In a lot of apostolic and prophetic circles, the commissioning of someone into a five fold office is a huge deal. It’s a requirement before they can operate in ministry and be called by their title. But how does God commission someone? His commissioning is much more important than what man says. What if they commission someone who isn’t called to that office or before they are ready? It happens, I’m sure. I’m not against this process. It does verify people rather than them going off and doing their own thing in error.
God has a way of making sure the person knows they are called for a specific task when the time is right. Ezekiel had an amazing commissioning in a time when God was the one who did that. It was spectacular and perhaps a little frightening at the same time.
Ezekiel’s Commissioning as Prophet
God begins the “ceremony” with a great vision when Ezekiel was in his 30th year. Men of Israel were not allowed to be in full ministry until they were 30 years old. He was at that time a priest. He knew the Lord and the hand of the Lord was upon him when the vision opened up to him. Don’t you just love when God opens the veil of heaven and lets us have a glimpse of what is happening behind the curtain? A magnificent scene to behold and the glory of the Lord was there. His manifest presence was around Ezekiel and he fell on his face as he heard the voice of the Lord.
In awe an reverence he bowed to the creator of all. I wonder what his heart was feeling, what he was thinking in the midst of this. We don’t know that having dreams and visions was a normal thing for him. I’m sure that others had these experiences so it wasn’t so foreign to him that he was confused. As God encouraged him to listen only to what the Lord was speaking to him and not to be afraid of the rebellious Israelites, did Ezekiel fully grasp the extent of the task God was giving him?
Counting the Cost
We hear a lot about people counting the cost of what God is asking them to do or what they are choosing to do on their own. Nowhere do I read where Ezekiel even considered saying no to the call on his life. I remember a pastor saying once that we need to count the cost of following Christ. I don’t believe we can fully know what it will cost us. From personal experience, I can tell you that had I known what following my call might actually cost me, I may have thought a little harder about it. Sometimes, the cost is everything and everyone. That is not always the case but it is definitely in the realm of possibility.
At the end of this great vision, he says that he was angry when the Lord lifted his spirit out of that place to return him to the natural realm. He didn’t want to leave the presence of the Lord. I can’t really blame him. So many times I would rather stay where the glory of the Lord is than back in the world. Worship is the place where I encounter this the most. Where I feel the presence of the Lord the most. Not that He is every gone from me but during worship he is exalted and feels even closer than ever.
The Call Versus the Commissioning
Many times people receive the call to ministry and go head strong into it on their own. God said they were called so they need to get after it. But there is a process between the call and the releasing into ministry. Between the call and the release, there is a time of training and equipping. You must learn to deal with things and lean on the Lord on a deeper level. If you launch out on your own without the Lords leading you step out of His will and out from under His protection.
Always seek the Lord on the next step. If you don’t have His leading, wait for it. There is growth in the waiting as well.