Ezekiel 2:1-2 He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.
What an important and significant truth is contained in this simple testimony from the Prophet Ezekiel. Like many other parts of Scripture, it helps us to see the close relationship between God’s sovereignty and Man’s responsibility.
The LORD has a very important and difficult task for his faithful servant to carry out: it is to warn his people about the coming Judgement by which he is about to discipline them. The same rebellious hearts that are the reason for this Judgement are the hearts that will refuse to listen to Ezekiel’s message! So the LORD commanded him to “stand up on your feet and I will speak to you”, while simultaneously raising him to his feet by the power of his Holy Spirit”!
I think of the Lord Jesus Christ standing outside a tomb containing a completely-dead-for-four-days-corpse and commanding in a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come out”, and out he walked (John 11:17, 43-44), and of his commanding Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7) when ‘being born’ is something that has to be DONE FOR US from outside ourselves! I think of the Apostle Paul’s words: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, FOR IT IS GOD who works in you to WILL and to ACT according to HIS good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12b-13).
Think about your own journey to faith in Christ – was there any conflict or contradiction between YOUR decision to repent-and-believe-the-Gospel and GOD’s work of sovereign grace in doing FOR you what you could not possibly have done for yourself? It is good for us to have these constant simple reminders throughout Scripture that we are not even ‘saved by faith’, but are ‘saved-BY-GRACE-THROUGH-FAITH, and ‘this NOT FROM YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT OF GOD’ (Ephesians 2:8). There is nothing more humbling for us than to come to this amazing realisation! ‘NOTHING in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I CLING’. And how comforting it is to KNOW that every challenge God puts before us comes with the gracious empowering of the Holy Spirit to respond in obedience so that ALL the glory goes to HIM. “And every virtue we possess, and every victory won, and every thought of holiness are HIS ALONE” (Henriette Auber).
– Bruce Christian