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Posts Tagged ‘Gateway to habitation’

Day Nineteen

 

 Obedience—The Gateway to Habitation

 

“… and you shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service].” Amp Eze 37:6

 

            Chapter Thirty-seven of Ezekiel is an amazing study of the progression that must take place for a person or a people to become the dwelling place or habitation of God.  It is worth much study and meditation.

  1.  We must hear the word of the Lord.  Before Christ’s life can enter us – His word must enter us.  The word makes a place for His life to dwell.
  2. We must believe His word.   As the Lord commanded (by His authority) Ezekiel to prophesy in verses 5-6, so that word likewise has to be received and believed in our hearts – according to His authority.  The Lord has elevated His word above His very name.  It is in complete agreement with Him.  It is a reflection of Him to show us His character.
  3. Obedience participates with the word to accomplish what the Lord desires.  Ezekiel obeyed exactly what the Lord instructed him to say.  The bones also had to be obedient and receive what the Lord commanded (breath, spirit, life, sinews, flesh, and skin – and then breath and spirit again!).  This is an obedience of surrender – we can only agree and receive.  We have no power ourselves.
  4. We must recognize we are dead in our selves!  The breath and spirit of God had to come upon these bodies again, just as in regeneration our spirits are first made alive, and then the Holy Spirit also comes and fills our newly enlivened spirit.  Romans 8:10 explains that if Christ’s life lives in us then our natural body is dead by reason of sin and guilt.  But God the Father through the Holy Spirit restores life to our short-lived perishable body (Rom 8:11).  We are called to daily reckon ourselves as being dead to sin and all relation to it, but we are now alive in the new life afforded to us by the resurrection life of Christ.  This is an obedience of faith (not sight) – I must agree by faith with the word.
  5. We must put off our old nature!  Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians (just to name a few) all call us to strip off/ put off/ or otherwise deaden our old nature (the flesh – which is everything that you had before being saved).  This actually means putting our old man (our soul with its will/intellect/and emotions and our physical body) at the foot of the cross and renouncing all first use of it. This is also something that must be done daily.  Otherwise the flesh will continually try to assert itself and reassume control over the spirit life in you.  We are now called to walk according to the spirit, and indulge nothing of the old flesh life in us.  It must die.  This too is obedience to God’s word, by faith.  It means now obeying God’s life in us – not our old nature.
  6. We must put on the new nature!  Ezekiel is told by the Lord (Eze 37:11-12) that the newly clothed population will say that their hope is lost that they are cut off.  God explains that He will open their graves and cause them to come out of their graves.  He will bring them back home – to Israel.  This is much like our walking out a new life in Christ as a believer – for we have risen up out of the grave of our baptismal waters to a new life in Christ.  But this is something to do and realize daily so that in our obedience the word would be true in us: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in this body I live by faith in God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)  Again, Ephesians, Colossians, and Romans speak of the need to put on this new nature.  One must understand this to be able to walk according to the spirit in their new life in Christ. 
  7. Be God’s People.  Ezekiel 37:21-28 describes being the people of God.  We will be separated from every other people.  We are under one Kingdom.  We will no longer pursue idols or detestable things, we will be saved.  We will be cleansed.  We will have one King.  We shall dwell in His Kingdom. We will live in peace.  Our dwelling will be with God and His with us, and we shall be His people.  This is not us living our life in His name.  This is us living His life, in His name, for His glory!  While the text of Ezekiel does refer to the Israelites (I am not adopting replacement theology here) – the things God requires here from Israel for habitation is also required of us – namely first and foremost our obedience!  For additional support check out the Scriptures 2Cor 6:14-18, and 2Cor 7:1.  Also realize in Ephesians 2:14-16 Christ has made a way in Himself to make one new humanity out of Jew and Gentile.  So we are all one people of God – in Christ!  Hallelujah!
  8. Be-loved.

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