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Through His eyes

Ezekiel 14:23 – “And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.”

At some point or another, we have all wished to see things through someone else’s eyes. We were watching a movie the other day where adults were able to see what this child was seeing to try and discern what he was thinking. Scary concept, great idea. But we can’t see or know what someone else is seeing and thinking. 

But God can. He knows what is going on in that brain of yours right now. He knows what you are seeing. He knows what you are feeling. He knows why you are feeling the way you do and why you are thinking the things you are thinking. It’s not an invasion of privacy, but rather it is the privilege of the Creator. And it’s helpful to boot! 

Because He sees and knows all that we think and do, He doesn’t act randomly in our life. Everything has purpose and meaning. God calls us to do certain things in our life for a reason. We may never know it, but He does. 

It’s VBS time and I have been reading our lessons. There are some really good lessons this year! 

One line that I read in relation to this verse was this – “God always calls is to do what we would want to do if we could see what God sees.” You have to read that line a few times to get it to sink in – it’s deep, but man, is it good! 

We can’t see what God sees. We just have to trust Him and trust what He says through His word. We have to trust that He has a plan and we are blessed enough to be involved. That, my friend, is the basis of courage. You can’t have it without knowing that there is plan even if you don’t know it. 

We are afraid of the unknown. But we can face the unknown if we know that Someone can see it and He has a plan for it. There is comfort in knowing that God sees all. There is courage in knowing that He has a plan. There are blessings in accepting that He has chosen to involve us in it. 

So even though we will never be able to see things through God’s eyes, we can have confidence that because He sees through our eyes, He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. And we know that He has a plan. We just need to pray for the courage to play it out. 

Perspective

Ezekiel 4:4-6 – “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”

Ezekiel was a prophet of God to the children of Israel. I have been studying Ezekiel these last few days. I have decided to do a personal Bible study on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It has been very interesting.

When I read these verses yesterday, I stopped in my tracks. God told Ezekiel to lay on his left side for 390 days. Three hundred and ninety days! It is recorded that God bound him with a rope to stay in that position. And then when he had those days completed, he was to roll to his right side and stay like that for 40 days. Forty days! That’s like 14.5 months! So, of course, my practical mind kicks in – how is he going to go to the bathroom? How can he possible lay like that for that long? Maybe I’m reading this passage all wrong; help me out if I am – we are in this thing together!

God asked the prophets of old to do some really out there things to get the attention of the children of Israel. God was always desiring repentance from their sin and for them to just walk with Him. Yet, oftentimes they just didn’t listen, even to the wild and wacky outcries of the prophets. Bless their hearts. They tried so hard and were so obedient to the Lord.

When was the last time God told you to lay on your left side for 390 days? My guess is never. But what has God asked you to do? I guarantee that it is no harder than what He told Ezekiel to do. And Ezekiel did it. I’m not sure how, but he did it – I’m sure of it.

As I was driving along yesterday, I was thinking about this. We all have things that God has asked us to do. Yet, we belly-ache and moan about it like He has asked us to do something horrible and outrageous. Why is that? Shouldn’t we be excited to serve our Lord?

My challenge to you is to determine what it is that God has asked you to do. And then go at it with a fervor. Get it done with joy in the Lord. Be happy that He has chosen you for this task. Remember that it is all about perspective and you have to line yours up with His.

Easy Idols

Ezekiel 14:6,7 – “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face…”

Idols. I have heard all my life that an idol is anything that you put before God. The fourth definition of “idol” in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is this: “Anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. Any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures.”

The children of Israel were notorious for their going back to idol worship. It plagued them throughout the Old Testament. We look back at them and shake our heads at their lack of faith and inability to refuse idol worship.

But aren’t we just as bad? For the most part, our society doesn’t have images that we worship. Now, there are some who worship statues in our society, don’t get me wrong. But I personally don’t know anyone who has a statue in their home that they bow down to daily.

But I do know people who put other things before their service to God. I have friends that say that they are followers of Christ that don’t step foot into a worship service on Sunday morning. They are at the pool or at the store or at the amusement park or at the ball game – anywhere other than worshiping God.

Last week, we had revival at our church. My son had soccer practice two of the nights of revival. We had a choice to make – do we let him go to soccer or take him to revival? I’ll be honest. We actually toyed around with the idea of letting him go to practice. But in the end, we decided that we needed to show him what was more important – worshipping and serving God. And let me tell you, God blessed my heart in that decision. We had amazing challenges laid out before us and my son was keenly interested. I know that God will use the lesson we all learned last week to touch our hearts in the future.

But walking away and choosing “idols” is so easy. The first step is to separate ourself from Him, just one time. Just one time. That is all it takes to walk away from Him. Then it becomes easier and easier. And then you realize that you are knee deep in step 2 – the idol is set. The little time away from Him has become full on focus on something else. And this makes the “idol” a stumbling block. It gets in the way when we want to go back. We’ve committed to it.

And sister, we are all guilty of this. We have all let something else come in the way of our service and worship of God. It could be work, school and it’s activities, extra-curricular sports, television, vacations, hobbies, fatigue – the list could go on and on, but you get what I’m saying. It is easy to let the things that we enjoy doing get in the way of our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). It is not that any of the things listed above are bad. It is just that they have their place in our lives. And that place is behind our service and worship to God.

Dear princess, we have a way back. Repent. Repent means to turn around and go the other way. Choose to walk away from whatever is keeping you from doing what you know that you are to do. Do those things later. Don’t do them when you know you should be at the house of the Lord or in the presence of the Lord. Make God your priority and He will bless you because of it. He will make the relationship so much sweeter. And besides, who are you going to be spending more time with in the future (like eternity kind of future), Him or the “idol”? When you think about your time in the scope of eternity, spending time away from Him seems futile. You want to know Him before you get there.

I am convicted

Ezekiel 33:30-32 – “As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”

I heard this verse yesterday on the radio. It moved my heart. I was convicted. How many times do we go to church, hear the message and walk out the door unaffected? Oh, there might be a moment when we listen and let God move in our hearts, but something happens at the threshold – we loose it. We somehow let go of the change God wanted to make in our life.

We invite people to church. We encourage them to go and read their Bibles. But do we? Do we take the time and truly apply what we have learned when we do take the time to read our Bible?

Are we just giving God lip service? Do we express devotion with our lips and then act greedy and unjustly when we are outside the building? Am I just sitting in service to be entertained in some way or am I truly there to worship?

My heart is saddened. I am sad because I know that at times I am guilty. I am sad because I see it happening Sunday morning after Sunday morning. If I am guilty, I know someone else is too. And that makes me sad. Sad because of all the missed opportunities to serve. How many people have wondered in and out of my life without me saying a word to them about my Savior? How many will today?

I know I have written about obedience before but it is a topic near and dear to my heart, probably because I know I need to work on it. I just see so many people floundering, myself included. Obedience is a choice. Applying what we have learned from Scripture is a choice. We all have choices to make. Some are easy and some are not so easy. Obedience may mean getting out of your comfort zone. It may mean putting yourself out there a bit more than you want to. But as I heard yesterday, obedience is an opportunity for a blessing. God wants to do amazing things in your life. Are you willing to obey to see what will happen? Or are you content to stay on the sidelines and wait for Judgement Day to find out what you could have done?