Can These Bones Live?
Imagine yourself in this scenario:
The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. (Ezekiel 37:1-2)
What would you be thinking? Probably something like: This place is depressing. What a wasteland. If the bones could talk, they would agree, saying, “Our hope is gone; we are cut off.” (v.11)
This scene reminds me of a similar scenario described by the apostle Paul: You were separate from Christ…without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12) Separate. Disconnected. Without hope. Sit here for a moment. Sit in the valley of dry bones. Absorb the profound heaviness of hopelessness. This is the reality of human existence without Christ.
But the Spirit of the LORD is present, proclaiming, “I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life…Then you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:5-6) Only God can bring life to the lifeless. Only God can redeem what seems hopeless.
Notice the first step in this redemptive process: the bones came together. (v.7) What was disconnected, God connected. Are you feeling disconnected? Invite God into your reality. Ask Him to provide connecting points in your life. We are created for community. (Genesis 2:18) God brings people together to function as a body. (1 Corinthians 12) The statements, “I do not belong” and “I don’t need you” have no validity in God’s purview. (1 Corinthians 12:15-16,21) Cooperate with God. Do not isolate. Find community.
The redemptive process continues; bones come together, tendons and flesh appear. But there was no breath in them. (Ezekiel 37:7-8) Please don’t miss this: human community has no true life without the active work of the Spirit of God. We can network and connect ourselves with God-honoring intentions, but without the work of the Spirit, we are left with the “empty way of life” handed down to us by our ancestors. (1 Peter 1:18) Busyness, connectedness, and purpose are not enough. We need the Spirit. Hear the word of the Sovereign LORD: “I will put my Spirit in you (not only individually, but also collectively) and you will live.” (Ezekiel 37:14)
Today you may be asking: “Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Perhaps you find yourself in a desert place. Perhaps you feel disconnected. Perhaps you are connected but are experiencing no life that is truly life. Sit here. Know that God is present. Admit your need. Listen for God’s response. Do what He instructs. And watch God redeem your hopeless situation.
An Overflowing Cup
Many of us are settling back to “normalcy” after an amazing time at Council. My family and I stayed until Monday and I must confess, I was overcome with sadness as I walked through the empty hallways. It would have been easy for me to have felt a sense of loneliness and emptiness. But rather, as I thought of how the Lord spoke to me that week, I could confidently say that my cup had been filled with the Holy Spirit and it was overflowing.
I found a devotional, “My Cup Is Running Over,” by Will Pounds; it is a great reminder of what it means to have one’s cup full and overflowing.
“God’s desire is that we be continually under the control of His Spirit. John 7:37-38 says, ‘If any man is thirsty, let Him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures said, from the innermost being shall flow rivers of living waters.‘ ”
Yes! Rivers! Not just a sprinkle once in awhile, but when I think of rivers, I picture nonstop water gushing within me. Just like with the Samaritan woman, who was a slave to sin, Jesus is ready to give us running waters, “a well of water springing into eternal life.” (John 4:14)
Will Pounds continues, “again, living water that is always bubbling up, always fresh and gushing up with energy. God puts the well within us. The well springs up, and it goes on springing up within into everlasting life. God has made every provision for the believer to live a life that overflows with God’s grace. I do not have to wait until I get to heaven to experience God’s overflowing grace in this present life. My cup can keep on running over because God keeps on giving.”
Eventually, our cups will need to be refilled; this is necessary. We must be willing to empty ourselves of everything that will not allow the Spirit’s working in our lives. It is then, by His grace, He will refill us with His Spirit until our cups run over. And with our cups overflowing there is no limit as to what God can do with and through us. I am certain that as we keep on receiving the fullness of God, “He (will be) able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond all that (we) ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
Article submitted by Ana Cuevas
GCW NET Member-at-Large