growing up and thinking that America was the only Christian country in the world. I know that seems naive for a small child, but I think that is truly the mentality that we all have. You can only be a "REAL" Christian if you live in America. And then I see the amazing work that is going on all over the world and especially on the continent of Africa and once again I stand in AWE of God. Ezra is reminding us that ALL of creation is under the authority of God and we really don't have the right to pick and choose who or what is right as compared to what we do in America. WE must be willing to shift our focus to a global/eternal mentality where God truly has no boundaries and we may not be the strongest Christian nation in the world. We may have lost our chance because of our unwillingness to truly rely on the Word of God as our foundational text in which we teach and equip others.
So our real challenge for today is to commit once again to the AUTHORITY of the Word of God in our lives. We have to admit that we might have stepped away and relied more on self-help books than the Gospel that can transform our lives. When we give God back the authority over our homes, jobs, families etc...we actually may watch our nation restored to something that actually looks like it was meant to look. We are a world made up of some many differing creations, but we still have been given the same Word of God to help govern
our actions. If we really want to see change occur, maybe just maybe, we need to invite the ONE who created it for a different intention to intervene and reclaim His place in our homes and at our tables. As we have seen before, Ezra is an amazing example of a person that was willing to dedicate his life to the learning, applying and teaching of the Word of God. Because of Ezra's faith and willingness to serve God with humility, a revival erupted and the world changed. The same can be true for us today. We have the same opportunity to invite and engage the ONE who created and has all authority under the heavens and the earth to the table. We have the same ability to dig deeper and be stretched beyond what we can fathom if we realize the authority of God's Word over this world. It starts with one person at a time willing to make an intentional investment back to God. Are you ready to see the true authority of God revealed through justice and grace, or are we all still comfortable in the chaos with just small glimpses of what could be? Father, Here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.