Summary: Faith is a powerful gift
Why Revival Tarries Series
Revival in a Bone Yard
June 22, 2011
A The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.' Ezek 37:1-2, 4 (NASB)
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise , and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.9 Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.""'10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Ezek 37:7-10 (NASB)
Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity,offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him.5 Where will you be stricken again, as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint.6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil. Isaiah 1:4-6 (NASB)
B Isaiah had seen Israel as a nation full of wounds, sores, disease, which led to death, disintegration, & disjointed bones.
1 Where is the hope, potential, expectations of excellence?
a Impossibility was written all over this situation.
aa Not just dead bodies or mummified remains-bones.
bb Only get drier & more brittle
b What could Ezekiel do? (Nothing...but have faith God would do something). You don’t need faith to do the possible.
aa Faith is powerful-the nuclear bomb of spiritual gifts.
bb Not as flashy as tongues, not sung about as much as love...
cc A little morsel of faith moves the mountains!
c Ezekiel spoke to the valley of dry bones, “Get up!”
aa Didn’t consult a prayer partner, committee, newspaper, see if it fit within the theological constraints of his denomination, look for a consensus.
bb Moved forward in faith!
2 The world isn’t looking for a new definition of the Gospel (package, politically correct, seeker-friendly, seeker-sensitive, Jesus-friendly...)
a The world is bewildered by Jehovah’s Witnesses peddling poison to their door; Christian Scientists who are neither Christian or scientists...
aa Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists-lead the way.
bb Pentecostals: if you don’t do it this way then you’re lost...
b Heard a lot about the Gospel, but have never seen the power of the Gospel demonstrated.
aa The world isn’t waiting for a new definition of the Gospel, but a new demonstration of the power of the Gospel.
bb We’ve got numbers, statistics, doctrine, study courses, Sunday School, capital fund raising, campaigns, organizational charts, by-laws-while church bathes in the sun & rests in the light, hell is filling up!
c We celebrate our history, origins, yesterday’s victories & today’s milestones while the Holy Spirit is looking for one church, one man/woman/student who will tell dead people to “move” today.
C As Ezekiel prophesied over the bones, they began to rattle & stir. So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise , and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Ezek 37:7-8 (NASB)
1 Ezekiel saw, heard a dramatic transformation, progress, but they’re not alive or good for anything...yet.
a Stood: bones, tendons/muscles, skin
aa Progression, recipe, set order
bb Ezekiel didn’t mistake commotion for creation, rattle for revival.
cc Bodies without spirits were not usable (no fight, battle, serve).
b I love it when things get a little “noisy” at church services.
aa Clapping, dancing, lifting hands-all good
bb Resting in the Spirit, laughing, jump...doesn’t bother me
c Just because things get noisy doesn’t mean God is done, finished.
2 As the bodies lay in the valley-as spectacular, extraordinary as it must have been-still just corpses standing.
a I wonder how many Christians, churches, denominations are just corpses standing, zombies, slaves to stiff doctrine & rigid religion.