Wednesday, 16 May 2012

"The Spirit lifted me up"

Reading through Ezekiel recently, I was struck by the number of times that Ezekiel fell face down before the Lord. I counted 6 (Ezekiel 1:28, 3:23, 9:8, 11:13, 43:3, 44:4). Ezekiel was a prophet blessed with an almost indescribable vision of the glory of God, and in the blinding light of that glory there is no other response. So many others also fell down on their faces before the Lord: Abraham (Gen 17:3), Moses and Aaron (Numbers 20:6), Joshua (Joshua 5:14), Balaam (Numbers 22:31), Manoah and his wife (Judges 13:20), David (1 Chr 21:16), Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:18), Daniel (Daniel 10:9).

The disciples fell face down to the ground terrified when Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes in all His glory (Matthew 17:6).

And our Lord Himself, the perfect, sinless, spotless Son of God, in Whom all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form, fell with His face to the ground in prayer before His Heavenly Father (Matthew 26:39).

Jesus was then lifted up as He bore our sins in His body on the tree (John 3:14).
Jesus was then raised to life on the third day (1 Cor 15:4).
Jesus was then exalted to the right hand of God, above the heavens (Hebrews 7:26).

“See, my Servant will act wisely, 
He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted” 
(Isa 52:13).

And just as Ezekiel testifies in 6 places that “The Spirit lifted me up” (Eze 3:12, 3:14, 8:3, 11:1, 11:24, 43:5) so too as we bow down with our faces on the ground before our Holy, Holy, Holy God we can testify that:

As we lift up our soul to the LORD (Ps 25:1);
As we lift up our hands towards the Most Holy Place for mercy and help (Ps 28:2)
As we lift up our eyes to Him for mercy (Ps 123:1-3);
As we lift our voices to Him for mercy (Ps 142:1):

He lifts up all who are bowed down (Ps 145:14);
He has lifted us up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire (Psalm 40:2);
He has given us His Spirit, who raised Jesus from the dead, giving life to our mortal bodies (Rom 8:11)
He has raised us up with Christ (Eph 2:6);
He has seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6);
We will be raised at the last day (John 6:40).

Our pastor commented on Sunday that when you look at the wheat and the tares, the tares stand proudly and fruitless amongst the wheat which bows down under the weight of its fruit (see Matthew 13:24-30).  May we continue to bow down before our Holy, Holy, Holy God, that He may lift us up.
"A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honour" (Prov 29:23)