Have you been able to encourage and help others through experiences you have had in life? What a wonderful privilege it is to be able to help someone through sharing the things we have learnt through our own journey.
God often does something in us before He does something through us. He does this to ensure our words are more authentic and have greater impact due to the voice of experience.
When I am preparing for a sermon God works in me before He releases me to share the message to His people. My message is no longer a ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ it becomes a testimony from personal journey and experience having actually lived it!
Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord. When we take a closer look at Ezekiel’s journey we see that God took him through personal experiences before Ezekiel witnessed to the people.
In Ezekiel 4:4 The Lord tells him to lie on his left side for 390 days bearing the sins of Israel then he is to turn over and lie a further 40 days for the sins of Judah. At this time in history both nations were in rebellion against God.
God didn’t just give Ezekiel a word for the people and then tell him to give it to them. For over a year Ezekiel experienced the sins of the nation. It was his focus and he felt the burden.
God was doing something in Ezekiel before he was doing something through Ezekiel.
From Ezekiel’s story we can learn 3 things about the significance of God working in us before He works through us.
- It took time.
God is not bound by time. The nation was in turmoil, needing an answer, yet God took time to work in Ezekiel. You might be desperate for a movement of God in your life or the lives of others but maybe God wants to do a work in you first! That work will be the very thing that is a catalyst for the breakthrough you desire.
- It can be painful.
How uncomfortable would that have been for Ezekiel? He spent a good portion of his day lying on one side as well as eating food that was deemed unclean as per Gods instructions. When God is working in us it can be both uncomfortable and painful. It is interesting that we often learn the most through circumstances that are painful or challenging. But once grasped it is etched into the fabric of who we are and becomes a powerful testimony.
- It was his testimony.
People watched as Ezekiel went through this. Don’t for a second think that people aren’t watching you and are not being impacted by your journey with God. Obedience and humility can be an incredible testimony to others.
When Ezekiel spoke to the people the message came from his heart because he had lived it. It was not mere rhetoric; it was real because he had lived it.
God is powerful and He wants to use us in a powerful way but we must be ready and willing to allow Him to work in us before He works through us. When we allow God to do ‘in’ us what He wants to do ‘through’ us we become effective witnesses for him. The word will come forth through our testimony with authenticity and power.
Thank You that You work in me before You work through me. Thank You for the clarity and authority it gives me to proclaim Your truths.
Question: When did you experience a time when God working in you and then used the lessons learnt to work through you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.