EZEKIEL 2:7-8 – And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
THEME OF THE DAY: RESPONDING TO GOD’S PROVIDENCE. Imagine being Ezekiel and receiving these words from the Lord. He is being told, “Ezekiel, go and speak My words to My people. It doesn’t matter whether they respond or not, you tell them exactly what I told you. Don’t refuse or rebel regardless of the difficulty. Whatever I direct in your life, submit to it. ”
In the Christian life, the instructions Ezekiel received so have we. Not in the manner of being a called prophet but when it comes to submitting to God’s unfolding providence in our lives. As he was to “open his mouth and eat what God gave him” which is a picture of submission to the working of God in his life, so are we and like Ezekiel, we will discover, this is often a path of pain.
So, how do we do this? How do we respond to God’s providence in our lives that is pleasing to Him? Consider two ways.
First, always remember the Potter and clay relationship we have with our God – But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8). Is the Lord Jesus our Savior? Yes! Is He our Good Shepherd? Absolutely! Is God our Heavenly Father? For sure! Yet our Triune God is also our Creator and we are His creations. Such a relationship means He has the right to orchestrate whatever He desires in our lives which will bring Him the most glory. At the end of the day, we are God’s property by creation and by new creation in Christ. This relationship demands our willful submission for we are not our own, but His.
Another way to submit to God’s providence that is pleasing to Him is to cling to the truths that God is wise, always; loving, always; makes no mistakes, always; trustworthy, always; and directs our lives to always good purposes and ends. As He leads us beside still waters, He also leads us through difficulties and trials. And if we want to be pleasing to Him in the unfolding of His providence in our lives, which includes difficult paths, keep before our hearts and minds the two qualities on the paths His providence takes us – All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies (Psalm 25:10).
It is resting in the steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord, we are enabled to gladly submit to His providence in our lives, even when it unfolds in challenging times. And like Ezekiel, we shall be pleasing to the Lord as we seek to properly respond to His providence.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to gladly submit to Your providence, especially when it is painful.”
QUOTE: “God’s ways are always good, not easy ways or painless ways, but always good ways.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,