When We Return
I’ve been sitting on this word for a couple of months now. I needed to let it develop in my spirit, marinate as I waited in His presence, and wait for the words to express what I was sensing. It’s come out of Ezekiel, and I was gutted in my reading of it in The Passion Translation. This is why I had to let it sit – I couldn’t write out of the grief I was feeling or out of holy fear. 

I believe we’re being called into account for things we’ve done and left undone, yet God is merciful, and He’s always pursuing us with His heart of unconditional love. He has the end in mind when we’ll be presented as His pure and spotless Bride, but I’m getting ahead of myself. 

I could write pages on what He’s shown me out of Ezekiel, but in favor of communicating the message in a readable way, I’m going to be briefly touching on several points. I really want to encourage you to read Ezekiel for yourself in a couple of translations. Use a literal translation, like the New King James, and supplement with The Passion Translation. Read the notes!

While it’s not an “easy” read, I love the KJV of 2 Tim. 2:15: “Study to shew (show) thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (Parentheses mine.) Be a student of the Word – God will absolutely speak to you through it!

When you read Ezekiel, an initial take on it can be one of seeing God as punitive. What we miss is the behavior of the people, and how God had done everything He could to draw them to Himself in love, but they chose everything contrary to His heart and His holiness. 

He is a just God and after wooing and warning, He was left with judgment, the goal of which was to once again cause His people to return to Him. It was always for the sake of restoration of relationship. Destruction never causes God joy; it causes Him to mourn.

Ezekiel is called as a prophet and as a watchman. Most already know what a prophet is; a watchman is a lookout and in Hebrew, it means to lean forward, peer into the distance, observe, await (in terms of behold, look up, wait for, and watch). This was Ezekiel’s stance as God began to unfold visions and revelation to him. It’s to be our stance as well. What Ezekiel saw, had explained to him, and was asked to prophetically model to the world around him was hectic, to say the least.

God spoke to Ezekiel of the idolatry of the people and called them into account for it. The behavior of God’s people has never ceased to astound me, but there’s “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV). The truth is we do the same today and none of us is entirely free from being idol worshippers.

Britannica defines idolatry as “the worship of someone or something other than God as though it were God” and an idol as “an image used as an object of worship.” In Ex. 20:3, God tells us we’re to have no other gods before Him – it’s the first of the ten commandments. 

Yet, we all have things we place before God in our lives. They’re the things we set our affection on - devote our time and attention to, above the affection we have for God. It’s the things we love and desire more than Him. We can place our spouse, children, ministry, work / business, and even doing acts of service above Him. Promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, and other addictions are idols, along with way worse things than that.

Do you know what came of their idolatry? Violence, plagues, and food shortages, to name a few (Ez. 6). Sound familiar today? Yeah . . . 

All throughout the earlier chapters of Ezekiel when God was telling him this would happen, God would say something along the lines of, “And when this happens, they will be convinced that I am Yahweh!” (Ez. 14b, TPT) God’s heart was always to reveal Himself to His people and draw them to Him. It’s no different today. 

The United States was founded on godly principles and Christianity. Our currency boldly proclaims, “In God We Trust,” yet we have moved further and further away from God, as have many other nations. Jerusalem’s corrupt leaders were called into account in chapter 11, along with the murder of children for the sake of honoring false gods in chapter 16. Many of today’s leaders are just as corrupt and the murder of children from the womb and beyond is an unfathomable atrocity throughout the world.

As we have all seen, today’s church is hardly a spotless Bride. In his day, Ezekiel was shown the “repulsive and loathsome things” His people were doing within the temple and the “despicable things” the leaders of the nation were doing in secret (Ez. 8:6-13). These leaders were the Sanhedrin, the ones who were chosen to instruct God’s people. God’s light has been shining in the darkness of the deepest recesses of our churches and ministries and more will be revealed in the days to come.

False prophets of Ezekiel’s time were also condemned (Ez. 13). As a modern prophetic company, it’s imperative we allow God to “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10, ESV) We can’t give words in exchange for accolades, acclaim, “likes”, and popularity. They also can’t be given out of a wrong spirit – one with hidden agendas, an ax to grind, or one that’s divisive. We will be called to account for the words we speak and the platforms we seek to create. An idol is an idol and “truth in love” isn’t always from His heart.

Idols were built deep in the hearts of the people (chapter 14, TPT). We’re no different in this era and, just as in the days of old, we’re driving Him away. We can’t expect to continue as we are without repercussions. This is why I couldn’t help but grieve and mourn and sit in holy fear. We have positioned ourselves for what is already unfolding on the earth today. 

In Ezekiel 10, I read how God’s glory left the temple, and I wept. God, please don’t remove your glory from the land and from Your church!

God does sprinkle and pour out incredible hope throughout Ezekiel. For instance, chapter 11 speaks of restoration, and chapter 43 speaks of God’s return to the temple with a renewal of worship. These are promises to us on which we can stand. 

We read in Ezekiel 11:18 - 19 (TPT), “When you return, you will purge the land of all its filthy idols and detestable practices. I will give you a new, undivided heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stubborn heart of stone and give you a tender heart that responds to me—a devoted heart.” 

We can’t continue as we are currently. It’s not a popular message, but we have to repent – turn away from the ways in which we’re walking. The thing is repentance isn’t a bad thing. It’s empowering.

Christina Theodosiadis recently shared an amazing preach on “Repentance and Recalculating the Route.” In it, she defined repentance in the following way.

“Repentance is allowing Me to recalculate the route unchallenged. Repentance is not simply saying you’re sorry…Repentance is a much more empowering process…The Lord is always for us. He’s always fighting for us and sometimes we partner with things that aren’t conducive to those things and repentance is the agent that allows us to prepare the landing place for the Lord to usher in our verdicts on our behalf in our favor. It’s the move…that checkmates the enemy. It’s the greatest weapon we have against the enemy.”

Repentance is key. It’s imperative we turn our hearts back to Him, make Him our first love, and allow Him to purify our hearts and motives as we devote ourselves to Him once again or even for the first time. Revival will ignite. We’ll see the Lord in glorious and loving ways. His Spirit will come in power. Life and healing will flow. His blessing will be on us and on our land(s).

How do I know? I’ve read the end of the book.

Living for Him,

Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same


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