Yesterday I was pondering topics for a devotional. I know a lot of verses and passages from the Bible but I really didn't want to share from myself. I much prefer the Lord to speak through us. As I sat there, I had nothing.
So, I told the Lord, "I got nothing" and I waited. Then deep inside me I heard these words: "the LORD stirred up the spirit." I went to my Bible program and found that exact term in 3 verses: 2 Chronicles 36:22, Ezra 1:1 and Haggai 1:14.
The first two are exact duplicates, describing the same event:
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 'Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up!" (2 Chronicles 36:22-23)
The third occurrence describes a different event but is similar:
"So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God..." (Haggai 1:14)
The term "stirred up" means "to open the eyes of" or "wake up".
So, these passages describe the LORD approaching people in authority and waking up their spirits with the result of causing them to accomplish something that matters to Him.
God....the real God....is building His Kingdom. This matters to Him. His Kingdom isn't about walls and castles and organizations. His Kingdom is about ideas, power, authority in and through people yielded to Him.
God's Kingdom does not benefit God - He is self sufficient. Nothing we do will ever make His existence any better. Everything God does.....everything He desires benefits His people because He loves us and wishes for us to flourish and enjoy full lives on the earth and then later in heaven.
This matters to Him.
I believe that the LORD still stirs up the spirits of men and women.
"(I) do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Ephesians 1:16-21)
When Paul speaks about "the eyes of our understanding being enlightened" he is speaking of the Lord stirring us up now....today.
There are key similarities between us and those earthly authorities in those Old Testament verses. They were authority figures on the earth; they had realms over which they ruled. As Christians, each of us has some measure of authority. The Word says that we are ambassadors for Christ, royal priests, ministers of reconciliation and children of the Most High God. Each of these titles has built in authority and God gives us all some arena in which to rule and reign on His behalf.
Paul's prayer was that the Lord would draw near to us and stir up our spirits and, consequently, provoke us to accomplish things that matter to Him. When this happens we will perform works that will advance His Kingdom in and through people.
My question is this: "Do you want that? Do you want to partner with the Father in building His Kingdom?"
If not, I challenge you to pray and ask the Lord to put such a desire in your heart. As His children we should want the things He wants; its just natural to be that way as His children.
If you do want that, I challenge you to pray right now and invite the Lord to stir up your spirit and provoke you to do and say things that matter to Him.
"Father God, I ask You to speak to my human spirit and stir it up. Provoke me to move in my authority as a child of God and cause me to love what You love and hate what You hate. Cause me to do the works of Your Kingdom. I receive all this in the beautiful name and authority of Jesus, my Lord."
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)