EZEKIEL 40:1-2: “In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the LORD was upon me; and He took me there. 2 In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city.”
OBSERVATION: Have you ever gone through a time of “wilderness wandering” in your spiritual life? This is a time when you are walking through a prolonged trial, or you just don’t sense the presence of the Lord in your life. You open the Bible, but nothing seems to speak to you. You go to church, but you seem disconnected. It is not that you have stopped believing, but you just don’t seem to sense the sweet presence of God as you once did. It is like you are in exile in a foreign land.
Ezekiel was in such a place. He was part of the captivity of Judah. He had joined the multitude before in joyful procession as they went to the Temple. Now, in Babylon, he can only remember the glory of the Temple and the presence of God. Jerusalem had been destroyed, the Temple burned. Yet, it was in this very place of exile that the Lord brings new revelation to Ezekiel of the restoration of the Temple. It is in this place of exile that he experiences a renewed vision and hope from the Lord.
I have found this to be true in my life. In the times of greatest trial, in the dryness of a prolonged spiritual wandering, the Lord comes and brings refreshing and renewed vision. One might ask – “Why does He allow us to go through these experiences?” Peter exhorts us – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:6-7 NKJV) The Lord is not interested in our comfort as much as He is in our maturity – the genuineness of our faith! Why? – Because it is only faith that is tested, proved, and purified in the fire that will last.
Peter goes on to encourage us to wait for the Lord’s break through when we are going through a time of testing – “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 5:10-11 NKJV) We are never left in the desert! We are never left to walk trough a trial without hope at the end. Our Lord will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. He will come to us with renewed vision and strength. We will break forth into His sweet presence if we persevere and do not lose heart!
Lord, give me the strength to walk in faith through all the pathways of life. Let me rejoice in both the times of blessing and the times of testing – knowing that You are ever present and You are working on my behalf to produce in me a genuine faith that gives praise, honor, and glory to Christ. I know that you will always bring me to green pastures. You will always restore my soul. You will always lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. You will speak to me with renewed vision and lead me into your sweet presence. In Jesus Name!