“He said to me, ‘Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.’ And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words… Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you.'” Ezekiel 2:1-8
I remember well a moment when I was young, a classmate diagrammed a sentence on the board and our strict grammar teacher asked whether it was correct. All others in the class raised their hands, and I was torn between going along with them, or holding my hand down because the example was not correct. I chose, with trepidation, to align with the standard instead of the crowd. I know how Ezekiel felt!
It is not easy to head into a storm of naysayers, criticism, or rejection. God prepared Ezekiel that his message to stubborn and rebellious Israel would be met by taunting words and rolling eyes, that they would likely refuse his warning, but he was to go and speak no matter what. He gave His words and His Spirit. Ezekiel was not to fear or be dismayed. His audience was God Himself; it was He to Whom he should listen, and to Whom would answer.
In a world of caustic opprobrium, where biblical truth is often distorted and declared outrageous, and slips of the tongue or behavior are immediately magnified under the public’s microscope, we might be tempted to shrink from doing what the Lord requires. Our Almighty says, follow Me anyway. Whether it is to rise up and speak, or stay seated and hold our tongue, we must weigh our decisions by His word, not the pressures of man or the fickle standards of our culture. To know what He would have us do or say takes a ‘standing up,’ out of the fray of popular opinion, away from the cacophony of what-ifs, above fear and intimidation, to hear what God would say to us. Then in His Spirit we must go.
What defines my sense of duty? What forces influence my life message or sway my resolve? Am I giving evidence, by the decisions I make, that I fear man more than God?
Lord, may I stand above the world’s noise and listen to You. Embolden me with Your Spirit to do and be and say all according to Your holy word.