Allow about one hour to complete this day.
Here’s some background information. The Israelites had sinned and gone against what God had asked them to do. They were exiled from their land for 70 years, and were now coming back into the land just as God had promised. Ezra’s heart was broken because of the sins of the people. He loved God so much, and he was weeping on the floor before Him, confessing the sins and asking for forgiveness. However, Ezra begins to feel so much guilt that he can’t see the promise, or how loving and gracious God is. It’s almost as though he felt unworthy of the love God had for him and the people. At this time, there is a group of people who remind Ezra of who he is and who God is. They confess their sins, and then say “but in spite of this, there is hope for Israel.” They remind Ezra of who God is and who they are! These are the people speaking to Ezra and telling him to get up and go do what needs to be done!
“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” Ezra 10:4
When you read the background information and this scripture, what does it say about who God is?
I love this word–it carries so much power and meaning! The Hebrew meaning of the word here literally means, “to stand up.” We MUST do our part, even when we don’t feel like it. Ezra was wrapped up in all the guilt and past sins of his people. Our Father wants us to confess our sins and repent, but He doesn’t want to keep us there — on the floor — crying and feeling guilty. While we may not find ourselves doing this literally, I think we sometimes stay in the past and allow guilt and shame to be walls that stop us from moving forward. We get excited about the Lord through worship and His word, but when we try to ARISE and make changes in our life and walk out who we are, the past creeps in and guilt floods our hearts and minds. “I am not worthy to be loved in that way. He couldn’t possibly love me as much as He loves that person. Look at all the bad things I’ve done or said or even thought.” Daughter, this is the wall! We must stand up and say NO to this place! It takes action and energy. Don’t stay on the floor feeling sorry for yourself. ARISE and walk in the way of righteousness. Meet Him halfway.
“for it is your task”
Daughter, you have a task, just like Ezra. God called him to be a voice to the people, and He has called you, too! Often, we want to sit and wait on God to move and for God to do all the work. But He has already finished His part. Jesus said, “It is finished,” on the cross. We must now do our part.
Here’s a real life scenario you may be faced with: You spoke scripture over yourself while putting on your makeup, and you devoted that time to Him first thing in the morning before going to work. You’re feeling awesome and pumped up for Jesus! You may have even listened to praise and worship music on the way to work. You arrive and begin your workday. Then, you go to lunch with a group of women and they begin talking about another woman in the office who is flirting with a co-worker. It is here in this moment where you choose what to do — do you join in or choose to BE it?
Daughter, I know it’s hard, but this is where you will see change start to happen in your life, when you choose to BE it. Because of your morning spent with HIM, you are now aware of the choice, but it’s your job/task to do what is pure and lovely as a daughter of the King. “My lips are full of perpetual praise.” Ps. 34:1 Remember, HE is with you and will help you. You are never alone.
“and we are with you”
Ezra’s people were saying, “Come on! We are with you!”
Being a daughter of the King is also being part of a family. You need God-loving people around you in life: people who are cheering for you, people who celebrate you and most importantly, people who can remind you to get up off the floor, stop living in the past and DO IT. I’ll admit, finding these people can be a challenge, but I promise your Father will provide. If you feel you are constantly being let down by others or relationships are constantly failing, I would encourage you to get in the word of God, and allow the Lord to speak to you about you. Remember, He will do a work in you first, and then around you. I know without a doubt that God created humanity to be in relationship with Him and others. There’s a joy and richness to your life when you have people around you who are doing life with you. Maybe you have no one, maybe you have people but the relationships are unhealthy, or maybe you need to participate more in others’ lives by cheering them on and encouraging them. I’m not sure what category you fall into, but I promise if you will begin to Speak it, Apply it and BE it, the right people will come and you will find yourself loving on others in ways you thought weren’t possible!! Our Father is faithful. They will come to you, and He will change your heart from the inside out!! Daughter, don’t miss out on this treasure!
REFLECTION & JOURNAL
Think about the relationships you have right now. Are they healthy? What kind of fruit do they produce in your life? What kind of fruit do you produce in their life? Jot down anything you sense or hear the Holy Spirit is saying to you about your relationships.
“be strong and do it”
The last part of this verse is a command. It’s a charge for us to be strong! When we are strong in the Lord, we do not base our actions off our feelings or circumstances, but we base them on what we KNOW! And what we KNOW is that our God is alive and living and that His words are true. We know this because it’s what the Bible tells us, but we also know this through the testimonies of others. Think of it this way: when a difficult time comes your way, you know there will be a testimony that comes from it. As women, we must share what God is doing in our lives with others. It’s contagious.
In the New Testament, we see this firsthand. There was a woman whose reputation among the village people was not good, to say the least. She encountered Jesus at a well and was forever changed, but there’s more. She immediately ran and told others of what had happened to her. In other words, she testified to what Jesus had done. Many Samaritans decided to follow Jesus because of her testimony. Here’s my BIG point of this story: The people of the village had every reason to question her words, but because God was in it, her words carried life! Her words carried something they were looking for…hope!
Daughter, when God is doing something in your life and you share it with others, it’s more than just sharing. The Almighty powerful God has breathed life into it, and that life will bring hope to others. God is in it and will use it! Part of being strong is knowing where your strength comes from, and expecting a testimony!
There really isn’t anything more to say to go with the words, “Do it!” After reading this entire message, you just have to choose to do it! Accept responsibility in your partnership with the Father, surround yourself with encouraging and honest people, and then DO IT! We have the Holy Spirit in us, Jesus interceding on our behalf and the Father holding all things together! You can’t fail!
REFLECTION & JOURNAL
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to “stand up” and ARISE. What is “the wall” that gets in your way from moving forward? Is it a lie about your self-worth, a memory from your past, a person? What truth will you use to knock down this wall?
Think of one thing you can share with a friend today about what God has done in your life. Practice sharing testimonies, big or small!