For we are slaves; yet in our bondage, our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.

Ezra 9: 9

Living in this world and the effects of being surrounded by what seems to be a relentless sort of assault by evil can cause us to feel as if we are just as enslaved as were the Israelites during the times of foreign captivity. It often seems that our thoughts are being held captive by our culture, that it is unsafe to express what we really believe in public, that all forms of entertainment are likely to be infused with dangerous lies or with harmful images, and that there is no righteousness to be found in our world.

Yet, Ezra’s calling to stand firm and to shout out the truth of the Lord’s calling to His people in a very oppressive public environment is also our calling. The Lord does not want us to remain enslaved, trapped, and made ineffectual by the forces of evil that try to take away our freedom. God is not silent in these times; for, He speaks continually to the hearts and into the minds of anyone who will seek Him out and who will listen. God wants to us to reclaim our freedom, and He wants us to bring restoration to the world around us, too. 

We need to stand up with courage before the rulers of this world, and we need to stand firmly for the freedom that Christ has given to us. We do this most effectively by refusing to buy into the lies and the deception that evil uses to divert us from our true calling and to frighten us into submission to its mission of destruction. We become agents for restoration by bringing the love of Christ and His grace into the lives of people who are caught in the trap of bondage to this world; so, as we rebuild the walls of faith and righteousness in our communities, we can reclaim important parcels of territory for the Kingdom of God.