Prayer Focus: Mongolia

Bible Reading: Ezekiel 21-24

Scripture

Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says’ — when the LORD has not spoken. (Ezekiel 22:26-28)

Observation

John Maxwell as famously said, “Leadership is influence.” In this passage, Israel’s leaders are corrupt. Although we read earlier (verse 25) that the princes are doing terrible things, this passage does not refer to the governmental rulers and authorities, but the priests. The spiritual leaders are filled with evil. They not only sin, they do it in the name of the Sovereign LORD!

Application

With any position of influence comes tremendous responsibility. When an individual sins, they destroy themselves and often those closest to them. When a leader sins, it affects their every follower. When a spiritual leader sins, it has even greater ramifications because they deal blows not only to their personal reputation, but God’s. As a spiritual leader, this is one of the most sobering things for me to recognize. I don’t merely represent myself, but also the Sovereign LORD Almighty. Oh that I would re-present Him well to the world and bring honor and glory to His Name.

Prayer

Awesome God, I am deeply humbled by this text. It reminds me that despite my role, I am capable of tremendous evil. Furthermore, my sins have the potential to impact others not only toward me, but toward You. I freely admit that I am unworthy and inadequate to bear Your Name, to re-present You. I desperately need You—Your wisdom, Your power, Your love, Your presence, and Your grace. Although it is easy to judge the deeds of others—including the priests in Ezekiel—I know that but by Your grace so go I. I pray that I would decrease and that You would increase. I pray that people would see You, not me. Show me, LORD, where I need to die in order for You to live in my life. Forgive me for any moment in which I failed to glorify You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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