I blogged on our NCC church wide reading plan the other day on this topic, but I thought it was worth reposting. I was assigned to talk about Ezra. I want to discuss two ways that I think we gain favor from the Lord.
Favor of the Lord is something many of us pray for and walk in at some level, but I want to propose to you why I think Ezra had so much favor with the king. King Artaxerxes basically gave him everything he wanted, he straight hooked him up.
In Ezra 7:6, it says that Ezra was a teacher well versed in the law of Moses…..the hand of the Lord his God was on him. It goes on to say letter that he was a man learned in matters concerning the commands and decrees of the Lord for Israel. Translation, Ezra had done his homework.
I think many times, we just pray for favor and say, “Oh God, I need your help, I need your favor, do for me what I cannot do for myself.” There is nothing wrong with that, but here is what I would propose. God is not going to give favor and exalt people who haven’t done the study in the quiet, secret place. Why? Because then we won’t know what the heck to do when we get that favor! But if its true that God is going to place us in places we don’t deserve to be in, than we better have done the preparation work beforehand so that we don’t make a fool of ourselves and more importantly God when we actually arrive in that place.
Here is my challenge, live intentionally. If you have a heart or desire for God to use you in a certain way, than don’t just pray for it. Pray for it and prepare for it. If you don’t prepare for it, you are not stewarding the prayer and my theory is that God will place the one who has done the preparation and taken it seriously, not the one who sounds spiritual and prays.
He will give favor to the one who prays AND prepares.