And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear. Ezekiel 2:6-7 ESV
Yesterday we took our two little loves for a walk through a city park, they had a blast, running and playing, hiding and giggling. It was a beautiful day but as they ran along our little girl tripped and fell. She cried sore, and as she cried her big brother came over beside her and started to sing ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so...’ and as we walked back to the car he continued to sing for his little sister. He was completely unfazed by those we met or by what people might think. It was beautiful and challenging.
At what age do we start to concern ourselves more with what the world might think of us, than what God desires of us?
God called Ezekiel to proclaim his word to a people who had turned from God, He called Isaiah and Jeremiah and many others throughout scripture to do the same. And in 2 Timothy 4:2 we receive the same calling; to proclaim God’s word and truth whether or not it is convenient. Standing for God, his word and demonstrating faith in God is not a popular stance. But God’s truth does not depend upon how people may respond to it. What is important is not how people respond to our faith but how faithful we are. Our world has become a place where those who unashamedly follow God face rejection and ridicule. But this is no surprise to God. We look at the world and think this is a new development, that those from generations past did not face the same ridicule, but they did. God knows the heart of man, he knows the despise this people will face, he knows the weakness of man and the weakness of our faith. God knew the oppression Ezekiel would face, that is why God told him not to be afraid of them, not to be afraid of their words, and not to be dismayed by their looks. It is not a simple task to stand up for what is right, to stand strong in your faith when those around ridicule and reject you but that is what we are called to do.
Our lives are to shine as an example of faith and while you may face opposition or be told your beliefs are not in keeping with the times, we need to stand strong and proclaim the gospel in love. Because the gospel has the power to change lives, and so what if we face ridicule in this life if it means even one soul recognizes their need for God and is saved from a lost eternity.
‘be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.’ (Eph 6:10)
Lord, I ask for strength, strength to ignore the looks and the comments, to have the child like courage and ability to block out the ridicule. That love would guide my actions, not to turn souls from you with religion but that the world would see you shining through. Fill my heart with a burden for souls, a burden which outweighs all my fears and anxiety. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.