Reading through Ezra again this morning I find myself realizing that sometimes, more often than not, Satan comes at us in ways we do not expect. The Nation of Israel were excited and ready to rebuild the House of the Lord and opposition came in the form of someone desiring to work with them. Satan has been using trickery since the Garden when he persuaded Adam and Eve that they would be like God. He is still using trickery today. It is his desire that all of our efforts to serve the Lord would fail, but he knows if he comes at us in the open it will make it easy to resist him. I want us to remember that if it looks to good to be true then we should examine it. Look at the source and where the idea is coming from.  God desires for his children to succeed and Satan knows if he can keep a Christian down he is advancing his agenda and slowing the work of the Lord, but that is all he is doing is slowing it because remember God's will shall be done. Even though the enemy of Israel delayed the Temple from being rebuilt eventually it was rebuilt and established for the Lord. When Satan gets you down in life why not use that oppurtunity to go ahead and remain on your knees and gain even more strength from the Lord. I have a plaque in my house that reminds of this everyday that a man is never stronger than when he is on his knees. Remember the Devil is as a roaring Lion. Keep watch for him dont become an easy victim live your life according to the word of God, steeped in prayer and be watchful for the snares and traps that Satan has set befor you.
Reading this morning in Ezra I find myself wanting to talk about giving according to your ability,but if I am going to be true to God I need to write about music. Music is an influential tool that can be used for good or bad. We find the children of Israel have been brought out of the Babylonian captivity to find the temple in bad shape. They begin  to restore the House of the Lord and after they had laid the foundation it says that they SANG praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Music is not our enemy it has been used through out time to enhance and intensify the worship of God. Today there are many different types of music in the world we need to be careful about what we put inside of our minds. These "innocent " songs that we hear and enjoy can lead us to think about worldly things and even to some degree become desensitized to the harmful effects of what the sin being sung about does to not only our body but our mind and soul as well. I enjoy music as much as the next guy but i am learning that sometimes the songs I like because they are catchy I do not need to putting into my mind. Let's keep our music choices to things that uplift and glorify. Music touches every part of your emotion let it touch and stir you in good things and not lead you into temptaion. Music in and of itself is not bad and has been around since the beginning of creation. Listen to the birds and you can see this as fact. I ask you today does your music selection edefy and uplift?
During my devotional time today i was reading in Matthew about prayer and was reminded that when times get rough we need to be in prayer. What good does prayer do when it is bad and only gets worse? I was reading in my daily devotional guide and it reminded me that when we pray it changes our focus. We can remained focused on us and what our problems are or we can get on our knees and focus on the Lord and his ability to handle our problems without our help. Humble yourself and go to the Lord. Problems of this world are nothing when you are talking to the creator of this world. Lets have a focus shift in our hearts and get back to focusing on God and not ourselves in the selfish self-serving society.  I also finished reading 2nd Chronicles today as I am on my way to completely reading the entire Bible this year and noticed something very interesting. All of these Kings were young men and even boys and it reminded me that the youth are not the future of the Church they are the church lets start teaching our young people how to be effective church members for today and for the future. We have an obligation to teach them so the church can always be ran effectively and according to God's will and not our own.
I look out at our country and people are busier and busier. The hustle and bustle of this fast paced lifestyle is very draining as a result I see more and more people taking their only day off Sunday as a day for themselves. This trend is frightening to me I feel like we are on a slippery slope during this time. I was reading about the nation of Israel in 2 Chronicles today about the King Josiah. Israel had neglected the Lord's house for over 200 years and it is found in shambles. Buried in the rubble is found the Word of God and it has to be dusted off and then read. How many of our Bibles are on a shelf, in the back seat of a car, or in our pew at church? It is time we get back to the basics of Christianity and open up our Bibles read them and study them, pray for our country and our churches, get back into fellowship with God first then His local New Testament Church. Sunday is a day that we celebrate Jesus Christ the first fruits and our sacrifice. What better place to be than in the house of the Lord. You give God back what is his and he will provide you the rest and relaxation you need somewhere else. Put God first in our lives and humble ourselves before him and He will handle the stress and hustle and bustle this life has to offer.