“Stand up, son of man,” said the voice. “I want to speak with you.” 2 The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words. 3 “Son of man,” he said, “I am sending you to the nation of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me. They and their ancestors have been rebelling against me to this very day. 4 They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ 5 And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.”
Ezekiel 2:1-5 (New Living Translation)
There is a big message in this small text…
When God asks something of us, He gives us the means to do it!
Our callings are not to show God – or anyone else, for that matter – how well we can come through for God, but to show others how well God can come through in us.
Ezekiel is asked to stand up, but God doesn’t wait for him to gather up the strength to do it on his own. Instead, God puts His Spirit into Ezekiel and that Spirit puts him on his feet!
As God speaks words of calling/sending/purpose over you and me, His Spirit inside of us is already equipping us to follow through! He is the momentum and energy needed for us to start down the dusty road of ministry, and He will be the One to keep us going when the going gets rough (and believe me, the going is going to get rough).
What this short text says to us is this:
God’s call on my life isn’t about me – it’s all about God.
God’s call on the lives of His people doesn’t require us to be anything other than fully human. Our flaws, our weaknesses, even what we might call our failures, somehow become irrelevant when we are filled with His Spirit and set on our feet to answer His call.
In this prophecy and call on Ezekiel’s life, the phrase ‘son of man’ or ‘mortal’ is used 95 times. According to Wesley’s Notes, this was done intentionally to keep Ezekiel humble. After all, he was standing in the presence of the glory of God, experiencing fantastic revelations connected to the work God was preparing him to do. If that had been me, I admit that I could easily have been thinking – WOW! I must be pretty special for God to choose me to experience this!
But Ezekiel wasn’t chosen by God for this great calling because he was superhuman or something awfully special. Ezekiel wasn’t chosen by God in spite of his humanity; he was usable because of it.
And his success, according to God, wouldn’t be measured by whether or not Ezekiel got the Israelites to listen to him and change their ways, but simply by letting them know that a prophet had been there, among them.
And what is a prophet? Someone who is so filled with the Spirit of God that when he opens his mouth, God speaks. And when she reaches out to help others, God’s touch is felt.
Let’s go and be prophets today!