by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Ezra 10:1-44; Proverbs 21:3
READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
Ezra 10:6 “Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehonanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.”
Ezra is one of the characters in the Bible whom I look up to. This man loved the Lord so much that he readily confessed before the house of God and wept over the sins of Israel. Even after a covenant was made between the people and God to do something with regards to their sinfulness; Ezra continued to fast and mourn over the faithlessness of his people. I like to think that only people who love the Lord deeply can develop such great sensitivities for what grieves the heart of our Father in heaven.
When was the last time I mourn over the sins of the church universal or even the churches in Singapore? Even as I witnessed the many transgressions of the church against the teachings of Christ; I can remain so indifferent and so uncaring. At most a prayer is uttered; but mourning over the sins of the church? Hardly.
I am reminded of a time (approximately 7-8 years ago) when I was unwell and stayed home. While at home, i grew restless and decided to watch a video where a preacher was talking about unity in the church. The preacher was preaching at a global prayer event and many leaders of churches around the world attended the event. At the end of the sermon, the preacher invited many leaders across the globe to come together to pray for unity. When that happened, I started to weep. I wept like never before. At that time, I could sense the Holy Spirit witnessing to me that it grieves the Father’s heart that so many of His children do not see eye to eye with one another. That was also the time when I was frequently praying for the Lord to reveal His heart to me. I seldom do that these days.
Today’s devotion is a sobering reminder that I need to keep in check of my intimacy with God. Serving in ministry is definitely no guarantee of my growing relationship with God. In fact, it could easily go the opposite direction.
Where is my mourning over the sins of the church universal? Where is my pain when I witness in myself and others the many transgressions we have against God? Do I love God enough to care?
Lord, help me in times when I slip into indifference. Help me to constantly check my intimacy with you. Reveal to me your heart for the church and may You direct my prayers in Your mighty will. Amen.