READING: Ezekiel 24-27
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: God has called me to preach, and I’ve preached for more than 30 years. I shudder to think of all that I’ve said that was not God-directed. I’m embarrassed to consider how many times I’ve spoken my words rather than His words, announced my judgment rather than His judgment, or proclaimed my goals rather than His goals.
I think sometimes that God might have been wise to do with me what He did with Ezekiel: make him quiet unless the prophet were announcing only what God told him to announce. As far back as Ezekiel 3, God gave this calling to Ezekiel:
Ezek. 3:26-27 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will be mute and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says.’ Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse—for they are a rebellious house.
The prophet could speak only when God told him to do so. But, the day would come, six+ years later, when God would re-open Ezekiel’s mouth, thus signifying the prophet would now have a ministry of reconciliation and encouragement after the fall of Jerusalem:
Ezek. 24:27 On that day your mouth will be opened to talk with him; you will speak and no longer be mute. So you will be a sign for them, and they will know that I am Yahweh.
How I wish I had spoken only what God told me to speak in all the days of my ministry! While I can’t fix the yesterdays, though, I can set the goals for today. I don’t want to speak a word unless God gives me permission to do so. I know I will answer for every careless word I speak (Matt. 12:36), as will every other person regardless of one’s calling. When I lay my head down tonight, I want to do so knowing I spoke nothing except what God wanted me to speak today.
PRAYER: “God, I need you to change my heart and consequently, my words. Stop me today before I say anything that is not honoring to you.”
TOMORROW¹S READING: Ezekiel 28-31
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