One summer awhile back, I was asked to pray about what book of the Bible God wanted me to read that season. While my friends got Colossians, Ephesians, Esther, Ruth, Genesis; I felt strongly I was to read Ezekiel. I had never read Ezekiel. Frankly, I had somehow gotten away with only reading a verse here or there in the middle of the Bible, or really any of the Prophets. I don’t particularly enjoy poetry, which is funny because I LOVE to dissect songs which are just poetry tied to music. I remember asking God, “Are you sure you want me to read Ezekiel? Not Hebrews? Not Matthew?”
Like Jonah at first, I started by reading something else. I had a really hard time focusing - getting up to make more tea, rearranging my things, taking my Bible on walks with me so I could go encounter God in another book of the Bible while in nature. Maybe after a week of trying, I finally realized that I should probably just read Ezekiel.
I found that it was easy, that I did not in fact have the attention span of a goldfish, and I could sit and read and meditate on God. That season overall was a lot of stretching and growing in my faith. I had started that summer unsure of what I believed, or of who. If I remember correctly, I’d even been doing worship at Creekside, maybe 4 years? The plans that I had for my life had not come to fruition. I was not sure of my place.
God met me there in those times reading Ezekiel, even if I didn’t feel a great big breakthrough. Little by little, as I read, I remember feeling an overall sense of peace and of His presence. In the act of obeying God in this one thing, I felt it easier to say yes and even more quickly in other things. That was the season of saying yes to giving sermons, praying over strangers, experiencing miracles, and vividly hearing from God. It seems kind of crazy writing about this now, thinking, “Did those things really happen??”
In the act of saying yes to reading Ezekiel, God started changing me. Honestly, I’d have to go back into my old Bible and my journal to tell you exactly what I read and gleaned specifically from Ezekiel—probably that the wicked should turn to God and how many cubits was in the Temple. But what I do know is that that one simple act of obedience led to a change in spirit in me. I can’t say for certain how plans would have been different had I never decided to read that book. God used Ezekiel I think in a different way than what was probably intended. But the results were the same: turning away from myself, learning to trust, learning to lean-in even when I don’t want to, and finally, a change of my heart.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put in you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. -Ezekiel 36:26