I try to pray every day “Lord, help me not to be deceived.” Deception can come from everywhere, even in the church. Therefore, it is important to recognize when someone is not telling me the truth. My truth should be based on the scriptures, and not what comes out of any man’s mouth. It is sad that God is not the priority of whom people should want to please. Facts are twisted or hidden, to make it fit whatever they want to convey.
God’s message came to me: “Son of man, preach against the prophets of Israel who are making things up out of their own heads and calling it “prophesying.” (Ezekiel 13:1 MSG)
All they do is fantasize comforting illusions and preach lying sermons. They say ‘God says. . . ‘when God hasn’t so much as breathed in their direction. And yet they stand around thinking that something they said is going to happen. (Ezekiel 13:6 MSG)
The fact is that they’ve lied to my people. They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine. When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash. Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’ (Ezekiel 13:10-12 MSG)
This is nothing new, Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. I guess he was right. How much do I whitewash myself before going out in the world. The hair, clothes, makeup, jewelry, handbags and shoes all matching. Guys have it so easy—they only need hair, clothes and shoes. Anyway, I try to look so perfect on the outside pretending that I have it all together, but my insides are falling apart. My thoughts can be all over the place, my heart sad, or my body riddled with sickness. But I try to hide the truth of what is going on, pretending day in and day out. But whitewashing doesn’t do a thing for me. What would be better is if I would share with others what I am experiencing, so that they could help me or I could help them. If I were honest, I think it would bring more people closer to God, than pretending all is good. I am “false preaching” when I am lying and saying everything is fine. How much worse would it be if someone was standing in a pulpit saying things that they would like to see happen, instead of what actually is. It is no wonder God is so angry with Israel.
The Message of God, the Master: All in Israel who install idols in their hearts and embrace the wickedness that will ruin them and still have the gall to come to a prophet, be on notice: I, God, will step in and personally answer them as they come dragging along their mob of idols. I am ready to go to work on the hearts of the house of Israel, all of whom have left me for their idols. (Ezekiel 14:3-5 MSG)
Idols can be anything that we place before God. And as I read this verse, I see that idols are heavy and weigh me down. Why else would I have to drag them? God gives me a warning lesson—get rid of them so you will realize that I am God. (v.8) I realize God is talking about eliminating the people with the idols, but I can still take it as a warning for today. God wants my burdens to be light. He doesn’t want me dragging around things that make my life cumbersome and difficult. Jesus said to cast all my cares on Him, to take His yoke, for His burden is light. He wants me to have an abundant life, a full life. The things He tells me to put down are for my own good. Not to keep me from fun, or enjoyment.
God says in Chapter 14 that if he sent his four catastrophic judgements on Jerusalem- war, famine, wild animals, and disease, and if Noah, Daniel and Job happened to be alive at the time, as sure as He is the living God, not a son, not a daughter would be rescued. Only these three would be delivered because of their righteousness. This tells me that I am the only one who can save my own life. I can’t depend on the lives of others, no matter their station in life.
But look! Believe it or not, there’ll be survivors. Some of their sons and daughters will be brought out. When they come out to you and salvation is right in your face, you’ll see for yourself the life they have been saved from. (Ezekiel 14:22 MSG)
I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils. I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet. I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing. I adorned you with jewelry. I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara. You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil. You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.
But your beauty went to your head and you became a common whore. (Ezekiel 16:9-15a)
How am I like Israel? God has watched over me and protected me my whole life. How satisfied am I with that? Or do I become a prostitute to things I want that God hasn’t provided, even though his provisions are stunning, and nothing is missing for me to have a wonderful life. It is amazing that I could still want more when God has lavished all things good on me, including the life of His Son.
Father God, I am sorry for the idols and discontentment in my life. Help me to get rid of them, and help me to be content with all that you have provided me with. You are for me, You would never try to deceive me, help me to ground my life solely in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!