God Moves Hearts
Father, please give me the sensitivity to know when You move my heart or the hearts of those around me to accomplish Your will.
Read Ezra 1:1–11
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Is it easier to move a mountain or a human heart? Only God can move hearts.
Sometimes God acts directly. For example, he created the world, delivered his people from Egypt with miraculous plagues and performed healings on people who were disabled or had incurable diseases. But at other times, God moves in quieter, more subtle ways: no voice from heaven; no parting of the waters; no breathtaking healings of disabilities. Why does God work in a variety of ways to accomplish his will on earth? And which is more difficult for God—performing a miracle or simply controlling natural processes?
God moved the heart of Cyrus, an unbelieving Persian king, to send his people back to their homeland (1). Isaiah prophesied: “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the Temple, “Let its foundations be laid”’” (Isa. 44:28). Clearly, God appointed Cyrus to send his people back to Judah, their homeland. But God also moved the hearts of his people to return to Judah, to build the Temple and to reestablish the Jewish calendar of annual holy days and regular Sabbaths (5). God moves Cyrus’s heart to send his people and moved the hearts of his people to go. That’s amazing. No wonder the mission started off without a hitch. The Creator of hearts moved them to accomplish his will. God uses people—whether devout God-fearers or powerful and unbelieving kings—to accomplish what he effortlessly could have done without them.
Understanding how God works his will in this passage leaves us with one question: how is God moving our hearts? God does not always perform breathtaking miracles. More often than not, he moves the hearts of people, believing or unbelieving, to do his work in this world. Although we call this God’s providence, it is no less spectacular than miracles. And it is no less loving. It’s just different.
As you reflect on how God works, ask yourself what God might be moving your heart to do for his glory in this world.
Heavenly Father, please move my heart so that I can join with others in doing Your will on earth for Your glory.
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