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Tag Archives: Ezekiel

  • God Speak

    Posted on December 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken” (Ezekiel 22:28).

    Be careful what you attribute to the Lord; make sure He is speaking and not ego, greed, or pride. Watch out for spiritual sounding souls, as they can be the culprits of Christless advice. They may talk about God and even invoke His will into discussions. Be wary of someone who assigns God’s will arbitrarily on a prayerless whim.

    Make sure what others are suggesting, even commanding, is not self-serving for them. God speaks through generous givers, not tawdry takers. God normally communicates through humility, faith, and accountability. If others have it all figured out for you, this is a flag. They may have a wonderful plan for your life and have missed God’s plan entirely. Avoid people who throw God’s endorsement around aimlessly.

    Pseudospirituality is nauseating to our Lord. How can He speak clearly, consistently, and with creditability through someone infiltrated with compromised character? This type of “God speak” creates a dysfunctional faith. It is faith built on man’s persuasion and persistence rather than God’s will. What starts out as a pure word from the Lord can evolve into a perverted word from man. Listen first to God; then validate it with man.

    God does speak through His Word. Holy Scripture does not need any help as it stands on its own, tall and glistening in the glory of God. While you read and digest His Word, by faith you know He has spoken. He speaks loudly, precisely, and clearly from Scripture. “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”’” (Matthew 4:4).

    Use the New Testament as a filter for the Old Testament. This is the Jesus method of Bible interpretation. Seminary can be a good form of learning, but sitting at the feet of Jesus is better! As He speaks to you through His Word, validate it through wise counsel.

    God speaks loudly and precisely every day. He speaks through authorities, He speaks through our spouse, He speaks through our health, He speaks through our calendar, He speaks through friends, He speaks through strangers, and He speaks through circumstances, but most of all He speaks through His Word.

    Obey what you know, and over time what you are unsure of will become clear. Listen intently to the Lord and submit. Do not use or abuse this Christian privilege of hearing, knowing, and understanding God’s voice. He speaks; so humbly listen and obey.

    “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” (1 Samuel 3:10).

    Prayer: Is the Bible my primary resource for discerning God’s will?

    Related Readings: Exodus 20:1; Psalm 62:11; Acts 11:9; Hebrews 1:1–3

    Post/Tweet today: Holy Scripture does not need any help as it stands on its own, tall and glistening in the glory of God. #Godspeak

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Ezekiel

  • Draw Near

    Posted on July 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He said to me, “The room facing the south is for the priests who have charge of the temple, and the room facing north is for the priests who have charge of the altar.
    These are the sons of Zadok, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the LORD to minister before him.   Ezekiel 40:45-46

    Draw near to God before you minister on behalf of God. This is the proper sequence for serving the Lord. Otherwise, you serve others in your own strength and limited abilities. Ministry without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment leads to burnout and bewilderment. You are not meant to serve in the flesh, for followers of Jesus have the privilege of drawing near to Him and being freshly filled daily with His Spirit and motivation.

    Draw near to Him and you will naturally draw near to others. This is harder for driven people; they are always on the go. Other pending activities persistently arrest their attention. It is hard for their minds to focus because responsibilities flash to the forefront of their thinking. They cannot draw near to God because they fear failure and all its embarrassing ramifications; but this means that fear has the upper hand. Hyperactivity drives them because they fear everything depends on them alone. This is not a burden your heavenly Father desires for you to bear. No one can persevere in ministry or service under this kind of self-imposed pressure.

    It is up to the Lord whether you reach your goals or not. It may not be His will for so much to be accomplished so soon. Ministry that does not depend on drawing near to God is a ministry that doesn’t last. A person who attempts to serve Christ without drawing near to God will become overwhelmed and frustrated. Therefore, draw near and let the Lord whisper assurances—and perhaps whisper some adjustments—into your ear.
    Make drawing near to the Lord a holy habit of your life. Change your thinking so that no decision or activity will define your activities until you have communed with Christ. Do not commit to do ministry until you have met with your Master. It is better to have one engaged in ministry who has first drawn near to God, than to have a dozen operating in their own strength. Those who operate apart from God’s direction give Christian ministry a bad name. God is unimpressed with those flesh-driven fools who flash their good deeds as a badge of pride. He is even perturbed at this prideful display of service in His name.
    So, draw near to Him. When you do, people become dearer and your own needs become less important. Draw near to Him in your heart, for this is where your affections lie. Draw near to the Lord and let Him touch your lips with life-giving words of hope, encouragement, and rebuke, when necessary. Draw near to God and allow Him to unleash your giving, so you are freed in the Spirit to give with hilarious generosity. Draw near to your heavenly Father and experience His love and forgiveness so you are aptly able to administer the same to your sometimes strained relationships. Draw near to God and rest in His grace and peace. Draw near and dismiss fear. Draw near and give Him your listening ear. His voice is soothing and secure. Draw near to God and you will minister to others in His power. He is extremely accessible and close by, so draw near now. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”(Hebrews 10:22).

    Post/Tweet: Draw near to God and rest in His grace and peace. Draw near and dismiss fear. #drawneartoGod

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Ezekiel

  • Active Accountability

    Posted on December 1, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3:21).

     

    Effective accountability partners are not passive. Once someone invites a friend into his or her life for accountability, it is a serious responsibility. Accountability is active, engaging, and encouraging. The giver and the receiver of accountability have entered into a trusting relationship. Indeed, wisdom listens to the warning of its accountability partner or group.

    Authentic accountability requires caring confrontation. A little bit of short-term discomfort and embarrassment will save you a lot of long-term regret. Thus, when you encounter emotional situations, keep a level head. Accountability facilitates objectivity. When you are under pressure, you have an objective team that gives you wise perspective. Your accountability group is there as a buffer to unwise decision making. 

    “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning” (Ecclesiastes 4:13).

    Accountability provides much needed courage for another to do the right thing. Sometimes it is hard decisions that paralyze us into non-action. However, avoiding a difficult decision today will compound its inevitable consequences in the future. Accountability encourages you not to procrastinate when you are afraid. It relieves your fears and bolsters your faith.

    For example, team members may need to be terminated for the good of the company and for their individual betterment. Prospective church volunteers may need to be told “no” because their character is not fitting for a leadership role. Your young adult children are not prepared for marriage because they need to first move out from home and experience independent living. Accountability helps everyone move forward in God’s will.

    Above all else, live like you are accountable to almighty God, as one day we all give an account to Him for our actions. “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:4–5).

    Prayer: Am I truly accountable to others, and do I provide effective accountability to friends?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 7:1–27; Jonah 3:6; Luke 17:1–4; Hebrews 4:13

    Taken from the December 1st reading in the new 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” vol. 2... … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

    Post/Tweet: Avoiding a difficult decision today will compound its inevitable consequences tomorrow. #decide

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Peter, Ecclesiastes, Accountability, Ezekiel

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