8 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Ezekiel 2:5 (NLT): “And whether they listen or refuse to listen — for remember, they are rebels — at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.”
Reflections from Scripture:
When I was much younger (and less spiritually mature), I read the Bible and looked down on various groups of people.
I looked down on the Pharisees for their glaring legalism, critical spirit, and hypocrisy. But then, I matured a bit and realized that I was much more like them than I cared to admit.
I looked down on the Sadducees because they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. And then I matured a bit and realized that even though I believed that I was headed to Heaven when I died, I often lived as if this life was all there was.
I also looked down on the Israelites. They were so faithless, so forgetful of God’s blessings, and so stubborn in their refusal to repent. And then I matured a bit and realized that they pictured, all too often, the condition of my own heart.
So, when I read this morning’s Bible passages and came across our Ezekiel 2:5, I heard God refer to the Israelites as “rebels.”
Yet, I heard Him speaking to me.
All too often, I know the Truth, but I temporarily wander off of the path of righteousness. It may simply be a sinful attitude or motive, but I stay from the path, nonetheless. And, then, I may temporarily say “no” to the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) when He begins to do His convicting word, convincing me of my sin (John 16:8).
So, what is the answer? I desire to pursue holiness, but my heart often loses the struggle, and I fall into sin. What can be done?
While there are many mindsets and activities that God has given to us to battle sin, we are told in Ezekiel 2:5 that one answer is to expose ourselves regularly to faithful Bible teachers who will speak the truth, even when it points out sin in our life.
But, we must insist on not being like the Israelites, who were rebellious and refused to listen.
So, who do you listen to? Your pastor at church? That is good to hear. But, you also have access to incredible Bible teachers at your fingertips each day of the week. Find one or two faithful Bible teachers on a podcast, the internet, or the radio and listen to them regularly. But, make sure that they are so devoted to God’s Word that they do not shy away from calling out sin. We need men and women like that!
Some folks we enjoy listening to are:
- Adrian Rogers
- John MacArthur
- Tim Keller
Listen to those folks of who it could be said: “And whether they listen or refuse to listen — for remember, they are rebels — at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.” (Ezekiel 2:5)
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, I need to grow spiritually. In fact, I want to grow. So, I pray that You would graciously give me the ability to make significant progress on my road to knowing the truth, loving the truth, and obeying the truth. I will do my part by listening to great Bible teachers and preachers whose ministries can help me on this endeavor that has eternal ramifications. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.