Seeds of Promise Devotionals by Shenica Graham
Devotional: God Prepares the Messenger
Read The Bible In One Year
|SEP.||Book||Read From||Read To||Devotional|
|1st||Ezekiel||Chapter 1||Chapter 4||God Prepares the Messenger|
Memory Verse: And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house (Ezekiel 2:6 (AMP))
The heart in a fearful condition is vulnerable to the fiery darts of the wicked. Satan desires that God’s people live in fear, in order that he may control the issues of their hearts. What issues forth from the heart is the testimony of your heart condition. In order to be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10), we must cast out fear.
On at least twenty-six occasions, the Bible records God saying to His servants, “…have courage…”, or “Do not be afraid…” – not afraid of the enemy’s face, weapons, illusions, or allies.
When you go forth to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you (Deuteronomy 20:1 Amplified (AMP)).
We know that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). In order for love to be perfected, the mind must be trained to block loveless stimuli that would enter the thought process, and to prune the thoughts that are not worthy of the heart toward God. Perfect love is essentially a thought process backed by emotion, that does not allow thoughts to enter the mind or go forth from the heart, if they contradict the nature of love. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love bears all things. Love believes all (good) things… (1 Corinthians 13:3-5). Any thought that threatens to overturn what the mind has accepted as the proper definition of love, is banished from the thought process and not allowed to poison the loving majority.
The mind can think thousands of thoughts in rapid succession, giving the illusion that all thoughts are concurrent. Actually, each thought is had one at a time, however quickly. It is important to realize that fear is more than a thought. The Bible says that God has not given us the spirit of fear. There is a spirit of fear that goes with the emotion of fear. That spirit of fear is from the enemy. Fear is a yoke of bondage that works against your witness. God seeks to set His people free from bondage – to set a liberty them that are bruised – in other words, to free the oppressed from oppression (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus, being “full of the power and under the influence of” the Holy Spirit (Amplified Bible (AMP)), read in the synagogue at Nazareth, a part of Scripture which testified of his divine authority. He was not new to teaching. He had recently come from Galilee where taught in the synagogue on Sabbath days. Jesus read,
18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day [l]when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound] (Luke 4:18-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)).
Jesus went on to say that the scripture He had just read was fulfilled that very day, as the audience looked on in amazement, asking amongst themselves, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” – one to whom they did not attribute spiritual greatness. Yet, God had a plan to elevate His glory in such a way that man could not presume to have authored it.
The courage that replaces fear comes from the knowledge that God has already overcome our enemies (John 16:33). Standing with the omnipotent God, we can have certain victory. The anointing of Christ by God to fulfill a mission is mirrored in the calling of Ezekiel of by God. At the age of thirty, Ezekiel was shown a vision and heard the voice of God speaking. God had called Ezekiel to be a prophet before the house of Israel – whom God loved despite their fallen stature of obedience, for they were in a rebellious condition. They would not reverence God and therefore might try to mock or otherwise do harm to God’s servant as would reflect their lack of holy respect. God said to Ezekiel concerning the rebellious,
6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words; though briers and thorns are all around you and you dwell and sit among scorpions, be not afraid of their words nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house (Ezekiel 2:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)).
God instructed Ezekiel to “eat” the Word before going to speak to the house of Israel. The Word is portrayed here as nourishment, like as – though greater than – food for the body. Before telling Ezekiel to “…eat what I give you…” (Ezekiel 2:8), God said, “…do not as the rebellious did…” It is implied that part of the rebellion of the house of Israel was their refusal to “eat” what the LORD gave them – the Word. This was a testament against the people that they were perishing partly because of a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) – they were not reading the Scriptures often enough (for those who read at all), which leads to an inability to rightly divide the truth, which in turn breeds confusion and religious sects as this and that one disagree on the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. Yet, God loved them and sent them another messenger.
In sending Ezekiel to the house of Israel, God warned Ezekiel in advance that the people would not be initially receptive to the gospel; yet God did not simply pat Ezekiel on the shoulder and say, “Good luck, buddy.” God prepared Ezekiel to go the distance.
8 Behold, I have made your face strong and hard against their faces and your forehead strong and hard against their foreheads. 9 Like an adamant harder than flint or a diamond point have I made your forehead; fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house (Ezekiel 3:8-9).
Then God clarified Ezekiel’s orders by saying, “… I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 3:17 (AMP)). The Biblical role of a watchman is to do the work of a prophet among God’s people, relaying God’s communications and warnings. The biblical watchman mirrors the traditional watchman who observed the city from the watchtowers above the planted fields and alerted the townspeople when danger was near.
God makes a way of escape when we are tempted to inundate ourselves – our heart via the mind, with thoughts that are unbecoming of His presence. We can renew our minds and refocus on our calling. God also prepares and strengthens us for the work to which we are called, when we make an active choice to be obedient to Him, loving Him past our fears. With perfect love, you empower your faith to move.
FOWARD AS I TRUST HIM
BE NOT AFRAID…
|Deuteronomy 20:1||When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.|
|Joshua 1:9||Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.|
|Joshua 11:6||And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.|
|I Samuel 28:13||And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.|
|II Kings 1:15||And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.|
|II Kings 19:6||And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.|
|II Chronicles 20:15||And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.|
|II Chronicles 32:7||Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:|
|Proverbs 3:25||Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.|
|Isaiah 10:24||Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.|
|Isaiah 37:6||And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.|
|Isaiah 40:9||O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!|
|Jeremiah 1:8||Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.|
|Jeremiah 10:5||They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.|
|Jeremiah 42:11||Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.|
|Ezekiel 2:6||And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.|
|Joel 2:22||Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.|
|Matthew 14:27||But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.|
|Matthew 17:7||And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.|
|Matthew 28:10||Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.|
|Mark 5:36||As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.|
|Mark 6:50||For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.|
|Luke 12:4||And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.|
|John 6:20||But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.|
|Acts 18:9||Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:|
|I Peter 3:14||But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;|