(I wrote a whole 'thank you' message on the overall blog post page, & I still feel the need to say it here. Church Decoded has been viewed over 4,000 times! I started this blog 4 months ago. I just want to say thank you to each supporter, whether you come back every week or read 8 at a time, for how you have helped to share my life, and more importantly, His story. YOU'RE SO AMAZING! Ok, let's keep it moving...you came here for a reason...)
So anybody who’s been in church for a while knows the story of Ezekiel & the dry bones in the valley. To ensure we’re on the same page, I’m going to give you the Valencia version & suggest that you head to Ezekiel 37 for the full story (because I shall not give thou the Kingeth Jameth version..eth lol). So God brings Ezekiel to this valley full of dead, dry bones (because that’s normal, right? lol) Then, God starts talking to Ezekiel & He’s like “Sooooo Ezekiel, can these bones live?” Ezekiel responds & says “Well if anybody knew, it’d be You, God.” God responds to Ezekiel & says “Prophesy to the bones & tell them that I said it’s time to live” Ezekiel prophesies to the bones & they came together…and made bodies…that weren't breathing (HOW WEIRD IS THAT?!). Then God speaks to Ezekiel again, & has him speak life into the breathless bodies…and they began to live (made an entire army). God then tells Ezekiel that these bones represent Israel, because they had lost their hope & felt separated. He then told Ezekiel that He would breathe life back into His people, & that once He restored Him, they would know that He said it…and He did it.
Now, I’ve heard this story plenty of times in church & I've heard of some amazing illustrations. But today, I don’t want to focus on the fact that the bones came to life, but how they were restored. My take is a little different, so stick with me, & we’ll go somewhere good, k?….k..
Let’s first take a quick second & acknowledge the fact that God can, and will, set you in a dry place. Many times, we take the sight of death to indicate an absence of God in our lives, but that is not always true. God brought Ezekiel to a dry place where he was surrounded by dry bones. Bones that have been there for a good minute, because they were very dry. Have you ever felt like that? Has it ever seemed like everything around you was just…dead? Or in complete shambles? God will put you in dry places to increase your desire for Him. He’ll put you in a dry place to show you that your plans can only do so much and will only take you so far. He’ll also put you in a dry place to test your faith (oh look at that! Today’s topic lol).
The most amazing about this entire encounter to me is not that the bones came back to life. It’s how they came back to life. It’s not like God asked Ezekiel ‘can these bones live?’ & Ezekiel said ‘well of course! You’re the lily in the valley! The bright & morning star! You’re all powerful! You are the ultimate restorer!’, etc. and went into deep worship while God put the bones together. Here, God had Ezekiel speak to the bones. He told Ezekiel what to say, & had Ezekiel speak to the bones that they would live. Could that be the issue with our faith? Could the continued death, the continued stagnation be a result of us having the entire process twisted? Could the issue be that God asks us if the dead bones in our lives can live, and we say yes, & go into a frenzy at church because we turned & told our neighbors that our dead bones will live!!!….and never spoke to them for ourselves?
It seems to me that we rarely consider (or apply) the aspect of the story that Ezekiel spoke to the bones. We instead, shout in front of our bones. We dance, and sing, and go into worship in front of our bones….but we never speak. We leave church on Sunday…and essentially wait on God to do a talent show. We figure that we don’t need to speak because God already spoke to them at church! If He said it, I believe it! But it’s imperative that we recognize that He spoke in Ezekiel chapter 37 too, yet the bones didn’t move until Ezekiel said something himself. Now, I’m not against giving God praise, & I’m a worshipper at my core, but if that is all that I do…I’ve only done half of my job. God has given you the power to speak to the dead bones in your life. Your bones are not waiting to hear from God, they’ve already heard from God…they’re waiting to hear from you. Could it be possible that God has orchestrated it so that they don’t move until you speak? Is it foolish to think that the lesson in this season is to teach (or to remind) you about the power that He’s placed in you?
Where’s your faith, boo? Speak up and say something. For the sake of your family, speak up & say something. For the sake of your future, speak up & say something. For the sake of your destiny, and your purpose, and every person that needs to see God work through you, speak….up…and say…something. Those dry bones that surround you are not waiting to hear from God; they’re waiting to hear from you. If you don’t speak to your bones, how do you expect them to live?
Faith is not a talent show. It’s not just you telling God that you trust Him. You’ve got to put some work into it. For faith without works will forever be dead. Sometimes, that work is simply....acting on what you declared in faith. It's making your actions line up with your words. Also, when you do speak to the dead situations in your life…you’ve got to believe what you say. 2 Cor. 4:13 says “I believed and therefore I spoke.” So it’s got to be set in your heart & mind if you really want this to happen. You will remain in a desert, and in a dry place looking at dry bones, until you speak to those dry bones, and command them to live.
Another interesting part of this story that I don’t remember hearing about growing up is that…there bones came together, got covered in flesh and skin….and had no breath in them. To me, it can symbolize the fact that the turn arounds in our lives don’t always happen as quickly as the spins we do on Sunday mornings. Sometimes, life turns in your favor in stages. This is why you have to learn to be content with whatever you have in this moment. I’m gonna talk to y’all like I have to talk to myself when I get too caught up what is (or what’s not) around me: stop crying over what you lost. I once heard that God will not bless you from what you lost, but that He’ll bless you from what you have left. So find the value in what you have left, and watch God use what appears to be a mess...as the foundation for your miracle.
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!