Imagine visiting the dentist, sitting in his chair for an hour, paying the receptionist when you leave, and he never fixed your teeth. Or maybe taking your car to the oil change, parking in the bay for 30 minutes, and leaving without ever having your oil renewed or your filter changed. It sounds crazy, doesn't it? Yet often, we spend valuable time in a sanctuary on Sunday, or even a prayer room during the week, and leave the presence of God without a change. In the Old Testament, a prophet named Ezekiel receives a valuable lesson from God about change that might just inspire you to refuse to leave God's presence the same way you came in. Ezekiel had spent 45 chapters speaking as a mouthpiece of God. He was the voice of God to Israel at the time, sharing mysteries, and foretelling of future events. But at the end of the book in chapter 46, God changes his communication to Ezekiel.
Now, instead of giving prophetic insights, God begins talking to Ezekiel about how He wants to be worshiped... What things to bring to worship, the manner in which way you bring your offering. What types of offerings to bring...
It's almost as if God has moved away from the prophetic to the performing. The supernatural to the structural. But watch... God is still speaking about supernatural things.
God said, “but when the people of the land come before the Lord for the feast, he that enters in by the North gate to worship shall go out by the way of the South gate. And he that enters the south shall go out by the north gate. He shall not return by the way of the gate where he came, but he shall go forth over against it.
God is saying, “Whatever way you come into my presence, you don’t leave the same way you came in.”
If you come in with your depression, anxiety, or sin, or failure, or whatever it is you come in with, you don’t leave the same way you came in… you always leave a different way!
So, if we come into the presence of God with our junk and we leave with the same junk, we didn’t really worship Him, because that’s not how God told us to worship. God said, “you leave my presence different than you do when you come in.”
When we come in the presence of God, we “cast all our cares on Him because he cares for us”. So, the next time you enter the presence of God, you just plan on leaving different than the way you came.