A week ago we watched someone we love and respect take a bold stand for truth and witnessed some of the backlash they faced as a result. This morning we received news of another similar incident. We’d already been praying for weeks about whether to post this note that the Lord has been relentlessly speaking to us again in this season. When I reread “Silly Song from the Savior,” a few weeks ago I realized I had mentioned I would post this note next, but never had. I then realized I had already written it up in drafts long ago ~ so it was ready. And since the Lord has reconfirmed this message multiple times for us again recently (and I know it’s for many others who are standing for Him and His Truth as well), I will share it now.
In the first days of Spring 2007, I had a life changing moment with the Lord. We had been dealing with painful rejection from people about things the Lord had showed us that we had shared. On this night in March, because of our love for these people, the rejection had reached a tremendously painful point. As I lay there heartbroken and inconsolable, Jesse began to pray over me. I was crying out to God silently from the depths of my soul in desperation that I HAD TO HEAR from Him or I did not know how to keep breathing. At that moment, I heard Jesse ask the Lord for a special word, a specific personal rhema word for us that we would know without a doubt was from Him. Immediately, God gave Jesse this passage:
He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.” Ezekiel 2:3-8; 3:4-11
We knew the Lord was giving us this message that He spoke to Ezekiel so long ago, making it a living, right-now word for us. The words penetrated straight through us to the depths of our being. As we sat wiping away tears, thanking God for this powerful word, and meditating on all that He said, He suddenly spoke very clearly to me, “You are only responsible to speak what I have told you to speak; you are not responsible for how people react to that message. THEIR RESPONSE IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!” I was immediately flooded with His tangible peace and comfort. What a transforming moment that was! He thrills me beyond description! He can’t help but give Life when He speaks ~ even when His words bring difficult correction they are ultimately life–giving because His words are life; He can’t help Himself! 🙂
Often when we are trying to share a specific message God has clearly confirmed that He has called us to, the devil will condemn us and tell us that we have failed, or are failing in what God has called us to do if we don’t see the results that we desperately desire for His Kingdom and Glory right away. But God wants to heal our hearts and give us peace. He says that we are only responsible to do the part that He has called us to do ~ to speak the truth that He’s asked us to in sincere love. He calls us to do this faithfully and fearlessly regardless of the reaction of those He sends us to. People may reject us, misunderstand and misjudge our hearts, motives, and meaning, falsely accuse, mock, insult, persecute, and hate us without cause (or even worse). In fact, the Lord has repeatedly reminded us that when we stand for Him and His truth we can expect this response. When the disapproval and rejection even from those we love and respect causes us to question or want to quit, the Lord has faithfully comforted us, but also clearly and repeatedly told us “we must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29, Galatians 1:10)
Regardless of people’s response, God does not see us as failures, but rather says we’re a success if we have obeyed what we know HE asked us to do and have done our part. When we truly love others, we will risk everything in order to tell them the truth God has asked us to. We may make mistakes along the way, but He knows our hearts; and as we stay humble and close to Him, He will help us learn and grow in how we carry out His call. We cannot make people receive or respond to the truth He asks us to speak, but if we truly KNOW we have heard from Him and are doing what He asked us to do from a motivation of love, we can have peace and trust Him with the outcome. As we stay close to Him, He will tell us when to speak and when to be silent. He may ask us to deliver His truth and then step back for a season while we continue to faithfully pray and believe for Him to confirm the Word in people’s hearts. One may plant, one may water, but it is God who makes the seed grow (I Corinthians 3:5-9). But when we know He has called us to deliver a message (and we have not just called ourselves to speak our own opinions), and if we know we have also sought His heart for how to do it, then we must speak what He has given us boldly from a motivation of His love for others, even if it means laying down our lives and reputations to do so. We can only do our part, and He says we MUST do our part, but then we must leave the results to Him, knowing that ultimately their response is not our responsibility! As we wholeheartedly seek to faithfully fulfill what God has asked us to, we can entrust ourselves and EVERYTHING to Him (I Peter 2:19-23 AMP).
Copyright © 2007, 2012 Laura Jewell Tyree
For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.20 [After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God. 21 For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps. 22 He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips. 23 When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly. I Peter 2:19-23 AMP
Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!11 Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account. 12 Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12
Blessed (happy—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man.23 Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets. Luke 6:22-23