Persistent

The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God. Ezekiel 14:12-14 NKJV

Persistent. In a time such as this – it is a word we should humbly meditate upon. We should stubbornly persist in some things and while we should not persist in unfaithfulness.  I would love to blame the deterioration of the understanding of the word “pride” – not knowing fully what it means more of us fall into it. I would love to blame the spirit of sleep, the spirit of jealousy, the spirit of rebellion – but the truth of the matter is so much worse. The human heart is bent towards the wickedness of unfaithfulness.  From Adam and Eve – through the dispensation of grace and through the great day of the Lord. This is why we must be ever so disciplined in self-control.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 13-15 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

I have not mastered it – neither did any of Jesus’s disciples.  If I was perfect, then you wouldn’t need a savior. It is true – because if I can make myself perfect, then so can you and the grace of the cross and resurrection is worthless. But I make mistakes and pray you all have the same grace for me that Christ has – that my errors will not later be held against me. 

The enemy knows my name and calls me by sins I am freed from – trying to keep and accuse me of continuing in captivity – Jesus knows my sins and calls me by my name. Remember this and let there be no condemnation. Have you asked for forgiveness and asked to be washed? You are good.

Do you struggle? Then try prayer and fasting or go to your pastor and ask for accountability. But do not persist in unfaithfulness (or sin). 

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2 kjv

“For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Romans 6:7 kjv

Now – never the less persist… not as the world, but as the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8) persisted in intercession.  Do not ever give up.
Persist in prayer. Persist in seeking God. Persist in seeking righteousness and holiness. Persist in being so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good! Because you aren’t made to be of the world – but be a light to the world. 

As we read about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the judgement of the Lord – and we see the parallels to our time. Let us not be proud – now we are the temple… shall our bodies be plundered and destroyed or will we “having done all stand” (as it says at the end of the armor of God passage). Later in this book we see the temple overflowing with living water – that is who we can be.

First – more humility. More. It doesn’t matter who is right of wrong – or who said what – or if they come in a wrong spirit or whatever the trial, or manner of distracting nonsense it is. Repent for humoring it and move forward.  Stay low and beneath it in humility. Stay in the sacred place in prayer. Let go and let God.

Drawing in close into your relationship with him is the only answer to avoiding the wrath and judgment coming, to avoiding the accusations of the enemy, to the knowledge that these weapons shall be formed – but nothing shall hurt you.  Yes, a relationship is our only answer to learning not to persist in unfaithfulness and learning to persist in love.  We cannot do our Father’s will without Him – so draw close to Him.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him. I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 13-15 NKJV

Woe to Foolish Prophets

13 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart,[a] ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ ”

Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen [b]nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the [c]gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may [d]be confirmed. Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The Lord says,’ but I have not spoken.”

Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord God. “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God.

10 “Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster[e] it with untempered mortar— 11 say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. 12 Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ ”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. 14 So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

15 “Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, 16 that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ ” says the Lord God.

17 “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own [f]heart; prophesy against them, 18 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms [g]on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? 19 And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?”

20 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like [h]birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

22 “Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. 23 Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Idolatry Will Be Punished

14 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?

“Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.” ’

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the Lord will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

“And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the Lord have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, 11 that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord God.’ ”

Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness

12 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.

15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they [i]empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were [j]in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.

17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.

19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

21 For thus says the Lord God: “How much more it shall be when I send My four [k]severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it? 22 Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord God.

The Outcast Vine

15 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Son of man, how is the wood of the vine better than any other wood, the vine branch which is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make any object? Or can men make a peg from it to hang any vessel on? Instead, it is thrown into the fire for fuel; the fire devours both ends of it, and its middle is burned. Is it useful for any work? Indeed, when it was whole, no object could be made from it. How much less will it be useful for any work when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned?

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them. Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord God.”

Footnotes

a Ezekiel 13:2 Inspiration

b Ezekiel 13:3 No vision

c Ezekiel 13:5 breaches

d Ezekiel 13:6 Come true

e Ezekiel 13:10 Or whitewash

f Ezekiel 13:17 Inspiration

g Ezekiel 13:18 Lit. over all the joints of My hands; Vg. under every elbow; LXX, Tg. on all elbows of the hands

h Ezekiel 13:20 Lit. flying ones

i Ezekiel 14:15 Lit. bereave it of children

j Ezekiel 14:16 Lit. in the midst of it

k Ezekiel 14:21 Lit. evil

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