Come Alive

The Valley of Dry Bones- Ezekial 37:1

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and He brought me out by His Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.  2 He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry.  3 Then He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I replied, “Lord God, only You know.”

4 He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  5 This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live.  6 I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.”

7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.  8 As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.  9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath,[a] prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!”  10 So I prophesied as He commanded me; the breath[b] entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off.’  12 Therefore, prophesy and say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, My people, and lead you into the land of Israel.  13 You will know that I am Yahweh, My people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.  14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. I have spoken, and I will do it.” This is the declaration of the Lord.

I really couldn’t just share part of this passage. In my opinion, the entire passage is important. One that I know well but haven’t read in quite some time. I was flipping through the Bible looking for something…anything to encourage my soul as I have recently found myself in a “valley of dry bones”. After some studying on this passage I learned that this part of scripture not only represents God’s promise to bring Israel out of their wilderness and to the Promise Land but this vision of Ezekiel’s also represents God’s Spirit coming to live inside each one of His believers to bring us back to spiritual life. The reason I say “back to” is because God had already breathed life into Adam when he created him, but then he died spiritually through sin so he needed a new life, spiritual life. The valley of dry bones depicts war torn people. An Army after battle. Not able to bring themselves back to life but by the power of God’s Spirit or “breath” one can live again. It’s a foreshadowing to our spiritual resurrection.

Have you ever felt as though you’ve lost your spiritual breath? Maybe you are going through a season right now that has you trying to catch it but you can’t seem to because it’s one thing after another that keeps coming at you. Maybe you’re in a season where the struggle is behind you yet you’re still laying on the ground trying to catch your breath. 

Personally, I’ve been in need of a spiritual resurrection for awhile. I’m not saying Jesus’ death wasn’t enough for me or that I don’t believe that His dying and raising three days later wasn’t real. No. What I mean by this, and maybe you can relate, is that my spirit has been parched and needs new Life and Breath. Spiritually I’ve felt lifeless and honestly, I know it’s for no other reason than simply having allowed myself to get to a place of such comfort that I’ve become complacent in my walk with the Lord. Link by link I’ve allowed myself to become bound. 😉 There’s no rocky boat in a weathering storm, no dark places of uncertainty, not even a crisis, just pure laziness because life is just going along with no hiccups or road bumps. My uneventful, mundane routine has ensnared me into what I describe as being caught in a fish net. My own wilderness. I’ve left myself unprepared. No Sword to slice my way through. Oh, the Sword is there, it’s always there. Stored up in my heart and mind, next to my bedside, even on my phone that I chose to spend more time on. Yikes! Wonder why I’m feeling parched? So, I just lay lifeless in the net. My spirit has been whispering to me for awhile now. Wake UP. WAKE up. WAKE UP!!! I’m not naïve to think seasons of trials will never come and I know I’m certainly not exempt from trials, but if I don’t get up and DO something I will find myself unprepared to fight. I’ve needed some encouragement for my soul and anything I’ve tried to do on my own wasn’t working. Have you been there?

Maybe someone around you might need encouragement. Would you know it if they did? Maybe they are just “playing church” on Sunday’s like Pastor George said in his sermon. It’s hard to tell from the outside. The person sitting right next to you in the pew may need you to speak life into them because they have gotten beyond the point of being able to help themselves. Maybe it’s why they came to church, OUR church, because they’ve heard we have a body of encouragers and they thought maybe they’d get that when they came. We all need help at one time or another in our spiritual walks.

Could God have just as easily spoke the word, snapped his fingers, waved his hand or simply breathed into these dry bones himself to bring life to them? OF COURSE!  But He didn’t. He chose to command a mortal man, Ezekiel, to prophesy to them instead. An opportunity to obey. A work to do, that can’t be done right without Him. A glorification of God’s mighty work through an act of obedience. He uses us, His believers, to get to be part of the greater plan. That’s exciting! 

To me, the most important part of this passage is in verse 11 where it says, “this is what the Lord God says”. You see, faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. If we do not allow ourselves to soak in His word then how will we be brought back to life from this valley? No drug, no food, no drink, no entertainment, no person can bring us the lifeblood that our spirits need to truly LIVE. Nothing other than the word of God. This passage also portrays a beautiful picture of speaking life into situations or people where there is none. So let me encourage you friend, to speak life into others, especially if you feel dead yourself, it will pulsate through your own spirit and begin to awaken you.

I was encouraged at work this week by a verse a gentleman spoke while sitting in my office, Isaiah 45:2, “I will go before thee and make the crooked path straight.” I felt a heartbeat again. God sent him. There was no doubt in my mind as it’s not often in a secular workplace people walk in your office, sit down and start speaking the Word. Thank you Jesus! He loves us and knows our needs. He cares enough to keep breathing for us when we can’t breathe on our own.

If you find yourself living in a valley of dry bones right now, or know someone who is, whether it be self-inflicted or God ordained, whether it be smooth sailing or stormy seas, know and remember that we serve a mighty, LIFE breathing and giving God who wants to bring you up from the grave. If your hope has perished, if your strength is gone and you can’t even breath in anymore…it’s ok because He will breath into you, if you allow Him. Word by word, breath by breath soak His Life into your tired, weary, complacent, soul. He’s the strength in our weakness, the joy in our trials. None other than Him!

And maybe, just maybe that fishnet you feel trapped in is actually Him trying to pull you up into the boat so He can set you free. Your struggle may be your protection. He’s stronger than our enemy and will get us to the boat but we have to let Him. Otherwise, our adversary wants to cut us loose after we’ve lost all our air and leave us lifeless floating on the top. Be encouraged friend in these trials of life. There’s still life and purpose in you. Allow someone to speak life into you and rise to life again! You are not alone. 

By. Leah Parkin, Aug 2018