EZEKIEL 37:4-6: “Then the LORD told me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them: ‘You dry bones, listen to the message from the LORD: “(5) This is what the Lord GOD says to you dry bones! ‘Pay attention! I’m bringing my Spirit into you right now, and you’re going to live! (6) I’m going to grow tendons on you, regenerate your flesh, cover you with skin, and make you breathe again so that you can come back to life and learn that I am the LORD.’” (ISV)
OBSERVATION: Will my dreams ever come true? This is a question I am wrestling with as I read these verses. When I speak of dreams, I am not referring to my own desires, but the dreams and visions that the Lord has spoken into my life. Many times they seem out of reach – like a valley of dry bones.
This vision of Ezekiel is a wonderful reminder of what role I play in the fulfillment of God’s plans for my life. God brings a prophetic word or promise to my life, but then what? This is where the challenge begins, and where I can learn a very important lesson from the valley of dry bones.
The valley of dry bones represented the nation of Israel, and God’s promise of her restoration. However, the valley of dry bones can also speak to us of the disappointment of our unfulfilled visions and dreams from the Lord. We know that God has spoken to us, but when we look out over our life it seems like a valley of dry, disconnected bones. How will our visions and dreams come to life?
The common mistake I have made is to begin to try connecting the dry bones myself. In other words, since God is not doing things on my timetable, I will give Him some help. Have you ever made that mistake? I have learned that when I try to do God’s work, it never ends up very well. I may have some moderate success in connecting some of the bones, but it never produces the life that I am hoping for. So what do I do?
I need to acknowledge the valley of dry bones. I need to realize that I can never fulfill God’s vision and purpose for my life in my own strength. I need the power of the Holy Spirit! But there is something I can do. I can prophesy to these bones! I can speak the word and promises of God that He has given to me over these dreams and visions. This is affirming what God has said, and trusting God to bring it to pass. This is what Ezekiel did!
- “So I prophesied, just as I had been ordered to do so. Immediately there was a noise and a rattling—and then all of a sudden the bones came together by themselves! Each bone came together, all of them attached together!” (Ezekiel 37:7, ISV)
When I first came to Weatherford, Texas in 2003, God spoke some wonderful promises into my heart. I came to preach to a church that had closed, and was told there might be a remnant that would gather together for a restart. The Sunday I came to preach there was 1 person in attendance. Yet, during that service, the Lord began to give me a vision of a vibrant and growing church. I saw the dry bones, but God saw a living church. He called my family to pioneer this work, and for years all I could do was prophesy to the dry bones.
Then something wonderful began to happen. God began to knit a small handful of people together and He gave us a common vision and dream for what is now called The Fellowship at Weatherford. He brought new life into our hearts, and renewed our vision whenever it seemed to dim. Today, The Fellowship is a growing and vibrant family of faith that is reaching out to our community with the love of Jesus Christ in many different ways. People are engaged in ministry, filled with love and caring for each other, and have a vision for the lost in both our community and our world.
It did not come in my timing. There were moments when I grew discouraged and wondered if God’s promise was ever going to come true. Yet, the word that He gave me in 2003 was His promise, and He has watched over it to bring it to pass. He will do the same for you! Our job is to trust in the Lord, and prophesy (proclaim) His promises. His job is to bring it to life!
Lord, there are still many valleys in my life that have yet to come to life. Yet, this morning I choose to prophesy to these dry bones and trust You to bring them to life! You are always faithful, and you will always fulfill Your promise – in Your timing!
Dry bones – live!
In Jesus Name!