This morning I woke up about 5:30 a.m. I was up before the alarm…but intended last night to set the alarm for 5 so I could breeze thru my “quiet time”* and get busy folding the pile of clothes that have been hanging out on my bed since Sunday.
So, I got up, dragged myself to the kitchen to make some instant coffee (too lazy for coffeemakers). I wobbled myself to the living room, plopped down on the sofa and “opened up” my phone Bible. I don’t do this all the time but I said out loud as I stared at the screen “Lord, show me what you want me to read today, because have no clue.” As soon as the words were out I heard, not out loud, but in my spirit “EZEKIEL.” I responded, whispering, Ezekiel? Seriously? Ezekiel? OK Lord. I typed Ezekial and nothing came up. I realized the A was supposed to be an E. Found it! I clicked on Chapter 1 and because I’m lazy pressed play on the audio function. I wasn’t expecting a thing out of Ezekiel. Its not a book of the Bible I would normally visit. But then I heard this:
Ezekiel 2:3-7 MSG
He said, “Son of man, I’m sending you to the family of Israel, a rebellious nation if there ever was one. They and their ancestors have fomented rebellion right up to the present. They’re a hard case, these people to whom I’m sending you—hardened in their sin. Tell them, ‘This is the Message of God , the Master.’ They are a defiant bunch. Whether or not they listen, at least they’ll know that a prophet’s been here. But don’t be afraid of them, son of man, and don’t be afraid of anything they say. [This part is when my ears opened up like Dumbo and I sat straight up, rewinded and reread] > Don’t be afraid when living among them is like stepping on thorns or finding scorpions in your bed. Don’t be afraid of their mean words or their hard looks. They’re a bunch of rebels. Your job is to speak to them. Whether they listen is not your concern. They’re hardened rebels.”
There are some people in my life who make me feel like that, and quite honestly they scare the cr*p out of me. The thing is that I have been sensing for awhile now that I’m to do just that – share the gospel with them. Tell them just how screwed up I am, how much of a sinner I am and how desperately I need Jesus, who loves and rescues me.
Here’s where it gets iffy – these people are faithful churchgoers. They do a lot of “good” things for God and the church…but I have suspected in the last few years that they don’t know the gospel – the truth that IT IS FINISHED.
Just a few years ago that’s where I was – living a life of performance based Christianity. I still have to constantly ask “Lord, help my unbelief”, but I have a peace now that I never knew before the dark night of the soul I went through…even if people still scare me.
I really don’t know where I’m going with this post other than to ask for your prayers. Stepping on thorns sounds a little less threatening.
*I am far from consistent with quiet time.