Have you ever gotten into trouble for something someone else did? Being one of six girls, this was always something I had to deal with while growing up. If remember when my sister fell outside while I was home and my mom yelled at me. I was so confused as to how I got punished although I was neither outside with her nor did I have any involvement her falling. Today, after reading Ezekiel I understand the importance of being held accountable. Being held accountable doesn't always mean that you have some involvement in a situation or that you had some contribution to a negative situation. Accountability simply means that someone holds you in such a high esteem that they trust you enough to put you in charge. Do you desire to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally? Or are you comfortable with your stagnant situation? If you desire to mature into a leadership position you must be also willing to accept the challenge of accountability.
If you have never been held accountable for anything in your life God still holds you accountable. We're held accountable for our sins, our thoughts, what we harbor in our hearts, our God-given talents, and our actions--those we choose to do and the ones we don't do. Believe it or not, the Bible holds us accountable for the sins/actions of others. As stated in Ezekiel 3:18-19 "When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself." How is it that God holds us accountable for the sins of others? Well just as the mentality that my mother displayed to me while growing up, God expects so much more from us as believers. Why is that? As believers we hold the keys and tools to achieving eternal life so it makes sense that he would hold us to higher standards than he would for others who do not know how to gain access to eternal life. A parent wouldn't hold a 2 year old in the same regard as they would an 18 year old. With different maturity levels comes different responsibilities and with those responsibilities comes a different level of accountability.
What Exactly Are You Being Held Accountable For?
Quite often I find that we confuse accountability with punishment. This is no punishment--this is a blessing. God trusts you enough to do his will. Ezekiel in today's reading was called to be a prophet and as a result, he was held to a different level of accountability. In essence like Ezekiel, we as Christians are held accountable to our gifts and whether or not we obey the will of God. Ezekiel was only going to be accountable for the sins of the Israelites if he didn't warn them against sinning. However, if he did what he was called to do by God then his life would be saved.
The message is clear!!!
If you want to advance in the calling that God has over your life, then:
1. You must be willing to be accountable for the actions of others. When God calls us, he does in a manner that will not only benefit us, but also others. God is a giving God -- he gives grace, love, peace, protection, mercy, etc. and in our journey of being more like him we have to develop that same giving attitude. Try to display the love of God all over you wherever you go, because you might be the one encounter that someone needs to give their life to Christ.
2. You must be willing to be ostracized from the crowd. People scream that they want truth, but when they finally get it they don't know what to do with it. Ezekiel was ordered by God to go into Israel and preach truth to rebels. God constantly reassured Ezekiel that he shouldn't be afraid. This just goes to show that God is always there.
3. You must always understand that there is a 100% chance that you will gain enemies while you’re doing the will of God. And in gaining those enemies you must remember that people aren’t necessarily rebelling against you, but rather the Jesus or the truth in you. Ezekiel 3:7 states, “But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.” The battle isn’t yours; the battle is the Lord’s.
4. You must trust that when God gave you your talent, he also equipped you with the necessary tools to carryout your task. God doesn’t leave anything undone or halfway finished. He is God and perfect in all of his ways. The Bible states in Ezekiel 3:8-9, “Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead.” When we get our assignments, we also get our tools.
5. You have to be willing to execute the plan/calling that God has for you, by listening and establishing truth in your heart. According to Ezekiel 3:10, God required Ezekiel to hear the word from God and also receive it in his heart. It states, “Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.”
My prayer is that our talents, passions, and hobbies link perfectly with the calling and purpose that God has for our lives. In the case that they don’t, it is my prayer that God somehow makes it so that we gravitate towards and develop a love for what he calls us to be/purpose that he has placed over our lives. And lastly, I pray that we use each and every talent that God has given us--leaving nothing unused.
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO TRANSFORM YOUR TUESDAYS :)
TRANSFORMING TUESDAY: JAMERA