Dr. Arrington- Stirred

So the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—prepared to go up and rebuild the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:5 (Berean Study Bible)

Motivation is a key ingredient of success. If an endeavor that a person or a group undertakes will prosper, there must be an inward push to work and build. This is one reason why coaches give motivational speeches to their teams. This is why organizations have strong keynote addresses during conferences. The leaders and organizers want their constituents to be energized. They want them to have a conviction about the collective mission. The intention is to provoke and pull on the heartstrings of their followers. Why? The impetus for effort rests in the heart. Sure, talent is critical. Knowledge is valuable. But, without heart both talent and knowledge remain isolated and dormant. Talent and knowledge need a catalyst. They need an activator, and activation begins in the heart.

Biblically and theologically speaking, the heart has to do with more than the physical organ in our bodies. The heart has to do with who we are. It has to do with our intellect, our thinking. The heart is the seat of our emotions. It has to do with that which causes us to tick, go, or be inspired. Our heart encompasses the real us. This is why Proverbs 4:23 says that we should guard our heart above all things because the issues of life pour out of it. In other words, whatever is going on with our heart will influence everything about us and everything we do! So, if our heart isn’t in it, we won’t be motivated. If our heart is supportive, then we will be motivated.

God’s people had been captive in a foreign land for 70 years. This was prophesied by Jeremiah (25:11-12). It was also prophetically declared that after punishing His people for their disobedience, God fully intended to restore and bless them (Jeremiah 29:10-14). His grace was released through King Cyrus whom God strategically selected to authorize the return of the Israelites to their native land (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-13; Ezra 1:1).

Upon their return to the land of Judah and Jerusalem, God’s holy city, the people of God had work to do. The temple lay in ruins and needed to be rebuilt, restored. So, God stirred the Israelite leaders to want to return to their home and rebuild. He gave them a desire to do the work. Before any tools were gathered or any effort was expended, the people needed motivation. It wasn’t about talent or knowledge. It had to do with the heart.

Many people attend church, but everyone who attends church isn’t stirred to do the work necessary to rise up and build. My prayer for you is that you will be stirred to do the will of God for your life and that you’ll be stirred to join with other believers to build and advance His kingdom in the earth.

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