We have been talking in the last couple of post about Ezekiel and the encounters he had with God. We talked about how God called him to do some pretty crazy things – read Ezekiel 1-4 if you want to get a picture of his calling and just a small taste of the crazy things he was called to do. He was called to do these crazy things by God when he realized his dream of going home (he was in exile) was not going to happen. God gave Ezekiel a fresh dream and a fresh vision of what he was to do and Ezekiel probably did not understand all that was going on in the vision but he moved forward in obedience and trust. That then leads us to see a few more things that we can learn from Ezekiel’s encounters with God.
Another thing I think Ezekiel learned is an encounter with God is a private thing. God spoke to all of the Jews in Babylon through the letter from Jeremiah, but God encountered Ezekiel privately. There are some things in life that are done in public and other things in life that are done in small groups and then there are certain things that are always experienced alone. Ezekiel encountered God by himself. God will come to you and call you privately to do some things that others will not understand but you must seek His face during these times and then be sure to follow through.
You can seek the face of God with others but sometimes you must do it alone and that is really what an encounter with God is – it is when you seek His face. The exiles were told to seek God with a whole heart in Jeremiah 29:13: You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Can you say that you are seeking God with a whole heart? Psalm 27:8 tells us this; When you said, “Seek My Face”, My heart said to you “Your face, Lord, I will seek”. Are you seeking the face of God? When you do – you will find Him and encounter Him powerfully and things will change! Dreams will come alive. Passions will arise. Direction will be given!
Why will things change? They will change because an encounter with God can give us new visions or direction for life. Ezekiel got a vision of God in his encounter with Him, and received a two-fold message. First, to warn Israel of her being defiant and second write the predictions about the new Temple of God that would be built in the future. Ezekiel led people to God so that God could do what He wanted to do through them. Ezekiel gave them God’s vision but first Ezekiel had to be in a position to receive the vision from God. Are you in a position emotionally and spiritually to receive a new vision or direction from God? We must have open hearts and attitudes towards God to receive the vision or direction from Him. Are you ready for it?
When you have this new vision then you need to know that an encounter with God may result in a new task in life. Ezekiel had prepared for the priesthood and at age thirty he was at the doorway of his life-long goal. But at the last minute Ezekiel encountered God who had him embark on a new ministry. He would become one of God’s Major Prophets; no longer would he be a priest. Out of his encounter with God came a new task. God has tasks for all of us. For some God wants to change your task and for others He wants to renew the task he has already given you, but the real question is are you ready for it?
What is a new task that you think God could be leading you into? What are the reasons you think that?