Honest Admission

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Two-minute read.

“For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.”

Ezra 8:22-23

Honest admission.

Ezra backed himself into the proverbial wall.  Proclaiming to the king God’s faithfulness in protecting and caring for his children, Ezra didn’t feel like he could ask the ruler for military help.  Praying his proclamations would come true, the nation fasted and prayed to the Lord, receiving divine intervention.

Boldly telling others about God’s power can seem daunting.  The devil lurks around, whispering doubts in our ears.  “God won’t protect you.  He doesn’t love you…” On and on the lies go.  When we call on the Lord, He listens and answers.  We may disagree with His response, but God always replies yes, no, or wait.

I’ve heard one of my favorite “Come to God” stories more than once from different people.    Oliver Anthony, the singer/songwriter whose song “Rich Men North of Richmond” spiraled him to fame, has one such story.  Anxious and depressed, he hit rock bottom and told God he couldn’t do it anymore. The singer gave his life to the Lord.

“We all sin, and we all do stupid things; we’re all just people.  Nobody’s special or righteous.” Christopher Anthony, a.k.a. Oliver Anthony[1]

Over the years, I have heard versions of the same story as Oliver’s.  People at the bottom of the pit ask God to give them a sign that He exists.  Something happens in that moment that convinces the person the Lord heard and answered, confirming His reality.  Life changes instantly as they begin to follow Jesus and discover new life in Him.

Ezra didn’t know how the Lord would respond to their fasting and prayer, but he never doubted God would answer.  Backed into a wall, only with the Lord’s intervention would they survive the journey ahead.  None of us can face a day with God.  We may not acknowledge His presence, but the Lord never leaves us; always present, always working.  Wherever life takes you, whatever path you follow, God goes with you, guiding and directing.  To follow Jesus closely, we must seek Him.  Fasting and prayer deepen our connection with the Savior as we humble ourselves before Him and seek His will.

Journal Questions:

  • How can I apply today’s devotion to my life?
  • What happened that caused you to give your life to Jesus?
  • How has life changed since you began following God?


Lord, thank You for never leaving us and answering our desperate cries for help.  As we fast and pray, give us eyes to see and ears to hear You.  Guide and direct us on the path You want us to take, and help us fulfill our divine purpose.  Let Your power and glory shine through our lives, illuminating the world with Your presence.  May our actions honor You in all we do.  IJNIP. Amen

[1] https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2023/08/30/oliver-anthony-gets-emotional-telling-joe-rogan-about-how-god-changed-his-life-i-didnt-have-anything-left-in-me-i-feel-so-empowered/

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