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Glorious Ruins
Brian Houston - June 9, 2013

Message Recap

Every year at the Hillsong conference, they release a live worship album.  This year’s album contains a song entitled “Glorious Ruins,” which is the theme of Brian’s message today.

When the world caves in
Still my hope will clean
to Your promise
When my courage ends
Let my heart find strength
In Your presence

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

Glorious ruins can speak of many different things in the scriptures.  Many things that were gloriously created lie destroyed for a period of time.  Zechariah 11:3 speaks of the great cedar trees that lay in ruins.  Many places in the Old Testament speak of the devastation of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar, who took the Jews captive, ostracized them from their beliefs and dreams, and left their temple in ruins.   Even humanity can be described this way, created gloriously (Psalm 139:4), but destroyed by sin.

Many times, we face areas of our lives that lie in ruins.  You may be facing financial ruins or the ruin of your reputation, dreams, relationships.  But there is good news and a powerful hope: the ruins can come to life in the beauty of Jesus’ name!  The most powerful example of this in the Bible is the death and resurrection of God’s own Son.  He emptied Himself of the glory of God, came humbly to earth, allowed his body to be beaten and killed, and lay in ruins until He was resurrected from the dead.

In the Book of Ezra, Nebuchadnezzar had God’s people in captivity.  They were destroyed and their temple lay in ruins, but in Ezra 9:8, the priest Ezra says,

And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage.

The ruins speak of better days past, but God extends mercy to revive His people and rebuild his holy temple.

God can bring this restoration and life to whatever ruins are represented in your life as well.  We can experience this in three types of heavenly power:

1. Praise Power

Praise is an entry point in to the presence of God.  If you want to enter the presence of the Lord, incorporate praise as a way of life.  Praise has the power to bring ruins to life!

When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:
“For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
Ezra 3:10-11

Notice that the people in Ezra are not praising because the work of rebuilding the temple is complete, but rather at the beginning of their work the laying of the foundation.   This is a recurring theme in Scripture.   It is the action that separates Moses from the other Israelites as they face the Red Sea.  Yes, they all praised Him after He had parted the waters and performed His saving miracle, but before the miracle, while they all grumble in fear and regret, Moses still praises the Lord.

Jesus Himself gives us the example of praise in John 11:41-42: “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”  It would be natural to be full of praise after witnessing Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead, but Jesus offers up this praise to the Father before performing the miracle, even while Lazarus lies dead.

If you are facing ruin in an area of your life, never underestimate the power of praise!

2. The Power of Prophecy

Prophetic power is shown to us in Haggai 2:6-9 when the Lord speaks of His rebuilding of the temple and bestowing even more glory upon it than in its former days.  Later in Ezra, we see the temple ruins come back to life just as God has promised:

So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. Ezra 6:14

God promises rebirth and restoration, not just in the rebuilding of the temple, but in the rebuilding of the future.  Listen to this promise of the arrival of our Savior, long before He was born on the earth:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Zechariah 9:9

God has a promising future for you!  As you allow Jesus into your life, your own ruins will come to life.

3. Personal Power

Nothing can replace the power of intimacy and relationship with the living God!  Ezra demonstrates this by seeking God diligently before delivering his message:

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10

Let the Word have influence in your life, love the Word, live the Word, and lead the Word in others.  Allow the Lord to do what He wants to do in your heart.

Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. Ezra 8:21

Let us seek God for every opportunity, relationship, and possession He places in our lives.  That’s how ruins come to life!

When the world caves in
Still my hope will clean
to Your promise
When my courage ends
Let my heart find strength
In Your presence

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

Do you believe God can bring your ruins to life?

This Message

In this message, Pastor Brian Houston talks about Glorious Ruins: how God can rebuild your life whether you have been ruined emotionally or financially. Put your hope in the Lord and let God rebuild you!

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