And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. We know that. We see it in our lives sometimes more often than we care to count. But once our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and they are, there is always hope.
Recently, while reading my bible during my morning devotion, I reached the chapter in Ezekiel that speaks about the valley of dry bones. I was excited to read about it again even though I have heard this story preached enough times. I perused it this morning again and I noticed a few things. The Spirit of the Lord set Ezekiel down in the “middle” of the valley and it was “full” of bones.
How many times are we in situations where we feel “overwhelmed”? All around us there seems to be “dry bones”. Everything seems to speak of hopelessness and despair. We know what the Word of God says yet we can’t seem to find our way out of this valley of despair. We pray, we praise, we speak to others hoping to get a breakthrough but … nothing. Maybe that’s how the situation seemed to Ezekiel. He was placed after all in the “middle” of this valley, not on the outskirts of it where there would be an easy escape but in the MIDDLE of it. No matter where he turned there were dry bones and as he put it: “and indeed they were very dry” (v 2b). That sounds to me like not only was the life sucked out of them but that there was no chance of any life getting back into them! And that’s exactly how we feel sometimes when we face some hopeless situations – it sucks from us the desire to try, it sucks from us the will to keep believing for something better.
And then the Spirit of the Lord asks the unbelievable question: “Son of man, can these bones live?” Now hold up! Any one of us might have answered: “Now seriously God, you really want me to answer that??!!” Anyone can see that this is hopeless!” And usually this may be the time when the devil steps in and starts whispering or even shouting in your ear: “Why waste your time and energy? The marriage is over, the relationship is done, you’ve lost your chance to make your dream a reality!” Any number of negative thoughts would usually bombard our minds at this point, trying to convince us of the obvious – Give up! Give in! It’s over! … But God!!!!
And then God gives Ezekiel a simple instruction. He says: “Prophesy to these bones…” (v 4) Now you’ve just spent most if not all of your time and energy speaking the obvious; saying what your natural eyes and your lack of faith have been seeing, not to mention what the devil has been prompting you to say. After all, you’re speaking the truth right? Wrong! You’ve been speaking fact NOT truth. The fact is what your natural eyes and senses experience, the truth is what God says about it! God knew the truth and He pushed Ezekiel to SPEAK the truth based on what He God had purposed NOT on what Ezekiel’s eyes were seeing! “So I prophesied as He commanded me…” (v 10) When Ezekiel obeyed God and spoke what God told him to speak the situation changed.
What is God telling you to speak over your situation today? Maybe you need to ask Him what He wants you to say instead of being prompted by what you are seeing, experiencing and yes, feeling. Yes, the situation is real but God still has the final say. So let God help you speak what He says and I’m sure you will see the difference!
A few Saturdays ago I went to a women’s prayer breakfast. One of the worship songs that caught my attention was “Heart of Worship”. It speaks about worship being more than just a song we sing.
As I thought about it, various things came to my mind. I know worship isn’t really just about a song or music, it’s so much more. We can so easily get caught up in a melody, in the musical arrangement of a song. Our emotions may soar high and we may even feel as if we are in the very throne room of God. But what usually happens when the song ends, when the “praise and worship” session in church ends? We go back home and the problem that we left is still there. The stress is still there, the frustration is still there, the hurt is still there. We may feel temporary relief but it’s all still there. What about unforgiveness and anger? Those feelings may seem to go temporarily during the singing, but they are still there.
I was reminded at that moment as I sang that song that my true act of worship to God was not how I lifted my hands and worshiped God; it wasn’t how heartily I sang the songs at that time. My true worship was indeed how I conducted myself in my daily life. It was and is the times I choose to love someone who is difficult to love; it’s the times I choose to forgive when it doesn’t seem fair; it’s the times I choose to give sacrificially my time or finances to some worthy venture. It’s the times when I choose to obey God when He gives me some specific task or command that may be difficult to follow.
Yes, my true worship to God is what I DO in my everyday life that brings honour and glory to Him – even when it is difficult to do so. It’s saying: “God I will obey you because I love You. I will forgive, I will love, I will help that person who doesn’t deserve it, I will carry out that task that seems so difficult, JUST BECAUSE ‘I love You’.” And when our obedience to God is hinged on our love for Him, that’s our true act of worship. Our singing, therefore, is simply an extension of what we are already DOING! We can now truly honour God because we are seeing how He is enabling us to obey Him, enabling us to do the right thing and we are seeing the blessings that follow just because of our obedience to Him. As I like to say it these days: "God I’m doing this YOUR way.”
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.