Summary: God desires to speak into our life and call out "An Exceedingly Great Army"
An Exceedingly Great Army (11th Anniversary at BAC)
It’s that time of year again ... the time that strikes fear into the heart of every high school student from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. It’s EXAM time. As I was thinking about this last week, my mind raced back to my most dreaded exam ... I think it was grade 10 Biology.
Now it wasn’t the dissection of various types of worms, frogs and sundry living things that bothered me, it was remembering how to label all the diagrams and the incredible memorization of all the lists. One of the lists we had to memorize was called, “The Characteristics of Life”. Let me give you five of them:
• All living things have order and can not live in and of them self
• All living things must acquire energy ... or more simply, they must eat
• All living things respond to their environment while maintaining the integrity of the original cell
o This is known as HOMOSTASIS
• All living things grow and develop
• All living things reproduce
Now, correct me if I’m wrong ... I don’t think that Jesus suffered and died so that we at Bradford Alliance Church might become a really cool company ... an organization that has great books and records and a first rate building on the south-east corner of Bradford. As much as these things are good, it is not what the Church has been called to be. Unfortunately, that’s what many churches have become ... a building and some rules. Any wonder people say that church is boring, dead and dry?
• I believe that God has ordained His Church to be alive ... to be a LIVING ORGANISM. Do you agree? Then just perhaps, these “Characteristics of Life” should be found in the Church and in her members. Today, as we look towards our 11th Anniversary, do we find ourselves being more about “DOING” churchy things than “BEING” a living, breathing “ORGANISM” ... more about a “BUILDING” than about being “An Exceedingly Great Army”.
o I believe God wants to speak to us today ... in fact ... I believe that God wants to prophesy over our dead, dry bones and make in us ... “An Exceedingly Great Army”
But I’m going to ask your permission first ... can I speak into your life today ... can I speak God’s Word into your bones and God’s Spirit onto your flesh so that you can live again?
• Please pray with me right now that God would breath in us life as we look into His Word this morning
Let’s read Ezekiel 37:1-14
Ezekiel was taken by God to a valley … a virtual battlefield … full of bones and God commanded Ezekiel to go into the middle of it …
Notice two (2) things with me:
o There were LOTS and LOTS of bones on the surface of the battlefield (valley)
They were unburied and open to public view
• This was a disgrace ... no self-respecting people would allow the bones of their people to be left out in the open to rot and decay
o The bones were VERY dry
They were in an advanced state of decomposition
• They had been there a LONG time
God Asks the $64,000 Question ... “Can these bones live?”
Is there any hope for all of these dead, disgraced bones?
o The natural answer is no ... there is no hope ... the bones are too far gone!
o But this is not the answer that Ezekiel gives God
Ezekiel says, “Sovereign Lord, only you know.”
• What incredible faith!
o As far as I know, Ezekiel had never seen dead bones come back to life and I don’t think scripture had ever recorded such an event before
Ezekiel placed his faith in the God of the Impossible
The begging question for those of us who feel spiritually tired, even dead is this:
o Can I ever live again? Can I feel the same as I used to feel when I first came to this place ... oops, I mean when I first became a believer.
I want to be like I used to be ... when I would do anything and go anywhere for God
• Is there any hope for me?
o Yes ... God wants to speak to your bones today!
God’s Word is Spoken ... “Dry bones; hear the word of the Lord!”
God commanded Ezekiel to speak to the dry bones
o Now let’s face it ... this is a ridiculous command ... “prophesy over these bones”
What if someone saw Ezekiel speaking to dead bones ... what would they think?
• What if God asked something ridiculous to you ... something that would make you look silly if anyone saw you?