Not like everyone else

Jeff Weinkauf


Ezekiel 20:32 “‘What you’re secretly thinking is never going to happen. You’re thinking, “We’re going to be like everybody else, just like the other nations. We’re going to worship gods we can make and control.”


Today as I read, this is the verse which stands out to me. Why? I think it's because at some level, we can tend to deny our distinctiveness and want to be the same as everybody else. Even more, we try to control God.

You've heard it before right? Or maybe like me you've done it. Bargained with God. "God if you, then I will, (start, stop, never, always, etc)" Whatever the ask is. We deny the special nature of our relationship and try to retain control. Just so we're clear, God is FULLY in control. He's not even a bit out of control. In fact in the beginning we ask Him to TAKE control and make our life a living sacrifice. A youth pastor of mine used to say that sacrifices had to fully die, because living sacrifices can tend to sometimes crawl off the alter. God make me a living sacrifice for you until it's too painful or too inconvenient.

So that's the deal I think. We want God on our terms. We want to be saved and safe so that we can go on with what ever we were doing to begin with. You know, not bad stuff but just living our lives the way we want to. Focused on what we think is best. We want to be like the pagans who's gods are dumb, blind, mute hunks of wood or stone. There when we want them but silent when we don't. Not something we talk about out loud but a problem I fear more of us are facing than would openly admit.

This is the case with Israel in Ezekiel 20. God's answer is a flat "No". That's not the way it will go with us. Why? Because God's offer of relationship is not merely "fire insurance". It's a call to obedience. Those who say "yes" to Jesus experience the beauty of a relationship with God and His influence/mentorship. Over time this changes our hearts about things. As we draw closer to Him, we want to be more like him. We want to please him.


So that's the reminder to me today. God's place in my life does not allow me to be ordinary or like everyone else. I'm actively "with" Him abiding and learning. It's not an option to just have Him in name only. That's just an empty religion I think. Rather, when called and accepted I'm now a member of His tribe, and expected to act as such. No empty wooden talisman for me. No more being like everyone else.


God help me to be a living sacrifice. Wholly pleasing unto you. Amen

Devotions for September 03

Ezekiel 20,21
Psalms 111
Revelation 8

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