Really . . . you’re thinking. Really, Taylor? Ezekiel. Now, what in the world were you doing sticking your nose in this book of the Bible called Ezekiel . . .
Well, I was learning a very cool thing, called “Faith from flames”.
Ezekiel 17. You know the drill . . . pick it up. :) Flip there. Yeah, I see you. Pick it up! Or, just click on the link for biblegateway.com, lazy. ;)
First off, an eagle sprouts its wings into the wind and calls to the cedar of Lebanon (really tall cedar). So, this eagle fellow plucks the topmost shoot of the cedar from its spot. And, this poor little sprig that once used to be the crowning jewel of its space, thinks of this eagle, “What in heaven’s name am I doing in the biting claws of this dude?”
The eagle’s silent . . . or so the sprig thinks. But, what the eagle does is soar over the rain clouds that sponge the ground in wetness, and it gathers more than enough fertile soil and beautiful seeds . . . and it places this little sprig of a cedar on a mountain top. And, what first was the cedar of Lebanon (insanely tall fellow) becomes a mountainous willow.
So, you’re thinking, “Riiiiiight.”
What we learn from this little dittlydoo is that suffering . . . well, God casts out our impurities with suffering (the whole rest of the tree He snipped us away from). And, then He makes something beautifully new and different, just the way He sees it should be. He takes us from this amazing spot we have in mind (the top of the cedar), and then He plants us in an incredibly fertile field atop a mountain, becoming fresh, new, revived, alive, and more aware of Him than ever before.
So, what’s the challenge? “Sprout and become a spreading vine, low in height with branches turned toward Him yet roots stayed under you. So, become a vine, produce branches, and send forth shoots!” Faith under fire may question God, and that’s perfectly normal. Of course, the cedar sprout it freaking out at the moment the eagle plucks it from its “perfect” spot. But, what faith does is keep the doubt in check by belief. Simple, isn’t it? God can. He is able. Trust Him. But, yeah, you’re right . . . not as easy as it sounds.
But, look at what happens when we don’t trust . . . and we look to another eagle for what we think is the perfect path. (Ezekiel 17: 7-10 right after our first script) :) Now, what happens is the vine that started to grow in its suffering now trusts in a different source for perfection . . . but perfection in light of the world’s sun. Not God’s. (Yes, pun intended.) So, what it all breaks down into is this:
Who do you serve?
The promise of water?
Or the promise of rain?
If you choose trust in your own roots, “great strength and many people will not be needed to pull you from your roots.”
So, you might think you have the best place on top of the tree, but wait till you see the mountain top . . . the place He stuck His finger on for you.
Faith from flames.
What’s your circumstance?
Who do you serve?