After six years, I have returned to the place I first heard my call – the book of Ezekiel. The words I’m hearing and the words I’m speaking will be from there for the time being.
Lately, this passage in Ezekiel 13 has convicted me: “Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing, who prophesy out of their own imagination … You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for My people so that they will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD … You lead My people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and when a flimsy wall is built, you cover it with whitewash.”
Contextually, this passage addresses the false prophets in Israel, but it is relevant and applicable to much of the spiritual leadership we see here in the United States as well. Rather than exposing sinful things for the breaches they are, our spiritual leaders have whitewashed them to give a semblance of safety, and the Church in North America is thus left weak and vulnerable. If we – the Church in North America – are weak and vulnerable, so is the Church at large.
And if you hear nothing else today, hear this: we cannot afford to be weak and vulnerable.
It’s popular for preachers these days to sum up the book of Revelation thus: “We win.”
There is so much more to Revelation than that. It’s a prophecy about God’s plan to unveil Jesus, and the central theme is not that we win, but that Jesus is coming into His position as King of the world and executor of justice. The Light is coming back into the world, but darkness will not go down without a fight.
Revelation 19 testifies of a great battle: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS … Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army” (NIV, emphasis mine).
And who are the armies of heaven? I believe they are – at least in part – the Church.
So you see why I say we cannot afford to be weak and vulnerable, don’t you? We need to be ready for battle.
As a witness to the Light, that means my part of my job is to expose the breaches, especially in the American Church, and fortify – not whitewash – them, so we are mighty for the fight.
We must no longer call bad things good. Woe to us if we do.
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings” (Isaiah 58:12 NIV).