“Up out of the ashes, we will see an army rise; we call out to dry bones, ‘come alive!’”
I’m just going to tell you right now that you might want to whip out Lauren Daigle’s “Come Alive” song and get it playing for your new theme song. When you’ve done that, read on…
Picture this: You’re looking out over a deserted valley and as far as you can see the earth is littered with the remains of once living things – bones are everwhere. There isn’t a sign of life anywhere and as you trudge deeper into the valley, the sheer number of bones overwhelms you. The air is still and stale, heavy with loss. You stop and turn in a slow circle and everywhere you look, there are more bones, more signs that there is no life in this place. Lord, why did you bring me here? The bones are extremely dry and you know this means that they’ve been there a long time – this place isn’t just devoidof life, it’s a wasteland.
This is where Ezekiel was in Ezekial 37 when the Spirit of God took him to a valley filled with dry bones and spoke to him about the scene that lay before him.
I have goosebumps as I write this.
God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these dry bones live?”
And Ezekiel answered, “O Lord, you know.” In those few words I can see a measure of Ezekiel’s faith in God. In the natural it didn’t look like any life could bloom in the graveyard of bones, but Ezekiel knew enough about God to be able to say, “you know.” Lord, You know what is possible.
What happens next – oh my gosh, this pumps me up! THIS is our God!
God told Ezekiel, “Prophesy to these dry bones, and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” (emphasis mine).
So Ezekiel prophesied to the piles of dry bones and the valley was filled with a loud shaking noise – the noise of bones crawling across the earth to meet their match. Can you hear it? Can you hear the rattle of bones and feel the rush of movement as they moved to come back together, bone to bone, matching up and snapping into place? As Ezekiel watched, sinews began to grow among the bones and flesh filled in around them and spread out over them. Skin crawled over the flesh and melded together to create complete bodies. Fully formed bodies lay before Ezekiel now but they were bodies without the breath of life in them… yet.
God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind that it might breathe upon the slain, that they may live. So Ezekiel prophesied as God commanded Him and breath came into the human forms and they stood up before Ezekiel and became fully alive. This once slain army literally rose up from the ashes and came back to life and the Bible says they were, “an exceeding great army” for the Lord.
I’ve been learning that the most revelation and real life change comes from meditating on verses and asking God to allow them to come alive in my heart. I’ve been trying to press into what I read and ask God what He wants me to know from it. The Word of God is alive and dynamic and like most passages, I’m sure there are lots of different truths to glean from it but these are some things I took away from reading this first part of Ezekiel 37:
Prophesy is speaking God’s Word over a person or into a situation. In my King James Easy Read Version, “prophesy” means “preach”. Ezekiel preached the Word of God over dead, dry bones and literally called them back to life. We have so much more of God’s Word than Ezekiel did. You may be thinking, but God spoke directly to Ezekiel. Nothing compares to having God speak directly to you, to which I would say, there was a time when I agreed with that, but not anymore. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is even better than having Jesus Himself here with us (John 16:7). If you are a born-again follower of Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit residing in you, you have a member of the Godhead closer to you than your skin, every single moment of every single day. He is constantly trying to help us, warn us, speak to us, comfort us, teach us, lead us… but most of the time we are so busy it is hard to hear His voice. But He IS here and He is speaking.
Ezekiel had a Word from God that he chose to act on. I think it’s interesting that God didn’t tell the dry bones to come back to life – He told Ezekiel to speak to the bones.
We have whole passages from God, telling us His will for life (abundant life!), telling us to speak to our situations, telling us to take our authority over death and destruction, telling us that He is God who makes a way where there was no way and with Him nothing is impossible. He is God who brings dead things back to life and He is God who redeems what was stolen. We have Words from God we can choose to act on, too.
Many of us have an area(s) in our life filled with dry bones. When we speak to the dry bones in our lives (our bodies, symptoms, emotions) about the goodness and promises of God, we call them back to life and step into the future God had planned for us all along.
If we let Him, God wants to do new things for us.
“Remember you not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19
The past does not have to be the future. That is a lie every one of us will probably have to confront at one time or another. God wants to do a new thing and He wants to redeem what has been lost. We get to agree with His Yes and add our “Amen” to it for the glory of God. God isn’t glorified in sickness, death, poverty, or destruction – that is the enemy’s work. God is glorified when we resist the enemy and choose to stand in the promise that God’s Word is true. We get to call dead things back to life!
For me, here is an example of what this has looked like:
“Body, I’ve got good news for you! Jesus died for you to be healthy and whole and I command you to line up with your original design and be healthy and whole. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and according to Isaiah 54, no weapon formed against you will prosper. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! You are a temple of the living God. The curse has been broken over you and Jesus Christ WILL be glorified in this body.”
Or, each time I hear a testimony or read in the Bible about God’s will for healing, I visualize myself turning to the part of my body that is giving symptoms and say out loud, “Did you hear that? Did you see that? THIS is my God! You are a puny little nothing compared to my God and you are already defeated.”
The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel that they have to start a list of things to do to be better or to get God to do anything. God has already done all He’s going to do and none of our efforts can add to the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is a gift. Healing is a gift. Any part of Christ’s atonement is a gift. I share what I’ve written today because we need to get bold about grabbing hold of the promises of God. We have been given something tremendous that means the difference between life and death, between living a ho-hum life and really living in the power of a loving God, and the enemy will always try to steal that from us. The things I do, I do because it helps make me more receptive and reminds me of truth when I sometimes don’t feel it. It is not to get God to move or because I need to go to battle against the enemy. The gift has already been given. The enemy has already been defeated. My battle and your battle is to stand in what is already ours, and while that may look different from person to person, we do have to fight to keep what we’ve been given. My challenge to you is to start speaking to your “dry bones” (you know what they are) about the goodness of God and command those dead places to come back to life. I’ve talked about healing but this is true for any other area that God already provided for, too… you have the Word of God to stand on and back you up and it will never, ever let you down.
God is not glorified in death; God is glorified in the resurrection of dead things.
Speak to those dry bones, “COME ALIVE!”
*I didn’t want to pepper up the post with references and make it hard to read but here are a few references for the things I mentioned in this post. There are so many more. The Word of God is incredible!
Story of dry bones – Ezekiel 37
Holy Spirit is better than having Jesus – John 16:7
Holy Spirit’s role in our lives – John 14:15-17, John 14:26, John 16:12-15, Acts 2:38, Romans 8:26, Romans 15:3, Galatians 5:22-23, , 1 Corinthians 6:19, and too many more to type here.
Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly – John 10:10
God wants us to choose life – Dueteronomy 30:19
God wants to us take authority over the enemy – James 4:7, Luke 10:19
God makes a way where we could not see a way – Isaiah 42:16
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible – Matthew 19:26
God restores what was stolen – Psalm 126:5, Joel 2:25
All of God’s promises are “yes” through Jesus and the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God – 2 Corinthians 1:30
We already have victory because of Christ – Galatians 5:1, 2 Peter 2:24, 1 Corinthians 15:57, John 19:30
God isn’t glorified by premature death or sickness; He is glorified in healing – John 11:4, John 9:3, Isaiah 38:18