God’s Spirit is alive and well! God’s Spirit is at work in the world and in our lives.
Do you agree? Do you wish God’s Spirit was more…well…real? Do you ever wonder or doubt? If so, you’re not alone. In this post, I hope you find some encouragement in the Spirit’s activity in the life of Ezekiel.
What we have seen in the previous posts in this week’s five-part series on Ezekiel 3:16-27, starting here, after God gives Ezekiel a mission/warning about being a watchman prophet, the scene changes. Let’s start reading again at Ezekiel chapter 3, verses 22-23.
Remember that God has given Ezekiel a warning. Ezekiel was to be the watchman prophet who would first hear and then speak the word of God. Now God says to him, go to the plain and there I will speak to you. Ezekiel had just spent 7 days, overwhelmed, and in response to God’s call, he gets up and goes to the plain. There God’s glory appears to him again, just as it did beside the Kebar River, which we learned about starting with this post. Ezekiel does the exact same thing he did by the river: he falls face-down. In verse 24 we read that the Spirit enters him and raises him to his feet.
We should start keeping track of the work of the Spirit in Ezekiel. We have seen the Spirit in every chapter so far. The Spirit of God is active in Ezekiel’s life. Very active. How often do you think about the work of the Spirit in your life? For Ezekiel this work of the Spirit in his life was astounding because that kind of relationship with and experience of the Spirit was not the norm for the common person in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament church, we learn that the Spirit has a totally new relationship with disciples of God. Read Acts 2 where the Spirit arrives and fills the lives of the first Christians. Paul would go on to write that we Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit. He lives with us. That means a relationship with the Spirit is normal for us, yet I wonder if the Spirit feels distant to you? What can you do about that?
Think about how this work of the Spirit must have felt for Ezekiel. He is out on a plain where once again the glory of Lord is blowing him away, to the point where he falls face-down. The Spirit enters him and raises him to his feet. This is amazing. Frankly, I can’t get enough of it. I find it inspiring to read about God at work like this, because God can feel so distant sometimes. Do you ever feel like that? That God can seem like an intellectual idea to be believed, rather than a real being to experience and have relationship with? That was Ezekiel’s reality too. He knew that the presence of God resided in the temple in Jerusalem. But that was 900 miles away and five years ago. There in Babylon, the 10,000 Jewish exiles were far, far away from that. Do you think they started to wonder if all the talk about God was a distant memory, maybe one that wasn’t even real? Have you had those thoughts? We want the experience of God, in addition, and probably more than ideas of or stories about God. Furthermore, we want the stories of God to be not only about times in the past, but real encounters now. Ezekiel’s encounter with God reminds us that God is alive and well, that the Spirit does work in our lives.
Check back to the next post, as God gives Ezekiel some instructions. Some really odd instructions.