Lately, I could feel my heart getting convicted to dive into the Word more. I was reminded that we need to learn and know the Word ourselves and not just depend on pastors telling us snippets on Sundays. I randomly decided to start reading the book of Ezekiel. (I think when the New Year starts, I’ll try to get on a Bible-in-a-year reading plan.)
I’m really enjoying it so far which is weird to say because it is an Old Testament book that mainly focuses on God announcing His judgment on the Israelites. But I feel like with every book in the Bible there is something to be learned today. I feel like the book of Ezekiel is a double-edged sword in that, on one hand, you can read it and be encouraged and on the other hand, you can read it and be warned.
On the encouraging part, you can know that whatever you are called to do, you should do it without worrying about the reception. If God is calling you to minister with music and you don’t get too many views online ok, you did your part. Or if you’re moved to tell someone something and they don’t respond too positively, hey that’s on them.
“The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 2: 3-5)
The commentary in my Bible (Life Application Study Bible, NIV) says “God’s truth does not depend on how people respond. God will not judge us for how well others respond to our witness to our faith, but how faithful we have been. God always gives us the strength to accomplish what He asks us to do.”
And Ezekiel also lets us know we shouldn't be fearful in our ministries.
“But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel 3: 8-9)
And lastly, the book reminds us that God really means what He says.
“I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again...I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds.” (Ezekiel 5: 8-10)
But be encouraged, if you’re on God’s side you have nothing to fear!
Today I heard a great sermon about Joseph and the many tests he went through to reach his destiny. (He would become the 2nd highest in command in Egypt and prepare the area to survive a severe famine.)
An interesting thing I learned was that God has a dream for each of our lives. But in order to move from the dream stage of our lives to our destiny, we must have character.
A few definitions for character:
God knows us better than we know ourselves. We can’t fool God into thinking we have good character and hope to be elevated to higher positions. I was told today, it is God’s grace that doesn't put us in our destiny early because we would fall for lack of character. Joseph was in jail 13 years before he rose to 2nd in command. How do we get character? Perseverance. Perseverance is a long trial that involves a battle. When we have this character that gives us hope, and hope produces appointment.
I personally believe we each have many appointments in life. I think about my current job where I am the youngest person in the building; I consider that a blessing and an appointment. But I know there are greater appointments that God has for me. And until then I have to practice one of my least favorite things: patience. Patience is “keeping your heart right while you wait.” So I will practice patience as I make the most out of my current appointment and see what other blessings God has in store for me.
Hi! I'm Marilyn!