Do We Hear Him?  Will We Listen?  Are We Abiding in Him?

 

With thanksgiving and praise to the eternal Lord, our sovereign, Living God, I give Him all honour and glory.  During my prayer on New Year’s Eve, He faithfully spoke to me through Ezekiel 3: 1-15, which I shall now share with you.

The Lord spoke to the prophet Ezekiel in v1-7“And He said to me, Son of man, eat what you find.  Eat this roll, and go speak to the house of Israel.  So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.  And He said to me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your belly with this roll that I give you.  Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was like honey for sweetness.  And He said to me, Son of man, go!  Go up to the house of Israel and speak to them with My Words.  And they, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear; for they are a rebellious house.  Yea, they shall know that there has been a prophet among them; not to many people of a deep lip and of a difficult language, whose words you cannot hear.  Surely, if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.  But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are strong of forehead and hard of heart.”

Here, the Lord gave Ezekiel a commission which required of him to be a messenger of God and to speak Words of truth which the Lord was to give to Ezekiel, to announce to the people of Israel. The Lord testifies here that Israel was even more hardened, more stiff-necked than any of the heathen nations, a rebellious people.

In v8-11, the Lord told Ezekiel: “Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces and your forehead strong against their foreheads.   I have made your forehead as an adamant harder than flint.  Do not be bowed down by their faces, though they are a rebellious house.  And He said to me, Son of man, receive all My Words which I shall speak to you in your heart, and hear with your ears.  And go! Go to those of the captivity, to the sons of your people, and speak to them, and tell them, so says the Lord Jehovah; whether they will hear or whether they will forbear.”

The people, God’s own people, were “impudent and hard-hearted.”  The Lord gave Ezekiel courage and boldness, with an unwavering mind, to speak to the people the Word from the Lord which he was to declare, saying, “Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.”

Ezekiel was responsible for the fulfilment of his duty: but each one was to bear the consequences of his or her own conduct, after hearing the Word.  As a result, the people were no longer to be judged as a whole, as a single group, as was the case when all of them depended on the conduct and leadership of the head of the nation.  Each was now individually responsible.

Ezekiel said in v13-15: “And the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a sound of a great rushing, saying, ‘Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from His place’.  I also heard the sound of the wings of the living creatures touching one another, and the sound of the wheels along with them, and a sound of a great rushing.  So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of Jehovah was strong on me.  Then I came to the exiles at Tel-at-abib, who lived by the river Chebar.”

Ezekiel testified about the glory of the vision he saw in v14.  However, he was overwhelmed with sadness because of the impending miseries and calamities of the people, of which the Lord had required him to be the unwelcome messenger.  However, the “power and hand” of God urged Ezekiel to brave the circumstances and obey Him; to serve the Lord, for the glory and Kingdom of God, was at hand.

We, the temples of the Living God are blessed indeed by the Lord.  He confirmed this in Ephesians 4:11-14 where He tells us that He has specific plans for each of us, as “truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.  And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we no longer may be infants, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, in the dishonesty of men, in cunning craftiness, to the wiles of deceit.”

We are to guard ourselves from false teachings, false prophets and imposters.  The Lord has also provided and equipped us with His indwelling Holy Spirit and His written Word, to lead us to His truth.  His truth is divine and all powerful and helps us to discern and to make choices and decisions which are all in God’s will.  We are also warned against the deception of the enemy who constantly preys on the lost, the backslidden, the prideful, the power hungry, the unrepentant, the obstinate, the hypocrites and the rebellious.  The devil is not only manipulative, but constantly lies and has come to kill, steal and destroy.   For this reason, we need to remain faithful, prayerful, obedient to God and to constantly wear His holy armour.

Second Timothy 3:16 reminded us that “All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”   The Lord also confirms in Matthew 4:4 as He answered the tempter and says: “For it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

In the faith of the grace which is already working in us and in the assurance of the grace for the victory which is yet to be, let us stand persistently under the unchanging command, “to humble ourselves before God”.  James 4:6 tells us: “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”

Proverbs 15:33 explains that: “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” The promises of God are divine and sure, for as First Peter 5:6 says: “be humbled under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time.”

Family of God, no matter what our circumstances are, let us be encouraged by God’s promise in James 4:10: “Be humbled before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Humility is the soul of true prayer.  Do we hear Him? Will we listen?  Will we abide in Him?

May the spirit of our heart be renewed, emptied of all earthly desires as we stand in a habitual hunger and thirst for our good Lord, the source of life, strength and hope.
Amen!

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