The other day I was reading in Ezekiel and there were two verses that really challenged me. They were Ezekiel 12:2 and 14:3. I would like to share with you the personal principles that I learned from these verses. Let’s start with Ezekiel 12:2:
“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” (NIV)
I have read Ezekiel a few times before and most of the time I didn’t come away with much. But on this particular day I saw this verse in a completely new light. I saw this verse in a personal way, a way that was speaking to me as it relates to my own purity journey. If I choose to go into areas that I know lead to sin then I am choosing to be rebellious. I didn’t just “stumble” upon that area of sin, but I chose to go there even though I know that I am commanded to refrain from those sinful desires (Galatians 5:17). In making that choice I refused to see, I refused to hear and I made the choice to ignore. Again, I was rebellious. I came away from this particular verse with a greater understanding and a greater urgency to pray daily and to ask Him to replace my rebellious desires with a spirit of obedience. Obedience to the Spirit comes through an impartation of the Spirit and not through my own sheer willpower. Will there be times when there are desires to rebel and revel in sinful cravings? As long as I am in this human body those desires will always be a possibility. However, as a spirit of obedience takes root within my heart and my mind, then my daily choices will reflect that obedience and I believe that the spirit and attitude of rebellion will diminish.
I was so challenged by reading Ezekiel 12:2 that I was not expecting another verse to challenge me so soon. But that is exactly what happened when I read Ezekiel 14:3:
“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?” (NKJV)
As I read this verse I knew that the times I “stumble into iniquity” were not because I accidentally clicked on something nor was it because someone forced me to look at something I did not want to. No. This verse reminded me that many times I chose to sin because my heart longed for the brief glimpse that my sinful cravings longed for. During these last few years I have come to see the absolute need to invite God to expose those areas deep within my heart and mind where I have set up idols; idols that lead me farther away from what He has called me to as His child. Just as the Biblical kings of Israel and Judah were commanded to cut down idols within the land, I need to cut down and throw away the idols that I have built up in my heart. Sometimes those idols – such as immorality, sexual sin, etc. – are noticeable. Sometimes those idols are better camouflaged but the need to cut them down and throw them away are not less important.
These two verses in Ezekiel have been challenging me the last few weeks. Perhaps you may be feeling the same way. My encouragement to you is to come to Him and ask Him for that spirit of obedience that makes cutting down our idols that much easier. Our purity journey won’t always be easy but it will always be worth it.
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