Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. ~Ezekiel 3:18-21 (NIV)
Ever been ready to quit? To throw in the towel? To hand the ring over to someone else?
If not, please share your secret!
The prophet Ezekiel received a call from God on his life. And God told him upfront what it would be like. He was sending him, not to a people of a foreign tongue who would readily accept his message, but to a rebellious house, God's own people, the Israelites. In nearby verses, God also referred to them as briers, thorns, and scorpions.
Ezekiel's response? "The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me." (Ezekiel 3:14) The passage goes on to say that Ezekiel "sat among them seven days--overwhelmed." (3:15)
In other words, he started off kicking and screaming and then went into numb shock.
The Christian life is not for the faint of heart. God calls us to do what seems to be not only impossible, but unfair. And for scaredy-cats like me, the easy way out is to run the other direction, to clamp my lips so tight it would take the jaws of life to crack them open.
I'm sick at heart, brothers and sisters. I see so many weeds that have taken root in God's garden, the body of Christ. The easy thing to do would be to be bitter and angry, to hide in my hole and clamp my lips. To quit.
But I can't.
Why? Because I belong to God. Because His love compels me. Because I refuse to allow Satan anymore of my family than he's already taken.
There's nowhere we can go where You are not. Like Peter, we say, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Give us the strength and courage to go where you send, to say what You say, to do what can only be done through Your presence in us.
In Jesus' Name,
Cathy, How could you know? But God did. He knew I needed this word today...and everyday. I have become a preacher of these words of scripture you have quoted - but I don't know if anyone hears. My adult kids say, "Don't preach to me...I don't need it." So, have I done what God requires of me...have I given my warnings to the wicked and the righteous and just leave it at that? Of course I want to save myself, and I want my erring children to be saved for Jesus also. So what do I do...I pray...vehemently and desperately that the meaning of God's words will take root in their hearts instead of the weeds. But like you, I can't quit. I'm deep in the heat of this battle with satan, and particularly 2 of my daughters. Last night I saw just a little glance of a new flower taking root in their hearts....it's as though they've removed the soil/dirt from their ears and have heard. God is still doing his job.
I wish I could confide what these battles are at the present time, but I pray you have understood my meaning that we can't quit...we need to keep on...in any faithful way..through others...through prayer. I am in full agreement with your words and heartfelt thoughts. Thank you for blessing my day....again.
Sharing God's Love,