Weekly Sabbath Survey
What Do We See? — 9-6-2014
Over the past 30 years, I have become sort of a hermit. I think because the Lord has made me aware of things others may not see, or if they see, it’s not the way I do. They don’t interpret what we see the way I do. We generally seem to have a complacency or indifference that lulls us and dulls us so we are stuck in a state of inaction or no reaction to what we see. Some don’t want to be reminded of the more unpleasant aspects of Christendom — our various faults and misdeeds. We don’t want to challenge status quo in our own life or the lives of others. But God has put watchmen among us to admonish, warn, and shock us out of our stupor! It is a truth that these are never the most popular folks in the congregation.
The Book of Ezekiel is one of my favorites. This prophet man, a true watchman, was called by God to tell the people what he saw and what God said. He is told to EAT the written Word of God. YHVH told him plainly, “Tell the people all I have said to you. They won’t believe you, but tell them anyway.” I have never been in a job interview quite as difficult as that. The first time I read this story, I wasn’t even started yet in what God had for me, but I grieved for the hard saying this called out man got from The Boss. What kind of a boss tells you what you will do is really hard, and it will be a miserable failure? As I kept going in this Book, I wept for ol’ Zeke several times, sensing that this story was very important and even personal for me. I didn’t have any real idea of what I would end up doing, but I sensed it wasn’t going to be easy.
As time went along, I saw things. And I shared with others around me what I saw. It has been a 30-plus year walk that can be described as “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” Not sports, something much more important and much more difficult than that. I have lived to see much of what I said in the beginning confirmed in the ministries of men more acceptable and credible than I am. I still do a ministry of telling what I see and hear from God, but now, it is through e-mail most of the time. Occasionally, one on one. But I don’t preach any more. People would rather read what a person has to say than to engage with them face to face. The proverbial wild-eyed prophet has a fascination for us, can be amusing. But, can also be scary and prickly, if you get too close. Most people who know them, never ‘get’ them. and when they see their faults and weaknesses, they tend to write them off so they don’t have to listen.
A while before I felt the call to ministry, I saw a TV show: the story of a druggie rock band. They had a big hotel suite and were partying into the night. The lead singer’s girl friend, Sally, overdosed. The revelers thought she passed out, but when they tried to wake her up, she was all the way dead. When the police arrived, they had her propped up in bed, her head tied to the headboard with a neck tie. The band was rockin’ on. The groupies were dancing around the room, as they sang a song Sally’s boy friend had just made up about her dying. These words to the chorus stick in my mind to this day:
Sally Baby sittin’ in her big brass bed;
Eyes wide open lookin’ straight ahead.
Does she see where she’s goin’ or where she’s been,
Or is it nuthin’? Is it nuthin’?
The actors who played the youth in that hotel room are all grown up now, for sure. I wonder where they are. I wonder what they “see” these days. And, I wonder if most Believers, regular church goers, ever “see” anything. Or, most of them are like I was back then when I saw that show, like Sally Baby in the story: eyes wide open, staring straight ahead, and seeing NUTHIN’.
I have never forgotten the sick feeling I had when I saw that scene of the dead girl. None of her friends cared about her in the least; her life meant nuthin’. I was almost overwhelmed at the hopelessness of the human race; the futility and despair of this life on Earth. I sat in church every week and wondered, is this all there is? It was soon after that TV show, the Lord saw I was ready for His line of work. I was ready for hope and faith and joy. I found I was willing to do what He required to speak His truth on this lost and dying planet. I was to go to the people sittin’ in church, eyes wide open, lookin’ straight ahead. My success will have to be measured in eternity, I think. I stopped trying to keep up with it a long time ago.
Paul said, “I mention you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling . . .” Ephesians 1:17-18
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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