Yesterday at church during worship, there was a pause, pause of silence in-between songs. I LOVED it! It wasn’t long, only about 8 seconds, it was extremely noticeable, for it was a holy pause of reverence. The silent pause set the tone for the rest of worship. How often do we pause? We are a run-full-force-forward society that taking pause seems awkward. As I sit to review my teaching notes for an upcoming session of Inductive Bible Study in our discipleship class, I pause. A preparative pause. I take my cue from Ezra. WHO?
Ezra was a scribe and a direct descendant of Aaron of the Old Testament; he was full of passion and zeal for God and God’s word. He along with Nehemiah was instrumental in creating an environment for revival among the Israelites and rebuilding the Temple. One verse that jumps out defines the sincere outcome, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (7:10 NKJV, emphasis mine) Ezra prepared his heart. Prepared his heart to seek, to do, and to teach. In the Hebrew, the imagery is not just merely putting God’s word in front of him, Ezra put himself in front of the Word. Yes, there is a difference.
We need to purposely take pause, creating ‘prior moments’ and position our heart, mind, and understanding. How often do we grab a mug of coffee, slide into our comfortable chair and open the Bible and begin reading? What might be the outcome if we were to pause before opening the Book? Before reaching for our pencil and journal? A quick 8-second pause of reverence might make noticeable difference, setting the tone for what came next. Revival and rebuilding! Perhaps a sincere prayer of “Father show me, teach me, speak to me.”
May we like Ezra purpose with prior moments and prepare our heart.
* We can read Ezra’s story in the short book with his name and the sequel, Nehemiah.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)