A man is said to have attended the devil's auction and was taken around to see the different gadgets that were up on sale. There was the one for adultery, the one for fornication, for anger, for lust, for unforgiveness all going for a tidy sum. But the most precious and most expensive was revealed; this one the enemy proudly held up as his greatest gadget- DISCOURAGEMENT.
Have you ever lost hope and felt as if all your troubles have mounted on you? Then the enemy has used this gadget on you. Job himself became so hopeless that he felt that surely a tree had more hope than him. He says in 14:7-10, 'At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoot will not fail, its roots may grow old in the ground and its stumps die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. But man dies and is laid low, he breathes his last and is no more'.
But there should be no giving up for those of us who know the Lord! For we are privy to the knowledge that it can never be over until God says it's over!
The name Ezekiel means 'God will strengthen'. His very name was about hope. Yet in Ezekiel 37 we see God taking him to a valley of dry bones at the height of his own depression and discouragement. There he encounters what was left of a people that had been slain a long time ago and on whom scavengers and the hot sun had had their fill. In 37:11 the Lord explains, 'Son of man, these are the bones of the house of Israel. They say, "Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off".
God is the controller of our lives, the master of our destinies. Before He is through with us, He will restore us every time we are in trouble. He will heal us and keep us for His own name's sake. In 1Kings 17:17 we see the widow of Zarephath's son restored to life, through the intercession of Elijah, after she had completely lost hope. It is only after this that she is able to say, 'Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth'. In 2Kings 4 we see the restoration to life of the Shunammite's son through the intervention of Elisha.
Where are you coming from? About what have you lost hope?
After many years of suffering from disease, being in an unhappy marriage or being hooked to drugs or alcohol, are you now yoked to defeat?
Had you seen Ezekiel in 37:4-10 prophesy to the bones, you would have wondered about his sanity. But God's ways are not our ways. When He comes to you with a solution, just do as He directs. Christ healed people in different ways. Some he commanded to restoration, others he held out his hand to, others he made a ball of mud and asked that they may wash off in a certain river, yet, others only had to touch his gown and be healed. In the case of Ezekiel, God ordered that he may speak to the bones. God would have brought to life all those bones by His very will, but He asked Ezekiel to prophesy in speech in order for the miracle of life to occur. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.
Ezekiel spoke to the bones; he had to tell them that they would come to life. You too can tell your cancerous cells the same. Tell your HIV that the blood of the lamb is more than able to cleanse your contaminated one. Tell your marriage that it will survive no matter what because God started this institution at the Garden of Eden. Tell yourself that your drug addiction is nothing to our Lord-that in an instant of speaking a word, it can leave you. Tell your addiction to pornography that it has no place in your life, nor in your thoughts for you are the living temple of our Lord. Tell your hopeless situation that you shall overcome!
Ezekiel 37:7: 'So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound and the bones came together, bone to bone'. God ensured that every rightful bone found the other bones from which it had previously been enjoined. The rattling sound of excitement as bones found their mates will resonate in your life as well when God restores you; when your cancerous cells are rejuvenated, when the damage of disease leaves you; when the love that you once shared with your spouse is rekindled; when your mind is clear enough to know that that which belongs to God should not be defiled with drugs or pornography. And when what seems like a desperate, fruitless situation suddenly begins to bear fruit.
But do not apologize over it, be timid about it or doubt it because when you speak life into your situation, it is not your words you are using, it is God's Word.
God's Word is specific. His healing is personal. Some He sent to rivers like Naaman, to others He spoke over. To Jan Crouch, the wife of the founder of TBN who was healed of cancer over ten years ago, He prompted her to have Holy Communion in her garden for many days; then one day, He thanked her for accepting His healing. What is God saying to you in particular?
You may hear the Word and not understand it. It may be that He wants you to go into a certain ministry from where He will sort you out. Maybe He is just waiting for you to break the yoke of sin so that He can finally heal you. What is God telling you?
You must do His bidding. When Ezekiel did God's bidding for a third time without question, the bones came to life. What would have happened if he had stopped after the first or second command? Some of us heard God for the first time and rushed off all excited without waiting to hear Him the second and third time. Are we really attentive to His voice? If you want to see God's miracles in your life and be there to see them come to completion, then you have to be patient. Ezekiel 37:9-God asks Ezekiel to now prophesy to the breath, '.Come from the four winds O breath and breathe into these slain that they may live'.
Maybe it is time for you too to speak to the winds about your situation.
The breath of life distinguishes us from all other life forms, it is the work of God especially for us. Maybe we responded and our bones came together. Maybe our cancer went into remission; maybe we stopped the addictions for a while. Maybe we submitted to our husbands for a while or loved our wives again on Valentine's day, but we failed to await the breath of life. We failed to pray and listen to more instructions that would dispel the devil's wiles once and for all.
Psalms 33:6, and 9 say 'By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth. For He spoke and it came to be; He commanded and it stood firm'. By the Word, things come to be.
But light and sight are not synonymous. The Pharisees looked straight at the Light of the world for three years but saw nothing. Only the Spirit of God can give us sight and if the inner person's light has not been touched then it will remain dead. We need the special anointing of God that destroys the yoke. Isaiah 10:27 says, 'In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat'.
Maybe you are yoked to your past, to the words that were spoken to you, that you will never amount to anything. Maybe you are yoked to your disease and think that what the doctors have told you shall be-that it will sure kill you. Maybe you are yoked to what the world is telling you: that you will never make it. What are you yoked to? When the prophecy to the wind is declared, your yoke shall be broken.
God wants us to worship Him unashamedly. What does it matter if they look down on you? What does it matter that they await your death? What does it matter that they think that your marriage is over? What does it matter that they do not believe you when you say that your addictive cravings are gone? What does it matter what the devil is now whispering about your past? You have heard from the Lord and you have received His Word. Your sight has been restored and you can now see clearly. You have heard Him before. You know the reconstructed bones now need the breath of life. You know it is over! You know it is time!
Oh for a fresh anointing! Oh for a heavenly flame! Oh for the light that never goes off! Oh for sight that never fizzles out!
In Ezekiel 37:11-14 the Lord talks to him, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, "Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off". Therefore prophesy to them and say to them: 'this is what the sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken and I have done it, declares the LORD'.
May God give us the sight that sees His light through Jesus Christ and sets us free from the yokes that we have been carrying. Amen.
May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.