“The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones….So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.” (Ezekiel 37 v1, 10)
There’s a bit of a difference in how we as mankind see things, and how God sees things. When confronted with a pile of bones I don’t think too many of us would see the potential for a great army. Yet that’s exactly what God sees. The potential for a massive army, out of baron, dead bones.
I’m sure you can identify with the bones to some degree. Maybe you feel dead like the bones. Maybe you can see “dead bones” in the world around you – perhaps in your church, or your youth group. Dead bones can be many things – potential being wasted, opportunities being missed, people sitting back and not getting active. But where we see only bones, God sees the potential for an army.
So the question arises, how can we move from bones to an army? A vital clue comes in verse 10 of Ezekiel 37, when Ezekiel ‘spoke …as he [God] commanded me’. If we want to move from being surrounded by dry dead bones to being surrounded by an army that will go out to advance the Kingdom, we need to spend time listening to God, and then telling others what we have heard. Don’t keep it to yourself. Odds are that if God is trying to tell you something you won’t be the only person that needs to hear it. So often we think the only people we need to share God’s word with are non-Christians. But so often fellow Christians can be just as needy of a wee reminder of God’s word to reignite their passion. But who will provide it? Who will speak to them, causing the dry bones to be transformed by the power of God into a mighty army that will claim this generation for Christ?
Maybe reading this you feel that there is no way God could use you. You are too dry. Your “bones” are too dead. You feel inadequate, not up for the task. But remember Moses couldn’t speak well. Rahab was a prostitute. Peter denied Jesus. Timothy was young. Balaam’s donkey was a dumb animal. Jonah heard from God and promptly went the completely opposite direction. Abraham felt he was too old to have a child. Thomas had doubts. David had an affair. Yet all were used by God. God can use anyone, regardless of their ‘inadequacies’.
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-28
You see bones. God sees an army.