Speak? Or Be Silent.

“As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.  If I say to the wicked: Wicked one, you will surely die, but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn’t turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.”       Ezekiel 33:7-9 (HCSB)

Any Christian who raises their hand and says joyfully, “I want to be a prophet!” – I truly question your sanity. Even a scan through the books of the prophets will give a clear picture that the life of a true prophet is certainly one of severe persecution, even to death.

I am not called by God to be a prophet. But God does give all of us a commandment to “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. That commandment means that I care if I see someone else doing something personally destructive (The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32). It means I care if someone is hurting (The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37). I care about the eternal life plan of those I love and those I meet (1 Timothy 2:4).

So how and when and what do I say to people when I see them in these situations? For so many years I have been reluctant to say anything. I was convinced that people would be offended and angry to have their problems and flaws identified. The Pharisees certainly didn’t appreciate Jesus’ corrections, did they? But I have seen in Jesus’ life His example of first reaching out to connect in a relationship with people and then direct them into their “right path”. He reached out to Zaccheus and Mary and the rich young ruler, gave them His undivided attention and love and healing but always left them with the admonition, “Go and sin no more”. Jesus desired that they would leave their life of sin and turn and save their life. Some did. Some did not.

God has given me a mandate to not stand by and just let someone fall off the path when I have been given insight. I am a watchman by just being a part of His Kingdom. God may want me to stop right then and cry out to Him in prayer. He may want me to say to the person, “I can see you are in difficulties and I will be praying for you. Can I take a moment and pray with you now?” Just in those two responses, God’s Spirit may open up a time of prayer and discussion with someone. Am I open to His direction? Am I willing?

It is God’s plan to use each of us to speak His truth, His healing words, His comfort to a world that is spinning out of control. He does not have a Plan B. He has used great speakers like Billy Graham and Steve Hill to touch thousands but more often God uses Peter, James, Thaddeus, Miriam, and Jody. It is not the greatness of my talents that will make the difference. It is the greatness of my LORD who gives the talents and takes me into His hand and does something extraordinary.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be only what you give me and be pleasing to you, my God, in all that I do. Amen. (paraphrased from Psalm 19:14)

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1 Response to Speak? Or Be Silent.

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