Let these words of my mouth and this meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ps.19:14.
Yesterday in my quiet time I read the callings of the major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. Yes, it was amazing. I stumbled upon this little jewel:
Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: Go, shut yourself inside your house. And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says.” Ez.3:24-27.
I am head over heels for these verses. I have adapted them and and made them my Prayer. (In my adaptations, it is important to note that I have left out the being-tied-up-with-ropes part, except perhaps metaphorically.)
The Lord shut Ezekiel’s mouth to any words but His. He bound Ezekiel from restraining anybody’s sin without a direct command from Him. I love that. I need that.
Ezekiel’s ministry was the gateway to Judah’s judgment. His calling was a weighty boulder. He lived a life of extremes: heartbreaking destruction woven simultaneously with shining threads of breathtaking vision. With his fierce tether to God’s plans for His people, perhaps Ezekiel’s loose lips should be overlooked. Instead, God offered his prophet (and you and I) a sword of truth forged in fiery self-denial. Ezekiel was God’s mouthpiece to a people spiraling into a season of dark judgment. God required a higher standard from His chosen wordsmith. Even those with a powerful calling require Holy Spirit hindrance from becoming an obstacle to God’s mysterious ways. I wonder what damage Ezekiel could have done with unhindered tongue? To quote my son’s favorite superhero, with great power comes great responsibility. The Lord did not only call Ezekiel to speak; He also called him to silence. God restrained Ezekiel, the prophet who ate the honeyed scroll, to tongue-tied purity.
O, it was worth it. Ezekiel’s intimate access to his mighty warrior God, his heavenly reward for a life lived in pursuit of vision, his glowing rainbow glimpses into eternity – we reap glory when we sow our callings in obedience. Well done, good and faithful servant.
What if the only words I spoke were approved by God Almighty for fruitful blessing, encouragement and challenge? O my stars, I could just explode from the possibility! Impossible? Yes. But O so worth fighting for. I pray that the Lord, in His wild and winsome Love for me and every other soul on earth, will suppress my words, my actions, from interfering with His work in His people. Lord, make me tongue-tied to any words but Yours. Bind me from any actions but Yours. Ruin me for anything or anyone but You.