Do you need God to resurrect something for you? Do you need Him to breathe on a situation and bring something back to life? Do you need a miracle? Then get this word of the Lord deep in your heart today!
Ezekiel was in a situation that needed a miracle.
Ezekiel chapter 37 begins with God taking the prophet to a valley full of bones. The Lord asks Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Very smartly, Ezekiel replies, “O Lord God, You know.”
In the context of the passage, this conversation is about the exiles who had been in Babylon for ten years and had lost hope. But, prophetically, I believe it is a word to the Body of Christ today–and that means YOU!
The prophetic word begins by saying, “Hear the word of the Lord.”
Not only is it important WHAT we hear, but also HOW we hear. Throughout Scripture, the Lord beckons us to “hear.” The central creed for the Jews is in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, which says:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
The passage above is called “The Shema,” which is translated “hear.” In reality, “shema” means “hear, pay attention, heads-up, listen – with intensity.” The Bible also shows Jesus using that same intensity when He often says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Thus, when the Lord says “hear,” then the message that follows is important.
Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones in five areas.
And just as he prophesied to the bones, the Word of the Lord can bring life to these five areas or conditions in YOUR life:
Things that are disconnected/disjointed;
Things that are denuded;
Things that are devoid of breath.
The bones in the valley which Ezekiel sees are not just dry, but very dry (verse 2).
In other words, their hope as a nation has dried up. Israel has been defeated and deported to Babylon, and Jerusalem and the Temple had been ransacked. Does this speak to America today? Some call our society post-Christian. I refuse to believe that. As long as there are saints praying, then I have to believe that there is nothing impossible with God. In the middle of:
all the political conflict;
the degradation of human life;
the downward spiral of morality;
all the gender identity issues we see today; and
all the attacks on traditional marriage …
I choose to trust God that revival and Spirit rain can come to America and impact our culture.
Can these dry bones live? YES! The Word promises that “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Note, the Lord is not saying this to the world, but to His people! He is talking to His people about their wicked ways and their sin!
How do we get out of drought? Water! Jesus promises that “if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” and “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7: 37, 38). God can resurrect the dry things, both for this country AND for YOU!
He can also resurrect things that are disconnected and disjointed.
Not only are the bones very dry, but they are disconnected and disjointed. They are scattered everywhere in the valley.
The immediate prophetic picture in the context of this chapter shows Israel being divided into the northern and southern kingdoms, as well as the scattering of the 12 tribes. When the king of Assyria conquered the northern kingdom (ten tribes), he purposely scattered the tribes and mixed them with other nations and cultures.
Today, our society is disconnected and disjointed. We are divided by race, gender, age, religion, politics, income, and on and on. Even in the church, we face these same disconnections. Yet, Jesus’ prayer to the Father, on His last night on earth, included the request for the Church “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).
Friend, that prayer WILL be answered. God’s word will accomplish this, just like Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones and “there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together bone to bone” (Ezekiel 37: 7).
What could be worse than being dry and disconnected?
Remember, the Lord asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” In a previous chapter, the children of Israel asked, “If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?” (See Ezekiel 33:10.) The Lord replies, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?”
In other words, God does not take pleasure in punishing the wicked who remain rebellious. He prefers that they repent! So in this passage, He is saying that if the wicked choose life and repentance, they do not have to die.
However, Israel did not listen. Jeremiah sadly recorded how God said the Jewish prophets were prophesying lies and the priests were ruling by their own power–and God said that “My people love it that way” (Jeremiah 5:31). His people!–but they loved their sin.
As I said before, God is dealing with His people, not the world.
To the church, James warns that temptation comes–and when we are enticed and give in to our desires, it gives birth to sin which will increase and bring death (James 1:15).
Remember, you reap what you sow, be it life or death. Paul writes to the church at Rome saying that the “wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” (Romans 6:23).
The apostle John puts it succinctly when he quotes Jesus saying, “The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Therefore, choose life and live in and by the Spirit!
Back to the valley of bones …
The Word says the bones were also “denuded,” which means bare.
It is only after the bones have come back together to form a skeletal body that flesh begins to appear. The body of Christ must be unified, not disconnected, before becoming a live and active body. The sequence is:
first sinews (or tendons) form;
then flesh forms (muscles); and, lastly,
The sinews hold everything to the bones. Muscles create motion, maintain posture, and produce heat. All of these produce power. If you are feeling powerless, then check your relationships to ensure that all is well and there is no disunity or schism.
Skin protects us from the elements and regulates our body temperature. In perspective, once we are unified, only then can we move as the Lord directs, with a correct posture and ensure everything is at the right temperature.
Finally, the bodies which now have flesh and bones in place just need breath.
This is a similar picture of God creating Adam and then breathing into him the breath of life. The Word says that, when Ezekiel prophesied to the four winds to come upon these bodies, breath entered them. Suddenly, they stood up to become an exceedingly great army!
It is the breath of God that gives life. Paul says it this way, “But if the Spirit (breath) of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). It is this Spirit, this Breath that returned to the body of Christ on the Day of Pentecost in the Upper Room.
Do you feel breathless and dead?
If you are feeling breathless, then ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill you – or even refill you. God’s oxygen brings life.
Friend, there is a healthy, vibrant life in the Spirit for you and for the Lord’s Body.
God’s breath and unity are for YOU. They are to bring God’s life, the healing water of His Spirit, and unity and reconciliation to all the things that are broken in your life. And beyond impacting your individual life, these things are essential for the Kingdom as well.
The gospels declare that Jesus gave instructions that we should go into all the world to preach salvation, to teach disciples, to heal, to cast out demons, and to speak with new tongues. If we have any of the five conditions listed above–deadness, dryness, etc.– it will impede our ministry and life will not flow. But, Jesus promises us abundant life if we follow His precepts and are obedient to His ways.
Let’s arise, full of life, and go turn the world upside down!
What’s that noise I hear? I believe it is the Body of Christ coming together, fleshing out and speaking the oracles of God by His breath! So, as the Christmas carol says, “Do you hear what I hear?” If so, prophesy to your life today and let the wind of the Spirit flow into you!
Are you asking the Lord for the breath, healing, and restoration that His Spirit brings today? Take a moment and speak life into yourself, then leave a comment below!