Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ezekiel 16-17: Life, Allegorical

The whole chapter of Ezekiel 17 demonstrates God's creative communication by an allegorical message to the house of Israel through Ezekiel. 

God uses trees, eagles and mountains to describe His people, kings and protection/growth.  Did you ever wonder why God doesn't speak in plain language?  For me, symbolic language sparks thoughtful consideration of what is being communicated.  Could it be that God wants us to meditate on what He says?  Should we be asking Him about its application to our lives?

As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed looking "deeper" than the surface meaning of seemingly ordinary circumstances.  Apparently, God also enjoys symbolic language.  Reading through His Word reveals layers of meaning through subtle symbolism sparking thoughtful interpretation, to straight up, to-the-point expression, leaving nothing for the listener/reader to debate or analyze. 

How would my life-story be depicted in the symbolic, allegorical form?

What would your life-story sound like if told through allegory?

Holy Spirit, we are open to ALL forms of communication with You, symbolic or straight forward.  We trust that any message You have for us would be easily discernible and that You would empower us with the ability to follow through with any direction or receive any encouragement You may have for us. 

We are listening...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ezekiel 13-15: Whitewashed Words

Ezekiel 13:9-11
Amplified Bible (AMP)

And My hand shall be against the prophets who see empty, false, and delusive visions and who give lying prophecies. They shall not be in the secret council of My people, nor shall they be recorded in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord God.
10 Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, Peace, when there is no peace, and because when one builds a [flimsy] wall, behold, [these prophets] daub it over with whitewash,
11 Say to them who daub it with whitewash that it shall fall! There shall be a downpour of rain; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a violent wind shall tear apart [the whitewashed, flimsy wall].
"Whitewashing" is used to symbolically describe the false prophets speaking Peace, when the Lord was not saying peace.  These prophets spoke what was comfortable for the people to hear, rather then speaking the truth.  God was angry with this practice, because "wishful thinking" is not a "wall" that protects God's people from an attack of the enemy. 
It was "politically correct" for these false prophets to "prophesy" peace.  It seems that these leaders were more concerned with their own popularity then with pleasing God. 
Lord, have I "whitewashed" what You have instructed me to speak?  I do believe prophesy is for encouragement, but can one encourage AND speak the truth?  An observation of human behavior is that we (myself included) don't enjoy being called out for wrong behavior. 
BUT would love allow others to continue down the wrong path?  NO!
This is a touchy subject.  I think we tend to get messed up in the extremes.   We either fall into speaking only "whitewashed" words, contrary to what God is saying or we condemn others with words of truth, but with no hope of forgiveness.
Another aspect, just as displeasing to God as "whitewashing" is using someone's past against them.  Labeling, ignoring, disregarding others is not the way of Jesus.  Remember Jesus called out wrong behavior, then exhorted these people to walk in righteousness.  Jesus ate with and hung out with people with "pasts."
The awesome thing about a relationship with Jesus is that He speaks the truth, because He doesn't want any sin to build a wall of separation.  He loves us too much to sugar-coat truth. 
We have a great deal to learn about how to speak and act like Jesus, don't we?
Holy Spirit, I appreciate Your honestly and personally know we have missed the mark, whitewashing the truth to make others feel comfortable when conviction was Your purpose.  Teach us the difference between speaking the truth to injure a soul, instead of speaking the truth as a faithful friend, who then assists in binding up the wounds in order to assist in the healing process.  Empower us not to hold the past of a person against him, but to call a person up and out of sin.  Empower us to love each other for the treasures that You have uniquely created.  "Political correctness" is wrong in Your eyes.  Empower us with "Heaven's correctness" in word and in deed, knowing that all of us have a past, and the judgement we use against others comes back upon ourselves.  In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Exekiel 9-12: A New Heart and a Protected Body

Ezekiel 11:19-20
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19 And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God],
20 That they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
In the verses above, God's people had developed hardened hearts.  Unable to feel God's influence in their lives, they began to walk in ways contrary to ones who love Him.
He promises to remove their stony hearts and give them hearts, which are sensitive to His awesome touch!
I'm not going to lie.  Jesus is my Hero!  Not only does He make it possible for me to feel His Presence, He demolishes any stony area which attempts to develop in my heart. 
I am so thankful for His Presence in my life!!!
Just four days ago, I had a nasty bicycle accident with a significant head injury.  The ambulance rushed me to the Trauma Unit at Penn State Hershey Medical Center where I was considered a "Trauma 2" case.  (Thank you to all the staff with which, I had contact.  You ALL were super-fantastic!)
My memory was lost for six hours following the incident, Yet, God was with me.  He didn't forget me or my need.  Not only does my God remove stony areas from my heart, but He cares for my entire body!  Thank You, Jesus!  
Be exhorted, friends!  Keep sitting at the feet of Jesus and He will be with you too...removing our stone-filled hearts, protecting our mortal bodies and satisfying our souls. 
I am a blessed and beloved woman!!!
Thank You, Jesus!!!