Ezra 6:12b …I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
Does the work of The Lord and the word “speed” even go together? Look at this! King Darius was moved by God’s hand to aid (and even help finance) the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and his instructions were for it to be done with speed!
Now, I will have to be honest; somehow I do not see many of today’s churches (at least where I live in the southland of America) moving with speed in the work of God. If anything, we have more of a tendency to drag our feet than we do to move our feet with speed!
And why is that? Well, I’m sure that there are many different reasons, depending upon who you ask, but I wish to explore at least a couple of things that I have observed over the years since I’ve been in ministry.
First, please allow me to point out that I do understand that a church can only move as fast as the limitations are removed. For example, in verse eight of our text, the king secured financing for the work of building the temple, “that they be not hindered”.
The truth is, limitations do hinder the speed of progress! In this case, it was finances. This may or may not be a hindrance to the work with which you are involved, but the key question we need to all ask ourselves is this; are WE the hindrance? If it is not a lack of people, a lack of money, a lack of buildings, tools, equipment, etc., then many times it is just a lack of motivation.
Furthermore, I think sometimes we like to over-stay our welcome in God’s waiting room. That is, we get stuck in “waiting” on The Lord, when in fact The Lord might now be waiting on us! This may sound a bit too radical for some of my readers, so please do not misunderstand what I’m saying.
I do not intend to belittle the necessity nor the power of prayer whatsoever; but I will say that I think sometimes the biggest hindrance to God’s work is that we claim that we will just “pray about it”, but then too often we never really do, or worse, we pray about things that God has already instructed us to be doing.
Prayer should always give us guidance for our future decisions, but it should also push us to make them! Prayer should never stagnate our growth; rather, it should spurt our growth! Prayer should never be an excuse, but rather it should be the engine that moves us to action! Let’s speed up!