Demonstrate God's Word in Your Life (Ezekiel 4:4-8) - Radical

Demonstrate God’s Word in Your Life (Ezekiel 4:4-8)

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assigned to you a number of days, 390 days equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you’ve completed these, you shall lie down a second time but on your right aside, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah 40 days. I assign you a day for each year. And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold, I will place cords upon you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.”
-Ezekiel 4:4-8

There’s so much we could talk about in these verses, but the basic picture is God is calling Ezekiel as a prophet to do two things. One, to prophesy against the city. So to speak the words of God and to tell what God has said to him to the people. And then second, to demonstrate these words with his life. He’s specifically talking about the punishment of the house of Israel, the punishment of the house of Judah, basically God’s judgment on Israel and Judah. And how he would take action specifically lying on his left side for 390 days, on his right side for 40 days, representing the number of years associated with judgment, punishment toward the house of Israel and the house of Judah. We don’t know all the specifics of how this would play out, like for all those 390 days on the left side and 40 days on the right side.

As Ezekiel demonstrated the specific words of God in his life, we have been called to live our lives according to God’s Word.

But basically, Ezekiel is lying there for long periods of time on those days, unable to turn from one side to the other, as a demonstration, as an illustration, as a picture of the words he’s speaking. Now, how does that lead us to pray? Well, I want us to think about our lives, your life, my life today, this week. So again, we’re seeing this over and over again, there are unique things about Ezekiel and Old Testament prophets, but there are also parallels to our lives as men and women who have received the word of God and have the spirit of God in us, and have been commissioned to proclaim the word of God, not just with our words, but with our actions, with lives that are a reflection of the words we proclaim, the words we believe, the words God has spoken. And specifically, as I was reading this, and as I want to lead us to pray, I was thinking about people who are going through difficult times, difficult circumstances.

Could it be that even in our difficult circumstances, situations we walk through, that there are things we are portraying about who God is in the midst of hard times that are intended by God to be a reflection of the truths we believe, of the word that we hold fast to? Just like we see in Paul all throughout the New Testament saying, “I fill up what is lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions.” He’s not saying that he experiences suffering in the exact same way as Jesus did, but he is saying that as he shares in the sufferings of Christ he shows the supremacy of Christ. He shows the joy of Christ. That even when times are hard and difficult, and he is holding fast to joy and peace and courage and confidence in the middle of it, that he is displaying Christ. He is reflecting the word of Christ in his life.

So God, I pray that you would help us all today to embody your word, to reflect your word, not just with our mouth. So God, yes, as we’ve prayed in recent days, help us to reflect your word with our mouth, help us to speak your word, give witness to your word, to warn people of coming judgment, to share the good news of your grace. And God we pray that amidst whatever is going on in our lives right now, that you would help us to reflect your word in our lives. God, we pray that you would help us to reflect your joy even in the middle of suffering. We pray that you would help us to reflect your strength in our weakness.

God, we pray that you would help us to reflect your peace amidst so much unrest around us, maybe specifically in our circumstances or just unrest in the world. God, we pray that you’d help us to reflect your peace. God, we pray that our lives would be a demonstration today and this week of the truths we believe and we hold fast to. God, cause your word to be clear in our mouths and clear in our lives. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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