Holy Astonishment – Written By Pastor Michael Heil

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“When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, ‘Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites  For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.’  When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked.” -Ezra 9:1-3

Our church worships God often by singing a song called “Hosanna.”  It is such a beautiful song and brings me to tears of reverence every time we sing it.  One phrase in the song moves me deeply, a truth that needs to happen often in the saints of God; the phrase is “break my heart for what breaks yours.”

May the Lord fill my heart and the heart of all His saints with such an intimacy and reverence and may we, His church, fall on our faces and repent any time our heart senses the smallest affront to our Lord.

This holy humbling, this sacred shocking, far from being wrong, is innate within us. It is what instantly sprung up in Ezra.  It is what immediately grieved Paul (Acts 17:16), and it is what moved Jesus to drive the money changers from the temple (Matthew 21:12).  Let the world call us extremist because our heart is so completely interwoven with the heart of God.  Let others giggle and mock behind our backs because our eyes fill with tears when our Lord demeaned.  If the world didn’t understand our Lord, it won’t understand us. Oh, Brothers and Sisters, what a joy to be identified with He who loves us.

Like I said, far from being wrong, may the Spirit of God place this instant upsetting within us.  It is what will drive us to holiness in our walk before God, ripping and dragging all the cancers of the flesh out of our lives.  It is what will move us to spread into society the honor and reverence for Jehovah God.  After Ezra mourned, he and the leaders publically directed the nation to separate themselves unto God.  Revival broke out, and Israel returned to the Lord.  I firmly believe the times we live in are shocking to our spirit.  Every day it seems new depth of depravity happens often driven by our President and national leaders. May you and I, the saints of God, be like Ezra and confront these doors to destruction for the honor and glory of our God, for the hope of a peaceful, Godly life for all.

 Written by Michael Heil

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