Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand

holding-handEzra is my hero.  He dedicated himself to the study and teaching of the word of God.  That has been my passion since I was 17 years old.  I admire Nehemiah.  His prayer life guided his work so much that the two are inseparable.  Nehemiah was a project manager.  He sized up the work, created a plan, organized the workers and oversaw the entire project.  Ezra taught God’s word in such a way that everyone could understand and live lives of obedient faith.  He lead a great revival that saved the nation from the brink of extinction and enabled them to move the story of God to the next chapter.

Don’t put Ezra in charge of a building project.  Don’t ask Nehemiah to preach.  God prepared each of them for their separate roles.  As we move forward as a church we must recognize the gifts God has given to his body.  When each of us works in our individual areas of giftedness the whole body benefits.   The common ground for both Ezra and Nehemiah was their personal relationship with God.  Each man knew how to prayerfully move in cadence with the drum beat of God’s Spirit.  As each of them moved into the work God had called them to do they stayed continually in an attitude of prayer.

Ezra thanked God for the opportunity to return home.  He prayed again before leaving on the dangerous journey.  He prayed again when he realized the terrible spiritual condition of Jerusalem.  Each step of the way he keep returning to his source of strength, encouragement and direction.  Nehemiah’s work was of such an urgent nature he couldn’t even change clothes.  Danger was ever present and at any moment he and his workers could be under attack.  His prayers were not the early morning prayers of someone in a safer environment.  He continually turned to God with short sentence prayers.  His left hand was doing the work while his right hand firmly held on to the One who never changes.

What is God calling us to be and to do as his church in the future?  As each of us moves in harmony with the Spirit of God and focuses attention on the areas where God has gifted them, God will make his will known to us all.   Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and hold on to God’s unchanging hand.  He will guide us if we let him.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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4 Responses to “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand”

  1. avatar Tommy says:

    Nehemiah is one of my most beloved heroes from scripture. Even before I knew anything, I understood, even in my infancy, how charismatic Nehemiah was. Nehemiah was the kind of man who could tap into emotion without being a melancholic 1980’s man. Nehemiah had the ability to lament and still encourage others, still had the courage to face a King, and the tenacity to stand up to war mongers. To me, Nehemiah preached the best way any one can preach, through the living example of how they pray. Byron, you have taught me how prayer can be the most rewarding aspect of all the spiritual disciplines. If faith is the heart, prayer, as you have taught me, is the blood that gives it life.

    Thanks for always being there for our family.

  2. avatar Stephen Carman says:

    Thanks Byron for your thoughts.

    I was struck this week by the single-minded focus–at least from these leaders–and the incredible patience they had. We often measure faithfulness in weeks or months (some minutes or hours). But these guys maintained a consistent focus on the leading of God’s Spirit over years.

    Looking forward to hearing the sermon online.

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