One of the greatest indispensable things in the service of God is to have a “vision of God” (chap.1:1).
We must have a vision of the Lord’s greatness, his holiness, and his unfailing love. Note what the Centurion said about Jesus in (Mt.27:54)’ “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
Saul, who later became the apostle Paul was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. (Ac.9).
Vision comes through the revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jh.1:18). Jesus came to reveal the Father unto us.
There are many characteristics, which, without fail, belong to the true servant of God, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal.5:22,23).
The Lord’s servants must be Spirit filled. Ezekiel declared “The Spirit entered into me” (v.2).
The revelation of God prepares for the entering of His Holy Spirit into the heart, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph.5:18).
God is always ready to enter into a consecrated life, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.,” (Ac.10:44,46).
If we receive a word from God we must be awake, and willing to listening, we must be attentive, and ready to obey his voice.
God does indeed dwell in the heart of men. The earth is not a God deserted waste. Salvation is not a one sided effort of man to reach unto God. Spiritual life is not simply an exercise of a persons own powers.
Sin will casts a person down, but inspirations will lifted up a soul.
Let us remember that God’s Spirit is not only a purifying, enlightening, and comforting influence, but also it is the ultimate energy of our soul. “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:” (Ac.1:8).
The Lord’s minister are God-sent. “He said unto me, I send thee ” (v.3). Those who are Spirit filled, will be Spirit sent. “As Thou has sent me into the world,” said our Lord, “even so have I also sent them into the world” (Jh.17:18).
The vision of Calvary preceded the Pentecostal experience, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
The Lord’s men are Willing Recipients of the Word of God, “He said, Son of Man…eat this roll, so I opened my mouth” (chap.3:l,3). His words are spirit and life according to (Jh.6:63) “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” so the Spirit-taught soul receives the word of God gladly.
He opened his mouth, and the Lord filled it,“ and it was in his mouth as honey for sweetness.”
If the Word of God was more simply and fully received, there would be more delight in it, and more power through it, Note (Ac.2:46) “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
God’s men are to be unafraid with the Lord at his side, “Behold, I have made thy face strong,” (chap. 3:8). A “strong face,” is an evidence of great force of character, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph.6:13,16).
The Lord can make your character to be strong and powerful. The fear of man is foreign to the man of God.
Not only is God’s servants are to be Obedient, but the Lord people as well. “The Spirit took me up.. . and I wept in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit” (v.14). The Word of the Lord was sweet in his mouth, but somewhat bitter in its practical operation.
Although there was bitterness in Ezekiel’s soul in following the guidance of the Spirit, he obeyed.
Paul gloried in tribulation also “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (II.Cor.12:9,10).
God knows our ideas. He sees when we are in error, observes the crooked course of our ill-trained thinking, and notes the narrowness of our notions. He also knows the true thought which is not understood by our fellow men.
God knows our desires. If he does not grant them, it is not because he is ignorant of them. Before a prayer is out of our lips the wish of it has reached the mind of God. When we cannot find words to express the longing of our souls, those unclear, and silent desires are exactly measured and fully comprehended by God. God knows our evil desires, the wicked wishes that have not yet found vent in wicked deeds.
The Lord knows our sorrows. Though the heart only knoweth its own bitterness among men, the sympathetic knowledge of God has judged it to the bottom. No one can say, “My grief is quite beyond comprehension.” No one can be utterly misunderstood. Misjudged by man, the martyr is known to God.
The Lord knows our sin. There is no secret place where a deed of wrong can be done without the eye of God seeing it. Abel is murdered in the field, but still his blood cries to God for vengeance.
In all we just stated, let us not forget, the hand of God is a helping hand, a holding hand, a supporting hand, a hand of encouragement, a hand of guidance, and of blessing. God will sustains all those whom he sends.
Let us keep in mind we are to be Faithful unto the end of our life here on earth, “I have made thee a watchman” (chap. 3. 16-21).
The watchman must “warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” (Ac.2:22,23).
The wicked need warning, and the man who has seen “visions of God” is alone able sufficiently to give that warning. Peter gave the people hope in (Acts 2:38), his words are, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Ac.2:38,39).
The apostle Paul was a faithful watchman, and could say, “I am pure from the blood of all men” (Ac.20:26).
As ministers of the gospel pf Jesus Christ our Lord, we are to warn people. This mystic influence we possess over others is reflected from every smile and tone and feature. Yes temper, motive, passion, earnestness, are elements of our power.
Ministers warn others by our own abstinence from sin, by our self-denials, our heavenly mindedness, our fruitful goodness, our pious walk and converse. Responsibility ends only when we have exhausted every method to draw men heavenward.
The wicked man who has not been warned by the minister, and dies because of his iniquity. God declares that “the wages of sin is death;” that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Though this wicked man was not warned by the man of God, yet he was warned by his own conscience, by voices of Divine providence, and by the sacred Scriptures.
Where the public ministry falls short of its duty, Holy Scripture is still at hand, and it is each one’s fault if he be not called to repentance by the voice of the words in the Holy Bible.
Let me say in closing the appointment of ministers in the kingdom of God is the exclusive right of God. “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman,” No man may constitute himself a minister, and no body of people may appoint a man to this office apart from the call of the Lord.
Christian ministers are called of God according to (Heb.5:4) “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” “Study to show thyself approved of God, a watchman that needeth not to be ashamed” Study the Word of God with all your might II.Tim. 2:1,5).