And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
In vision, God gives Ezekiel a call to missions. But he is not called to evangelize some people in a remote village in a foreign land. He doesn’t need to go to language school or learn the culture of his target audience because he is sent by God to evangelize his own people, the “sons of Israel.”
Evangelizing your own friends and family can be challenging, but God’s call to Ezekiel is even more difficult. In this call, God shares with Ezekiel that despite his best efforts to win them over, Israel will not listen to the message.
Effective evangelism is God’s job; He is not limited by our weaknesses. This is great news and it is incredibly humbling news. It’s humbling because even if you are the most effective communicator and a master of every evangelism skill, without God’s Spirit you will not be successful in reaching the lost.
Our call from God is not much different today from Ezekiel’s day. Our response should also be the same—obedience and submission to God. He will come to you and He will make all the difference.
Eric S. Bates
Family Ministries Director
Carolina Conference of SDA