Obedience to God; February 18, 2021

Ezekiel 37:3, 7 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded.

This particular scene is one of the most dramatic and one of the most supernatural in the whole Bible. It was a vision and an allegory, but certainly memorable and very instructive. One thing that strikes me right now is that in a sense it hinged on Ezekiel’s obedience. He starts out on the right foot by acknowledging that God alone knows everything. If we’re honest, we realize that very often we tell God how things are and what needs to happen. We aren’t to hesitate to tell Him how we’d like things to be, but we are never to be demanding. The ultimate example of that is of course Jesus in Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:39) Ezekiel shows us that when we are properly submitted to God, even dry bones and the wind will submit to us! It’s all a matter of the flow of authority, as the centurion recognized with Jesus. (Matthew 8:5-13) Jesus does tell us to ask, seek, and knock, (Matthew 7:7-8) but we are to do so with right motives, in humble submission to God. (James 4:2-3) Obedience is key! It is total hubris to think we know better than God, either what we need or what is possible. When we are in right relationship with Him, He will consistently blow our minds! (Ephesians 3:20) The reverse of that, of course, is what happened in the Garden of Eden, when the devil convinced Eve she “knew better” than what God had told her, persuading her to trust her own senses and reasoning.

I’m certainly a descendant of Eve! I have acted as though I were the final arbiter of my fate more times that I could count. That has never worked out well! I need to be active in my pursuit of God’s will, but I am not to try to dictate to Him what that will should be. I am to remember that He alone knows everything, because He sees it all at once. I’ve always enjoyed Science Fiction, with plot twists of time travel and different dimensions and the like, but God is above and beyond all of that. Heaven is going to be the ultimate trip, and that’s just one more reason to look forward to it! I see many things today, in America, Japan, and around the world, that seem impossibly difficult from the human perspective, but God is not limited to or by that perspective. My focus is to be on faithful obedience, letting God show me what I need to know and trusting Him with everything, no matter what it looks like to me. There are times when Japan looks an awful lot like a bunch of dry bones! For that matter, the US government looks a lot like an insane asylum! I am not to let my heart be troubled, just as Jesus told His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion. (John 14:27) Rather, I am to look forward to the moment when my Lord makes all things new. (Revelation 21:15) Knowing He will do that, I will expect great things of Him along the way.

Father, my faith is certainly unreliable! There are times when I have absolute peace and assurance, and times when I get all anxious and irritated. Thank You for this reminder that even dry bones aren’t a hindrance to You. Thank You that my own weaknesses and limitations are no more of a problem than those dry bones. Help me, like Ezekiel, leave full control in Your hands, not trying to “grab the wheel,” so to speak. I sure can’t control things, and I mess things up when I try. Keep me from being passive, but help me walk in total obedience to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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