Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God and prayed... – Ezra 9:5-6a
Ezra learned from some of the Jews in Jerusalem that many of the people had married foreign wives from the surrounding pagan peoples. Many of the guilty parties were among the leaders of the people. He couldn’t believe his hears. Thus, he tore his clothes and fasted until the evening sacrifice. Once he’d collected himself in a functioning manner, he then bowed down on his knees and prayed to God for mercy and grace upon his people for the sins they’d committed by marrying these pagan women and defiling the Jewish line.
Ezra got prostrate before God over the sinful conditions of his people and the detestable practices they committed. What has brought you to your knees and humbled you before God recently? The truth is that we should assume the position everyday before God. It shouldn’t take a major, traumatic event to cause us to kneel before God and pour out our hearts to him! In fact, Jesus told us that if we want to be his true disciple that each of us must “deny himself, pick up his cross DAILY, and then follow him.” Did you get that part about picking up a cross daily and denying oneself? The only way to deny ourselves and pick up a cross daily is to bend down on our knees, both physically and figuratively. Let us get prostrate before our God and pour out our hearts to him and surrender it all to him. There is no better place to be than in the place of surrender on one’s knees with both hands outstretched toward heaven!
Father, this morning I am under arrest by your Holy Spirit. He has stopped me in my tracks and demanded that I surrender all to you through the atoning, saving blood of Jesus. I, therefore, kneel before you, lift both hands in surrender to you, and ask that you fill me with your love, grace, mercy, power, and Holy Spirit. I cannot go through this life without you! There are many things for which I could kneel and pray in remorse as did Ezra, but today, I kneel out of love for you and surrender all that is within me. Help me to be fully surrendered to you at all times. I have counted the cost of being your disciple and choose to adhere to the requirements of being such: 1) denying myself, 2) picking up my cross daily, and 3) following you, Jesus. In Your name, Amen.