January 17, 2013 by Chris French
Now a word to the people who have masked men/women in their lives: How do you not let them drag you down? First of all you need to go back and read the first few chapters of Ezekiel at the very least. I’d recommend spending a few days and working your way thru his entire book because he’s in exactly the same situation you find yourself in. He’s from the tribe of Levi so he’s a priest and in chapter 2 God calls him to be a prophet, but even his own family, people that should be holy above all others, hate him and essentially disown him because of God’s message thru him. Talk about being drug down!
Secondly, pay attention to Ezekiel’s life. There’s a mountain of things you can learn there. The first of which is that God will help us. He says that He has made Ezekiel’s face and forehead as hard as the people’s he will be preaching to (Eze. 3.8). God has already warned Ezekiel that he would be dealing with a stubborn generation, one who didn’t care what He said. Now God has given Ezekiel the resources to deal with them. He’s made Ezekiel just as stubborn as the people he’ll be preaching to! They were stubbornly refusing to take up the life God wished for them, but Ezekiel stubbornly kept on showing them what it meant to follow God. You think the Father still does that? We still live in a stubborn generation! He said that He would supply us with everything that pertains to life and Godliness (2 Peter 1.3). This stubbornness definitely pertained to Ezekiel’s Godliness and I think it pertains to ours too. He’s given you what you need to stand. Even though the people around you try to drag you down with their hypocritical faith God has supplied you with what you need. It won’t be easy. It wasn’t easy for Ezekiel. It won’t be easy for you either, but you can do it!
To continue standing among people that live apathetic lives you also need to spend a ridiculous amount of time around God. I say a ridiculous amount to convey to you that however much time you spend in prayer and study now needs to be eclipsed by how much time you spend in the future with Him. He’s the One that changes people. I don’t have much to do with it. I can and should gently point out to my friends when their lives are out of step with the truth of the Gospel. I should follow the mandates Jesus set up in Matthew 18 when I approach someone in this way. But when I’ve done my part I’ve got to trust God. Take some time during the week to intercede on their behalf to the Father. Pour your heart for them out to Him. He listens! Spend time in deep study in His Word. If you’re surrounded by people wearing Christian masks you need to spend more time with the Father than usual.
You also need people that will lift you up. If you’ve got masked men/women in your life they’re dragging you down. Your love for them and the pain that love causes, since they’re not living righteous lives, will drag you down. You need to surround yourself with people that can restore your reserves. Find spiritual people, men and women who are a stage ahead of you in life and/or their faith and draw some strength from them. Study with them. Allow them to pray over you. Spend time with them having fun. You need to be able to relax too. Those people are out there. Look for them. Call me. Let’s set up a time to talk and let me encourage you. If you’re struggling with not being able to do enough for God’s Kingdom there are people around you who can move some of those obstacles and bear some of the burdens you carry. On a practical note: if you’re married one of these people should be your spouse. You can have others, but your spouse needs to be on the same page with you. These people also need to be of the same gender. We form deep bonds with the people who hold us up like this. This trust and the relationship we have with them could lead us to an emotional relationship that’s not befitting a member of the body of Christ. Take away that possibility. Lean on people your same gender. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have friends or confide in the opposite sex. You should, BUT if you’re going to share your heart with someone you need to take the physical aspect out of the equation.
What other steps can I take to fireproof myself from being drug down by my brother’s or sister’s sin?