In this verse, there are three things that strike me about the Holy Spirit’s influence over Ezekiel in that:
- It is immediate! No sooner has the Spirit come upon Ezekiel then he is ready, willing and waiting.
- Ezekiel – like all prophets – is a conduit that God can use to speak to the leaders. (note that when receiving a word or revelation, prophets are often burdened until they reveal it to others. Sometimes, verbal; other times as some sort of living metaphor [Hosea 1])
- The spirit discerns the heart and actions. That’s why God (and Ezekiel by extension) is aware of how God’s words to Israel’s leaders is fallingl short when it comes to eliciting their action because he knows they are conflicted to do what God tells them.
Of course, this verse has application for us today as we (if we’re honest) also can be rebellious, holding out for what we would like to see happen rather than seeking God’s will in a situation. Understanding this and applying it in our lives is the beginning of spiritual wisdom. Be blessed!
In this verse, we encounter an issue of semantics. We are informed that when the cherubim stood still so did those other things in their proximity. Likewise, as the cherubim rose, so too did these other things with them – all of which is explained as happening because the spirit of the living creatures was in them – but what does this mean?
Years ago – while doing my theological training – I came across the term ‘Kenotic Theory’ in a book by Keith Ward. Hopefully, I remember the definition correctly here but it meant something along the lines of ‘God emptying Himself’ which is useful because it facilitates our human understanding of why and how humans are enabled to possess freewill. A feat that is only permissible because God creates and facilitates a universe in which humans are able to obey or go against God’s perfect will (should they so choose) because God allows them the opportunity to deny His existence should they so choose.
In a world in which God – in his love –
- can’t be seen
- doesn’t retaliate against words made against him
it is easy to imagine that God is either not there or (at the very least) concerned by our antics. However, the act of emptying oneself is not a permanent state of existence but rather a temporary one. In the blink of an eye, God could reveal himself to the nations, creating turmoil for people who now have to face up to the existence of God and how they have or haven’t responded to Him.
Why did the cherubim and the other creatures in God’s presence respond in tandem as ‘one’ to the movement of the Spirit? Because in the heavenly realm, the necessity for human freewill is superceded as here the divine presence of God is not empty but full to overflowing. The cherubims and other creatures could not help but respond to God’s Presence as this is the zenith of their existence and raison d’être – and so too it one day will be ares also as we thrown our golden crowns before Him.
A few years ago, I taught a lovely group of people from a local church about primary and formational gifts. What was great was seeing their eyes light up as they discovered the different ways God had equipped them to be pastors, evangelists, prophets, teachers, preachers, servers etc. During the debrief afterwards, only a couple said they knew their primary spiritual gift prior to attending – the vast majority had no idea what their unique spiritual gift was, which got me thinking….
Is it the case that there is not enough teaching on spiritual gifts within the church?
Now, although many churches extol the importance of spiritual gifts, few prioritise it in their teaching schedules. One reason for this I believe is a presumption by leaders that the flock will somehow discover their spiritual gifts for themselves. Aside from the reality that this is an unlikely outcome it also highlights the worrying reality of how not all church leaders are aware of the importance of exercising spiritual gifts – basic and supernatural.
There are many reasons why this happens. Sometimes, the minister may not understand the subject well enough themselves and avoids teaching about primary and supernatural gifts. Other times, the emphasis might solely focus on a reliance of ‘supernatural gifting’ (tongues, prophesy, interpretation, etc) at the expense of basic spiritual gifts.
All of which means, every christian has a responsibility to research and discover their spiritual gifts for themselves. When hungry, we don’t wait for someone to feed us. Likewise, we shouldn’t wait for a minister to do it for us. Indeed, it could be the minister’s primary gift s not as a teacher which means you may have to provide that particular sermon series. Okay, if you don’t know your primary spiritual gift and the others that accompany it, then take the free spiritual gift test now by clicking the link below. www.primarygift.co.uk
All the best!
Twenty years ago I started an Arts Cafe at the church. My minister asked how much I would charge? When I suggested a small amount he told me to double it because when things are cheap, people don’t come because they imagine it to be worthless. It’s the same with things that are offered ‘free ‘ on the Internet.
Now, until recently, my spiritual gift test was on sale as an app. However, with the rise of 5G technology it has become necessary to remove it from sale for a number of reasons. Now, while the spiritual gift test that you and your friends can download on this website is FREEit is also PRICELESS as it has the potential to help people understand and discover their primary and formational spiritual gifts so they can grow God’s Kingdom!
Please do pass on this email to any who you think might benefit by taking this test and discovering their spiritual gifts and calling. Blessings, Bob
Take spiritual gift test