Lesson 13 -- fourth quarter 1996
November 24, 1996
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
You should see all the bones around me!
Sometimes I feel just like a collection of bones.
"My church setting is one field full of dry bones. Apathetic, cold, materialistic, contentious, ingrown, frivolous--I doubt you ever saw anything so antithetical to living, vibrant, reproductive Christianity! We don't even look like a body; we are just an assortment of bones scattered around, getting in people's way and frightening people away from the Gospel. Will God send us an Ezekiel?"
This does not at all resemble my present church setting. But just this summer I spent a week in a congregation that reminds me of this. How my heart ached for those poor bones! How I wished I could be their Ezekiel. In the brief time I was there I attempted to call the breath of the Living God upon them. I tried to challenge them to turn again to the Prince of Life.
So much for them and me. What about you? Perhaps you feel like your lot has become that of strolling aimlessly through a Christian wrecking yard, becoming increasingly depressed and forlorn as you view the disarray of bones. Then quit strolling--you're not here as a casual tourist! Quit being so aimless--God has you here at this time for a specific purpose! Skip the depression--the Mighty Sovereign One is not cast down! Forget being forlorn--the Creator Shepherd is still among His people! And stop focusing on the bones--look unto Jesus! Did it ever occur to you that God might want to use you as He used Ezekiel?!
I do not mean to be unrealistic, nor do I mean to be overly idealistic. And I for sure don't want to pump your heart full of air. But I do want you to remember that God uses plain, ole, ordinary people like you (no offense intended, of course). If you are not out there as part of the bone collection, then you could be(come) Ezekiel material in God's hands.
So let someone else do the strolling, and you get on with the patrolling. Lift up a standard against the enemy. Keep that shield of faith ready to protect yourself and the fallen. And go on the offensive with the Word of God and prayer.
Prayer. Oh yes, prayer. If you have become so consumed by the boneyard in which you live that you have neglected or abandoned prayer, then God will have to look elsewhere for Ezekiel material. And you might discover that you are the latest addition to the bone pile.
"Some people talk about having a skeleton in their closet. That's bad enough, I'm sure, but I'm telling you, I am the skeleton in my closet! And that sounds even better than it is; at least a skeleton is still connected, in one piece! I feel so disconnected, dry and without a whiff of the breath of life in me anymore. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever was anything other than a few bleached bones blasted into bits."
Sometimes, perhaps many times, we feel like we need an Ezekiel to come prophesy upon us. We need the Lord to put His Spirit in us so that we may live (Ezekiel 37:14). In our day, does God want nothing more of us than to be available dry bones? No! I do not at all think passivity is what He has in mind for us. "I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word" (Psalm 119:16). "So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name" (Psalm 80:18).
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