Families are being challenged. Why? Because we aren’t seeking God first in our own personal journey in life. I just finished reading the book of Ezra, and I couldn’t help but think about our own families here today. Back in Ezra’s time, many families that had been in exile in Babylonia were moving back to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Once the exiles made it back to Jerusalem they are ON FIRE for God. They sang, the danced, they ritualistically praised God for giving them back their home. Yet by the time Ezra arrives, they are back to their evil ways. Intermarrying and carrying on the way they used to. Why? Because that is what they know, that is what they left doing, and that is what is easy to return to.
It isn’t much different today. We all fall into the trap of doing what is easy, what we know, following others, and just getting through life each day seems hard enough. Why would we want to change things up and do things God’s way? That is hard, different and uncomfortable.
“I don’t have time to go to church every Sunday.”
“I don’t have time for bible study.”
“I don’t have time for a weekend retreat.”
“I don’t have time to volunteer at church.”
“I don’t have time to commit to praying each day.”
“I am raising a family here, I don’t have time for God right now. He knows I am here and that I believe in him – isn’t that enough.”
Umm, the answer is no. That is not enough. In order for me to be a good parent, a faithful friend, and a whole-hearted family member, I MUST make room for God. If I fall into the trap of not having enough time to enrich my own faith life, then all the pieces of my life will just crumble. I will be building my life on a sinking sand foundation instead of a solid rock foundation.
Matthew 7:25-27 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell– and great was its fall.”
When we go back to what we know and live our lives with ONLY our own plan in mind (or our own “to-do” list), then our faith will suffer. We must let God transform our minds, and help us persevere through the uncomfortable moments in life.
John 3:30 “He must increase and I must decrease.”
Back to Ezra, during Ezra’s time in Jerusalem he was working faithfully to make the people realize that they needed to transform their way of living in order to rebuild Jerusalem. Instead of building the actual city back to life, Ezra was forced to focus on the people’s faith. They had to rebuild their own foundation before building a temple foundation.
Life is like that today. If families continue to focus on just – the family – then God will lose His place in the line-up of life. God first, then family. When we learn to straighten up our line-up, then all other parts of life will fall into place.