4 “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
Ezra 10:4 (NIV)
Compromise always comes knocking. And when it does, prepare to get tested. It always hits hard in the areas of politics, culture and community.
Some bending and blending must occur in order to get consensus and keep things moving forward.
Compromise hits even harder in morality and war. But never tolerate it on these fronts. Moral compromise always leads to trouble.
Be immune to coercion. And compromise in war always breeds danger. You don’t change terms in the middle of a fight and still expect to win.
If compromise has gotten the best of you a time or two, as it has me, Ezra 10 shows us five moves to get us back on the road to recovery.
The nation of Israel had seriously compromised itself. Ezra felt this deeply and led a widespread return to godly living. Note the successful moves he made and support he received:
PRAYER and CONFESSION: (v1) Ezra got serious in prayer. He fell down and wept bitterly.
He let his heart break over needless compromise. It set up other great restorative moves. Prayer always sets up wins.
SUPPORT: (v1-4) When we pray and confess openly our areas of compromise, God has a way of sending needed support our way. People will realign. Support always follows obedience.
PUBLIC COMMITMENT: (v5) Ezra called for it … and got it. The lesson: Put a stake in the ground and anchor yourself to it.
Let it be known. Folks will respond, and God takes note. He loves to honor the commitments we make that honor Him.
PRIVATE COMMITMENT: (v6) Ezra continued to pray for spiritual movement. He didn’t stop with a public declaration. He continued to wage a private, prayerful war of no compromise.
Outer work flows from inner power.
CONSISTENT WORSHIP: (v24) The people most immune to coercion, to moral compromise, are those who regularly worship God. Worship is that crucial.
Compromise your worship and your morality compromises too … sooner or later. Beef up your worship and your moral living bolsters, but good.
So be wise with compromise. That means being immune to coercion when it comes to morality (It’s always the right time to do right.). And be an Ezra when things break down.
Reflect: Where is life stretching you to compromise? Are you praying earnestly for an uncompromised life morally? Whom might you call to join you?
Are you building an immunity to coercion by faithfully worshiping the Lord?
A prayer to consider: LORD, help me to be immune to coercion, to trust that Your ways are best. Don’t let me define my morality.
Move me to help others too. May my worship of You be sweet, strong, faithful, uncompromised. O, how I look forward to Your terrific support! Amen.