Summary: Being motivated to serve the Lord with zeal usually involves 2 factors: A Picture of Who God is (what He is Like) and A Sense of God’s Purpose for Your Life.
1. God’s way of doing things is not always the easiest or least
2. we need to be motivated, invigorated, roused...
3. It is a constant battle, but there is an old tried and true formula;
4. lots of people motivated to do just about anything...but in the Kingdom
of God, why we do what we do is as important as what we do...
5. Ezekiel 1-2 exemplifies a simple formula for motivation in serving the
6. Ezekiel, one of the least preached books/difficult/Calvin...LEAP 2000
7. Although written during difficult days, it held true then, and holds
8. Here is the situation: Judah in captivity to Babylon (conquered); some
Jews in Babylon (like Ezekiel), others still in Judah, soon to rebel and
anihilated....why? sins of the people....wrath of God...
9. So Ezekiel is being called by God to serve in rough, discouraging
MAIN IDEA: Being motivated to serve the Lord with zeal usually
involves 2 factors
I. A Picture of Who God is, What He is Like
1. Ezekiel sees four cherubim (1-21)
(1) What A Cherub is....see chapter 10:15 to prove these are called
(2) The four faces....Rabbis....Man exalted above all creatures, eagle
among birds, ox among domestic animals, lion among wild animals...
(3) gyroscope like wheels with eyes: God sees all, is orderly and clear
2. The Vision of God (22-29)
(1) an expanse (platform)--God separate from His creation...
(2) bright---light---holiness and purity (like a high temperature coal,
(3) rainbow--God is faithful to His promises (covenant w/Noah)
3. Ezekiel’s response: to fall facedown (worship)
4. Few if any of us have experienced such a dramatic time with God; but
the drama is not as important as the result: Have you ever fallen down
before God? Have you ever realized how great He is, how small you are,
how much you need Him and how little He needs you? Have you ever
taken the posture of a servant and said, "With your help, Lord, I’ll do
what you want me to do?" If not, how about surrendering your will
II. A Sense of God’s Purpose for Your Life
1. After we come to submit to God, He empowers us with His Spirit (2)
----if we have no surrendered ourselves to the Lord, the Spirit will not
us; when we sin, we grieve and quench the Spirit in our lives...need to
repent and confess of sins if we want to continue to experience the
Spirit’s filling and power...
2. God had a specific task for Ezekiel: (2:1-5)
(1) preach to Israel in exile....
(2) address what needs to be said even if they are stubborn
(3) success measured in your faithfulness, not results!
3. God has specific tasks for us as well...HOW CAN WE FIND THOSE
TASKS? Few, if any, of us would claim God spoke to us in audible
(1) spiritual gifts--lke teaching, showing mercy, hospitality, giving,
(2)the prayerful leading of the Holy Spirit....inner sense/conviction
(3) need---if someone is choking & you can do the Hemlich, it doesn’t
matter whether you have the gift of mercy or helps...do it!---A need
doesn’t always mean it call,but sometimes God stretches us; e.g.,
PTK...need & leading of the Holy Spirit, feel ungifted...
(4) the advice of God’s people...
4. For many of us, the number one reason we miss God’s call to service
is FEAR! (6-8)
(1) Ezekiel feared rejection, persecution, humiliation...
(2) What do you think the #1 fear in America is? Public Speaking!
(3) So many of our dreams are stifled by fear; fear of displeasing God is
GOOD; fear of man is a snare....Ezekiel had seen all those traumatic
vision; His fear of God was greater than His fear of man; THAT IS
THE SECRET, to fear God MORE....
(4) Those of us who have close relationships know IT IS IMPORTANT
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK....BUT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT WHAT
5. Ezekiel also had to learn to swallow a bitter pill (9-10)
(1) he was going to minister during a time of loss, grief, & God’s
(2) Sometimes God has some dirty jobs for us to do.....and that’s another
fear we have: THE FEAR OF HAVING TO BE NEGATIVE, FIRM, AND
SEE PEOPLE ANGRY AT US...
(3) I love peace, I hate conflict....I wonder why God called me to a
of leadership since it involves all sorts of situations....Ezekiel may
have wondered the same...
(4) so any of us can find ourselves thrown into a world we’d rather not
be part of... a friend becomes a drug addict; a child becomes wayward; a
spouse goes astray, the employer lays off, a tumor proves to be cancer,
a friend betrays confidential secrets, a neighbor turns out to be a