solitude

Confessions of an extreme extrovert: I have a problem with solitude. Well, perhaps not so much a problem as a significant dislike.

I have problems being still.

I cannot do quiet so much that I must have a fan on in the background for noise at the very least, and usually add music or TV. Right now, ‘Fall Down’ by Harvest is playing in the background, because I know I need the Holy Spirit saturation that is happening now to stay in place. This is one of those rare moments I know I need to create space for solitude, because something is happening that I need to pay attention to or God needs to use my voice for something. As I type that, I have no idea where this is headed, but we are going to find out together.

“I will make way, I will not move, until I encounter you, for I know who you are.”

And when I say saturation, I mean that I feel a tangible, electric feeling is cocooned around me. I also get a slight twitch in my neck that makes me tilt my head to one side. Almost like a listening posture. In these moments I know I am meant to listen closely, because I am being guided to something for a specific reason. One of my giftings is discernment, and long ago I came to realize a feeling I’d always had as the presence of the Holy Spirit. Before that realization I would say things like ‘my gut is telling me’ or ‘my intuition is [insert random thing here].’

Sentispri byenvini isi a. Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.

I don’t always know a trigger for why I get these moments of discernment. But tonight, I know. It was Ezekiel 2:3 discussed among friends and one of my friends saying, “NOT ONLY were they rebelling, but they were rebelling AGAINST God.” That moment was when the tangible electricity hit me.

Ezekiel 2 and 3 hold space in my calling and my obedience in going where God leads. I actually just started to add the verses written out here, but instead, I challenge you to go open your Bible and read Ezekiel 2 and 3 before you continue reading. It is in the Old Testament. Ezekiel is one of the ‘major’ prophets of the Old Testament, simply called ‘major,’ because it is a longer book of the Bible than the smaller sections called ‘minor’ prophets.

Go ahead and read Ezekiel 2 and 3, I’ll just wait right here. If you are comfortable writing in your Bible, please underline anywhere you see any version of the word ‘rebel,’ ‘sent,’ and ‘speak.’

All finished? Great, let’s dive in.

I want you to think about what a rebellious nation looks like. How would you describe it?

Where did you see the word ‘sent’ and what do you feel is the importance of God using it here and in other places of the Bible?

What about the word ‘speak,’ in what verses did you see it used and what action was paired with it?

Prophets were the ones no one liked and frequently people tried to kill them, and eventually succeeded…because they spoke truth and spoke out against oppression. They fought with their words, given to them by God, to make right the wrongs in the world.

Yet no one listened.

If I said that the States is a rebellious nation right now, would you stop reading? Would you make an excuse for how it is not going to change? Or should not change, because we are not rebellious? Or change never happens and it is hopeless? Would you at this point decide that I’ve totally lost my mind?

What if I took it a step further and said you are responsible in this rebellious nation? Yes, you. We each hold some responsibility, whether it is in our complacency or in our silence.

Whether you choose to fight for change or think someone else will do it or it is meant for a younger generation or maybe when I am less busy…you hold space here that is unique to you and God is not only asking you to use where he has placed you, but demanding your intentionality.

You read in Ezekiel 2:7 that God wasn’t giving him a choice to speak or not speak depending on his audience, “whether they listen or fail to listen.” The words being spoken are not dependent on how they are received, the obedience is in using your voice.

It is time to return to God. In the most real way possible, and for sure NOT on the street corners with signs declaring the end of the world as we know it or repent before you go to hell. We return to God by responding as disciples of Jesus who believe in the words Jesus. Words he used to love and heal and send his people out as witnesses to not just what he has done, but what he is actively doing. We are a sent people. That language is all over the Bible. You cannot avoid it or hide under you bed to escape it.

But first, friends…we have work to do. Rest in the reality of grace, and the unconditional love you hold as a follower of Jesus. But know that you cannot love as Jesus loves, you cannot be a true follower of Jesus if you are not condemning the evils and the wrong in our world.

It is time to actively free the oppressed.

It is time to help feed those that are hungry and cloth those that need warmth.

It is time to make sure children are not separated from their families, and those who are not safe are kept safe.

It is time to honor our parents by caring for those that are older in a way that is respectful and loving.

It is time to take care of all mental health that guides people into dark spaces where they believe lies about themselves that God would never speak over them.

It is time to stop giving lip service to real, raw, sacrificial love and actually live it.

It is time to live into where God has placed us to be neighbors that are respected, trustworthy, generous, and kind.

It is time to repent of our sin of racism and enact change alongside our brothers and sisters of all beautiful colors.

We are building for God’s Kingdom, for this world to be restored back to how God originally intended it. God did not intend for racism to run rampant. God did not intend for people to fear for their lives while walking on the street or driving a car. God did not intend for his people to suffer while their needs could met by those around them. God did not intend for families to be broken…at any age.

Sin has broken us. Sin has taken what God made as pure, beautiful, and full of life into something that causes division, hate and ugliness.

In Ezekiel 2 and 3, we are witnessing God’s call of Ezekiel as his prophet, then in Ezekiel 37, we witness God directing Ezekiel to prophesy breath into dry bones…to bring life back into them. That, my friends, that is Holy Spirit. That is hope. That is life.

And that breathe is what we have to take in to genuinely live in Kingdom truth and action as peacemakers and followers of Jesus.

Nan non Jezi. Amen. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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