In the Book of Ezra, a group of Israelites return home after being in exile. While this joyous occasion gave them hopes and dreams about a lot of things, 70 years in a pagan culture at least taught them an important lesson. The reason they went into exile was because of their idolatry and sinful ways, and so, the first thing they wanted to do once they got home was to rebuild the temple. These Israelites knew that their lives and their nation was meant to have God as the centerpiece. They wanted the worship of God to be the first thing and the most central thing of their new life.
Even if this narrative happened in the modern era, you wouldn’t be able to rebuild the temple in Extreme Home Makeover fashion. It would take time now, and it especially took time then. It was a long process.
Even though the rebuild was going to take a long time, they didn’t wait until its completion to worship the LORD.
What I love about these worshipers is that they began worshiping before the work had really even started. They weren’t waiting for the “perfect” time.
From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid (Ezra 3:6).
Did you catch that? They started worshipping even before the foundation had been laid. They didn’t wait for that perfect moment when all the circumstances were just right. They didn’t have some idealistic scenario in which it would be the best time. They started right where they were and began with what they had.
I see so many people miss out on present opportunities due to future expectations.
They have the perfect scenario scripted in their mind, and once God puts all those things together, then they will get to work.
- They will worship when it feels right.
- They will serve when the conditions are right.
- They will follow when the stipulations are right.
If you are waiting around for the “ideal” time to follow the LORD, you just missed it.