Ezekiel: The Exiled Priest

In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. (Ezek. 1:1 ESV)
Do we see what is happening to Ezekiel? His name means God strengthens. He is to be offering sacrifices for the sins of the people in a temple. He is to be found ministering to God in a temple. Yet, he finds himself in exile, in a foreign land, no where near temples of Yahweh. He is in exile for sins he did not commit. Many people find themselves suffering for the mistakes of others and Ezekiel was one of them. Everything that his calling represented had been stripped from him. Yet, we see that although there might be dismal all around him, he has not loss the ability to hear from God. He is still able to see the visions of God, although man’s vision only speaks of hopelessness.
Many believers can find themselves in the same shoes as Ezekiel. You know you are called, yet you find yourself in a situation you never imagined. Maybe you have fled from your calling. Maybe you were asked to step down from a position in ministry. Maybe church rejected you. Maybe family situations have consumed you and you can’t think of a way to serve the Lord. Maybe business and paying the bills has consumed your life in such a way that ministry can only be reserved for some special men and women.
The Scriptures say that we are a peculiar people, we are all a Holy Priesthood. Everyone of us who is a believer is called, we all have a responsibility. We are all called to be witnesses, to be like Christ, to be Priests, and to be intercessors. There is not one of us that is not called.
Just like Ezekiel we must realize that our calling has nothing to do with geographical locations. Our ability to serve the Lord has nothing to do with a certain physical context like a temple. We are called to be Priests wherever we go. Wherever we are no matter how dark, hopeless, and despairing the situation, we find ourselves to be Priests.
In conclusion, don’t find yourself giving God excuses as to why you can’t minister. God has called you to be a minister in whatever situation you are in. If Ezekiel could be a priest in exile, in a foreign land, no where near a temple, then you can serve the Lord in whatever tough situation you are in.
Be encouraged, do not fear, let the word of God empower you to move into your calling.

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