Ezra 7
Ezra 9

Ezra 8

Scripture
21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, "The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him." 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer....
31 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.

Observation
Ezra models what all of us as God-followers need to be doing, his actions reflected his beliefs about God. 

Understanding
To make a journey from Persia to Jerusalem with lots of possessions and no soldiers for protection was asking for trouble.  Yet Ezra does not want to ask for it because he realizes that his actions would not line up with what he had proclaimed, that God is looking after them and would protect them.  So he puts his money where his mouth is and decides to act on his belief of God.  God will protect so I don't need to ask for other protection.  This putting his faith into action becomes a powerful communication to the king and any other onlooker but it also increases the faith of the Jews who under Ezra's leadership must walk out what they believe.  Imagine what it must have done for their faith when they arrived in Jerusalem safe and secure.  Now they are even more ready for what God wants to do next - a revival that will take place - because their faith has been built.

Life Application
How many times we say we believe God is our provider and then we go and try and get someone else to meet out needs.  Our first reaction is to get a loan rather than fast and pray and walk in faith.
How many times we say that God is our Lord and then we act in a way that shows otherwise? 
How many of us declare God is our protector and we live in complete fear not wanting to do anything because we are fearful of something bad happening?
How many of us are missing out on the great move of God in our lives because we have not taken the steps to fast and pray, walk in faith and see God move powerfully in our lives?

Time to be like Ezra...put our actions where our belief is...fast and pray first rather than depend on men...walk in faith rather than in fear.

Get on that camel it is time to take a walk on the faith side, God can and will take care of us.

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