Summary: We can’t command the Holy Spirit to use His mighty power and we can’t direct where He should use His great influence, but we can make use of Him, because even though we are unable to save anyone, we can turn to God and lay hold of His power.
Stand Up, You Dry Bones
TEXT:Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. (Ezekiel 37:9)
To be read before Sermon: Ezekiel 37:1-10
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.-Ezek 37:1-10 (KJV)
There are many interpretations for the scripture which I just read, but for my purpose today, I want to use these verses to give you an explanation of how lost men and women are saved, and brought to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
But first, I want to say, WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I believe that there may be some here who carry a heavy burden for a child or grandchild who is without Christ or perhaps they are saved, but not living as a Christian should.
I confess that I have children and grandchildren who may be lost.
Maybe, you have come to realize as I have, that despite all your efforts to bring them to faith in Christ that the fact is, it is impossible for you to do it.
We can, with God’s help, tell them about Jesus, but that doesn’t save them.
At times it seems like we are talking to dry bones, or to the wind.
But we are not afraid to appear foolish to them, because we know that, when, "the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
But when we tell them about Jesus and the love of God, and as a result we expect them to be saved, and to give us evidence of their salvation, we are stopped, because it just doesn’t happen.
They are still in darkness, even though we feel a great burden for them to receive the light that brings salvation.
We cannot make them believe.
There are a great many things that we can do, but as far as birthing a new Christian, we are unable to enter into the realm of miracles, where the Lord Jesus Christ reigns supreme.
It is God’s prerogative to give life and to take it away.
We know from experience, that apart from the Spirit of God, we can do nothing.
If the Holy Spirit doesn’t come and drive home the Word of God in the heart, we might as well save our breath.
But how should the fact that we are powerless affect us?
Should we just fold our arms and give up?
We can’t do that, because it’s our heart’s desire to see them saved.
We cannot set still.
We can’t command the Holy Spirit to use His mighty power and we can’t direct where He should use His great influence, but we can make use of Him, because even though we are unable to save anyone, we can turn to God and lay hold of His power.
Then, what should we do?
We have come face-to-face with a loved one who is spiritually dead, and we are helpless to do anything about it.
And we know that only the Holy Spirit can bring life to dead souls, so what should we do?