Sometimes when God speaks to us, it comes with a side effect. We are touched by an inkling or message and we are convinced God has given us instruction but we become dazed. The initial energy that comes with the word of God lifts us up by His Spirit and we feel we are not alone. Eventually, we may get around a group of people that have not yet heard what we may have heard and we suffer a side effect, we become overwhelmed with self-doubt and insecurity.
This happened to Ezekiel after he was called to be a prophet. He received a calling and a message but was stuck for a week until God gave a little more clarity. God clarified, “I have made you a watchman, a watchman that gives warning.” The responsibility of a watchman is to warn people of the attack of the enemy (potential death). Ezekiel was given this task and then asked to go into a valley where God spoke again and told Ezekiel to go lock himself in his house where he will be mute for a little while.
The process seems odd, doesn’t it? Why give a task only to send Ezekiel to other places and silence his mouth? I wonder, does this process happen because something is wrong inside of Ezekiel? Scripture is silent as to why and just tells us this is so. This is another side effect of God’s word to us, we often suspend the answer to the why questions in order to trust that obeying God is for the best. God does this to show us that he might be found in our detours, in our uncertainty, in our inability, and even, maybe, in our disobedience. The why things happen is in some ways less important than what becomes of our relationship with God as result.
The great lie we often must fend off is that somehow, despite the lengths God has gone to have our hearts, He would want to cast us aside. He is not interested in wasting the opportunity for relationship. His greatest desire is that His people live life with Him/enjoy Him. Thus, when detours or pain afflict us we hope the side effect we suffer most would be the comfort of the intimacy or familiarity God offers through His presence.