So Ezekiel is living in captivity.
And God is not sending him out
to make proclamations as often
as he used to...
but it would seem that leaders
of the people are continuing
to seek him out for a word from God.
And Ezekiel wrote...
Now some of the elders of Israel
came to me and sat before me.
And the word of the Lord came to me,
saying, “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?
Ezekiel 14:1-3 NKJV
But up until this time,
Ezekiel, and many prophets before
had been proclaiming the evils
of all the altars and idols that were built
upon high places and
even within the house of God.
But these men, God says are not
frequenting the idols
built by human hands.
These men are the sort
that follow all the outward pressures
that Good Men "should."
These me look to be the righteous sort.
But God looks deeper within.
And their idols have been set up and
built high upon the altars of their hearts.
They are no longer bowing
just to outward pressures.
They have each set their heart and mind,
their thoughts, imaginations, and
on these idols within.
And this, God cannot stand.
For the heart was created to only
be enthroned and satisfied by Him.
For once we take something created
sanctioned, destined, purposed
for God to fulfill and fully satisfy...
and we try to change it or fill it
with something earthly, human made
or less than divine...
it will simply fall apart.
And those pieces lying underfoot
will certainly be the parts of our life
that we will not only stumble over,
but most likely have great difficulty
piecing back together.
And our sensitivity toward God
will also begin to wane in the crumbling.
Our ability to see and hear from Him
will begin to subside...
until we stand around questioning...
wondering why He never shows up
it had more to do with us...
than the Almighty God
who is eternally
all the time,
So this He spoke to them...
turn away from your idols,
and turn your faces away
from all your abominations.
For anyone... who
separates himself from Me
and sets up his idols in his heart and
puts before him
what causes him to stumble into iniquity,
then comes to inquire of Me...
I will set My face against that man and
make him a sign and a proverb, and
I will cut him off from
the midst of My people.
Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
notice God was still giving a chance,
by giving a choice.
First He asked for repentance...
the opportunity to turn around.
Then His request turns
to stress the order we choose
to place these things into our heart.
For we do not have a random God.
No, He is a God of order.
That is why the sun rises and sets daily.
That is why the seasons cycle as they do.
Thst is why ice melts to water,
boils to steam, and condenses
to water again.
We we have balance and order
in this universe with stars held in the sky
because He ordered it that way.
So let us then also understand
that just as man
has interfered with the early melting
of glaciers due to pollution
of this atmosphere,
causing unseasonal changes.
We we too can negatively affect
the melting of our hearts
due to pollution
causung unseasonal changes
in our relationship with the eternal God.
God is wanting to give us His best...
But in order for Him to give us His best,
He asks that we follow the order
of His request.
We need to prioritize Him in our life.
What DO we put first?
For anyone... who separates himself
from Me and sets up his idols
in his heart and puts before him
what causes him to stumble
comes to inquire of Me...
I will set My face against that man.
These men did not put God first
and He could see that.
For God sees directly into the heart.
What do WE put first?
It seems like an easy question,
but in actuality, it is quite difficult.
We can start out with pure motives,
but can then get tangled
with pride and conflict
over caring too much
what others think, or
even over thinking
This, for certain, takes much prayer
Something that our current culture,
with it's craving for constant stimulation
of social media,
Take some time today.
Get away from the computer,
that screen in your pocket.
Sit still some place, literally..,
Ask God to show you
the real priorities of your heart.
And then just listen.
This, to be certain should be
the more important part of the prayer.
Word of God
train me today...
To take an honest assessment
of the worship of my heart.
To listen when You tell me
how to change, to place You first.
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