Our pastor and visiting pastors have talked recently about the great miracles they see in third-world countries. Through these conversations, a question has been asked, why does it seem God is moving more in other places than here?
That thought has been in the back of my mind for some time. I, too, have often wondered this very thing. Then today, as I was reading through Lamentations and Ezekiel, a verse hit me.
In this section, God is speaking to Ezekiel during a time of hardship. Nothing seems to be going right. I’m fact, Ezekiel was part of the exile group by the Kebar River. It was here the Lord miraculously manifested His presence, calling Ezekiel to go prophecy to His people.
As the Lord is giving Ezekiel instructions, He tells Ezekiel He is sending him, “not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you.”
Ezekiel 3:6 NIV
In this one verse, we see God is sending Ezekiel to his own people. A people to whom there are no barriers. They have the same belief systems, the same language, and they are of similar descent. Yet, God repeatedly tells Ezekiel he must relay the warning regardless of whether they listen or not.
I wonder why this is? Why are they not listening when God has sent a prophet to them? After all, these people are in exile. They have lost everything and have been through horrible circumstances, yet God knows they may still reject Him.
As the church in America, are we the same way? Have we, too, like these people, abandoned our first love and are refusing to listen to His instructions?
See, the Bible tells us that God can do more than we could ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV says it like this, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
So, if God can do more, but He isn’t, what is the key? I believe it lies in the middle of these two verses where it says, “according to the power that works in us,” See, His power works in us and through us, but only if we are listening to His instructions.
If we, as the church, are not listening to His instructions and allowing His power to work in us, we can never see the manifestations of His power working through us. To be effective, as a whole, we must allow Him to refine us from glory to glory, as stated in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
If we are not allowing this refining process to happen as we listen to the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect to see the full manifestation of His power in our nation, our churches, or our lives. Just like Ezekiel’s generation, we, too, as a whole, have ignored the things of God in spite of our circumstances.
So, I pose a question, will we continue to ignore God, or will we allow Him to refine us and use us so we may see His great works on this side of eternity?
We humbly come before you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Help us to listen to You and refine us, Your bride. Softening our hearts to Your Will. Your Word tells us in John 14:12; we will do greater works than Jesus. We declare this to be so. We say if there is anything within us that is preventing Your miraculous works to be manifested here, help us expel it from our lives. Raise up within us, a boldness that will accomplish Your purpose. Amen
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