Thursday, February 27, 2014

What If You Were Meant For More?

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
 ‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
 I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.

For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other” – Isaiah 45:1-6

Cyrus was a great King.  He was the first King of Persia, which at the time was one of the largest empires on the earth.  But he didn’t become great all on his own. 
God had planned Cyrus’ life, and Cyrus followed.  Persia was an idolatrous nation, and God planned for Cyrus to be an overcomer.  Whereas Persians believed in two gods, one that was good and one that was evil, God’s full intent was to show Cyrus, the Medes, the Persians, the Jews, and many other nations through him, that He was the only God.

The first step toward reaching his destiny was Cyrus’ belief in God and his anointing to deliver the Jews from captivity in many countries.  God fulfilled his promise, and delivered to him Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Arabia, India, Phoenicia, and many, many other countries which made the Persian empire the controlling empire of the world.  And in Ezra 1:2 Cyrus gives God all the glory, stating that “All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me.”
While reading this passage I had to stop and think.  What if Cyrus had not given God the glory for his success?  What if he had, even for a short time, stepped out of the will of God?   Would the Persian Empire have not been created?  No, I believe it would have.  But I don’t believe Cyrus would have been king. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  What God desires most from us is to give Him glory through our life. 

The purpose of the Persian Empire was not simply to free the Jews, but to return them to God from idolatry as Isaiah 45:6 says, “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other”.  Had Cyrus decided to deny God the praise He deserved, I believe God would have turned over the throne to another, just as He did Solomon when he decided to take on priestly duties that were not his to perform. 
Throughout the wars that Cyrus fought, God walked with him and we are told he held his right hand.  God went before him to “open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut”.  The cities were walled, and had large double gates.  When they struck Babylon, the gates were opened by the king to determine what the noise outside the gates was all about. God went before them, making “the crooked paths straight”, easing their way.

When I look at what God did with Cyrus, I have to stop and think….what if God mean for me to accomplish more?  What if there are mission fields with foreign languages that I could bring to salvation for Him?  What if there are homeless that I could somehow bring to employment and a better life? What if I could help the addicted to be released from their addictions?  What if there are children I could raise up to be blessed by Him?  What if the things I see as impossibilities would have been accomplished by Him if I had only trusted Him to remove all obstacles?   
There’s a big difference in having faith that God will do something, and trusting Him to do it.  Faith says the bridge will hold up my car.  Trust drives over the bridge.

There’s a big difference in being obedient to God, and fully giving Him charge over your life.  Being obedient is to follow what God’s word says.  Giving Him full charge is to lay down your life at His feet, and ask Him to take it up and show you how to live it.  Giving Him full control means that He determines your future, what you will do, where you will live, and who you will become.  Proverbs 16:9 says “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” What if we allowed God to make the plans?  Wouldn’t that help make the crooked path straight?
Cyrus trusted God with his future, and God accomplished great things through Him.  Ask God what He wants to accomplish through you. 



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