The hand of the Lord was strong upon me.
I love this terminology, the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. What do you think this means? To me, it is describing the manifest, felt anointing on someone for the purpose of ministry. For Ezekiel, it was prophesying to the Jewish leaders in exile in Babylon. In the town of Antioch in the book of Acts a similar phrase describes the mighty outpouring of the Spirit that ended up in the first gentile church. It says, Acts 11:21 “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord”. Today when we step out in ministry the hand of the Lord will come upon us. I’ll never forget the first time I ever preached. It was actually in a bar somewhere near Bakersfield, California. I was with a team who had gone into the bar to pass out tracts and witness when the band cranked up “Jesus is Just Alright”. That was it, as they finished I went to the stage and began to preach. The hand of the Lord came mightily upon me. I don’t remember the sermon, just the the anointing (and the police who came running through the front door just as I exited). I recently read a devotion by watchman Née about the hand of the Lord, check it out.
“All true work for God springs from a prayer burden originating with the Holy Spirit’s urge upon your spirit. Try working without such a burden, and what you do is likely to prove labor in vain. But work from the knowledge of a compulsion placed upon you by God Himself, and you will find your whole being is increasingly liberated as you go forward. Moreover, work so performed is sure of spiritual value. So if you are seeking to serve God effectively, wait on Him until He communicates to you His burden and thus makes known His will. Is it a burden to speak of Christ to someone? Give expression to it first in prayer, for the ministry of prayer is indispensable to God’s service. Then go out and do it.”
The hand of the Lord will often come upon you in private prayer time. When that happens it is a good indication of answered prayer or guidance for ministry from the Lord. There is nothing so sweet as ministry under the hand of the Lord, nothing so miserable as trying to do it on your own.