27,28 “Praise be to the LORD, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king's heart to bring honor to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended His good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king's powerful officials. Because the hand of the LORD my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.”
Ezra 7:27,28 (NIV)
Getting a green light in sport sure feels good. Many a competitor longs for such permission, for a clear go-ahead. It’s even more important in life. Understanding how to get one is the trick.
Ezra shares some strong clues. Remarkable green lights dawned on him. He was an unranked minority who was shuffled off into captivity and should have been living in the dark. But he became the one who shone brightly. How did this happen? Let’s take a look.
According to the Scriptures, green lights come on when:
MY DEVOTION IS SOLID. (Ezra 7:10) The study, observance and teaching of the Word carries reward. Much of it comes in the currency of wisdom. It bears fruit both in my life and through my life.
A green light builds quietly, almost undetected, but surely inevitable. The color of faithfulness to everything good and right is always green.
MY WISDOM BECOMES OBVIOUS. (Ezra 7:25) Wisdom has a way of showing up impressively. In a world filled with foolishness, wisdom always finds a way to command centerstage. God sees to it.
The presence of godly wisdom in me makes lights in life turn green.
I TAKE COURAGE. (Ezra 7:28) Courage comes when I take it. It must be seized. It doesn’t just come. Like great shooters hunting for shots, you gotta take shots of courage to score. You gotta get off the porch, off the bench. Courage demands it.
When a light turns green, it means go!
GOD GETS INVOLVED: (Ezra 7:6,27,28) God’s hand moves to the one who’s devoted, wise and courageous. His hand of favor always finds a way to rest here (though when and how never gets an early press release).
One more thing ... God builds momentum around my devotion to Him. He emboldens me to invite others to build the movement too. When I follow Him well, He has a way of adding others around me for Him.
Reflect: How’s your journey going? Are you getting green lights?
What does your devotion to the Lord look like? Are you known for your wisdom or foolishness? What courageous act needs to be taken just now?
A prayer to consider: LORD, I know You can’t take me too seriously and give me green lights if my devotion to Your Word is shaky. Please help me to take courage and go deeper with You. Fill me with Your wisdom, and flank me with others who’ll take rank too. Amen.