THE ABILITY TO RESPOND
“[God] said to me, "Son of man, stand up, and I will speak to you." As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me, stood me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.”
The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of God in his heavenly glory. As he looked in God’s direction he saw something that looked to him like bronze and fire and brightness – an awesome sight. It was so powerful that Ezekiel fell face down onto the ground. And then he heard the voice of God . . .
Can you even imagine that? Do you think it was a still small voice or a sound like thunder? No matter, whatever it sounded like, Ezekiel understood. The voice of God Almighty said: “Stand up, I want to talk to you!” Talk about some wobbly knocking knees! There are a lot of things the Lord asks us to do that just seem too difficult. We all doubt our skills or wonder where the time will come from or feel like our resources are too small and our strength too feeble to answer God’s call. In this case, I imagine Ezekiel had little confidence in his ability to even look up, much less stand up.
But the message of these couple of verses is that God doesn’t call his servants and then expect them to act in their own strength. God both calls and provides the ability to respond to His call. You might remember that Jesus told his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received the “power” to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). The word “power” means, “the ability to accomplish the task.” That is what Ezekiel got, and he got both the call and the ability to accomplish it from the same source; “As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered me, stood me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.” You see, God was sending Ezekiel as a prophet to speak to the nation of Israel. It was not going to be an easy task. But that didn’t matter because God wasn’t sending him to speak his own words or to minister in his own strength. God wanted Ezekiel to understand that whatever was needed, God would provide. And you know what? These two verses have been included in God’s Word so that you and I will learn the same thing.
When God calls you, my friend, He will also provide the ability to respond. And the harder the thing He calls you to, the greater the power that accompanies His call.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews