Is a person just blessed to be selected from the world by God for great things … or does God use a person for great things because he selects God over the world?
I. The answer to this question is so important in the ‘hand-out’ culture that we live in. If God just randomly chooses a person for great things, then that gives us an excuse not to do great things for Him because “He hasn’t selected me.” This would mean that God’s sovereignty is really favoritism (Ephesians 6:9) at its worst and lets us shrink back into His spiritual welfare system waiting for our next scrap.
But God has always been about our individual responsibility. He did the work of salvation through His Son on the cross, yes, but we are to believe, obey, love, forgive, serve, and go–among other acts of obedience. These are actions that require us to stand up from our spiritual couches, brush the crumbs off our laps, and roll up our sleeves.
II. God raised up Ezra to be a priest to lead His people returning from exile in the way of the Lord. Was Ezra just in the right place at the right time to get chosen haphazardly? Ezra 7:9-10 says, “… the good hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had set his heart TO STUDY the Law of the Lord, and TO DO it and TO TEACH his statues and rules in Israel.” What have you set your heart to DO for Him?
III. Sounds like Ezra was no spiritual slacker. What about us? Ephesians 2:10 tell us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Each and every day good works for each of us have been prepared in this day that the Lord has made. Are you walking in them? Are you diligent in your search to know what they are?
And so neither is God a spiritual slacker as He plans for us. If God could raise up an Ezra who would make good choices at the right time to be used by God to do great things for His Kingdom, then what has He planned for you to DO today? Rather than dwell on opportunities missed, might you be rolling up your sleeves and be willing to DO all that He has planned for you to Do tomorrow?