But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.” Ezekiel 3:7-11
There will come a time when you’ve grown into a level of spiritual maturity, that God will ‘test’ you with a message that will be difficult to deliver. In times when evil has so enveloped the land, and place, that the most love that can be given are words of Truth. God helped Ezekiel by ‘strengthening’ his face and forehead to be able to resist the stubbornness of those in the land who were determined to defy God. The forehead is where in the brain we have cognitive thought and decisions. Ezekiel was given an ability by God to keep his face as non-reactive (like a hard sharp cutting stone / flint) to whatever the other person says or does.
We cannot be swayed by public opinion, or mass belief, or the feeling of wanted to be accepted by others, if we ever want to grow into spiritual maturity with God. The Spirit of God brings the Truth to those He loves. Otherwise if God didn’t love them He would leave them alone on the path they have chosen in defiance of Him. This is what we must understand, that these types of ‘stands’ for truth are a part of the test we must endure to grow in Him. Waffling to appease the mob or the masses or the popular culture is what James says is..
…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8
How do we stay ‘stable’ in God’s ways? This will only happen by intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit over time, and through many experiences with Him, where He helps you learn and grow IN Him, through Him, with His guidance and instruction. Without Him all you have is academic intellectual prowess that has no strength within spiritual grounds and arenas. You might be able to debate well in earthly courts and circles, but within the spiritual realms you will be exposed as having zero authority or power. This actually is what is happening in many of our institutional Churches currently. Lots of human intellectual ability but zero intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
What happens when human intellect meets real spiritual powers?
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:11-16
How can you know when someone is actually delivering a ‘message’ from God? Again, the ONLY way is by yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit that is pressing on your heart and mind at the time the message is being delivered to you ‘personally’ by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10) is the Holy Spirit’s revelation to the individual that what they are encountering is either of God or of another source. Certainly those powers in the spiritual realm know exactly where the source is coming from as shown by how they responded to those academic Jewish exorcists.
So what is the crux of the issue? How much is the Holy Spirit teaching you? How much time are you giving Him to teach you? How much do you engage Him with questions to explain things to you? How much is He empowering you to deliver and do the things He is asking you to do? Is He challenging you to ‘step out’ in faith? How often? Is fear holding you back? How determined are you to engage with the Holy Spirit within you? What actions are you positively taking in that direction?