In your walk with the Lord, have you ever felt like you were in a dry place? You know the great Sahara desert of the spirit when you feel like you just chewed up a whole box of saltines and now someone asked you to whistle Dixie? A fish out of water and not a rain drop in sight?
I have. Many times in fact. Sometimes I am not surprised because I am the one who drained the pool and hauled in all the sand. Other times it comes on me unawares and I wake up one day, or go to bed and realize that I haven’t felt the presence of the Lord, or that my heart is just sort of numb. I have learned that my human nature during these times is to back away (in fact that may have been what started the dry season to begin with), to stop reading my bible, to just go through the motions and do my bare bones religious duty. The problem with that is God doesn’t want religion, He wants a relationship.
So, whatever the cause of the wilderness walk, we have to keep on walking and we have to press in. That’s the most important time to read The Word, and to pay attention in Church, to sing some worship songs, and praise the Lord. Sometimes it’s a “sacrifice”. We are doing something we don’t feel like doing, because we love Him, and He deserves it no matter what we feel like.
Hebrews 13:15 (KJB), “By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Parenthesis added.
Whenever I am in that dry place, I often think of the passage in Ezekiel, when the Spirit takes the prophet to the valley of dry bones. Many battles had taken place there and there were many whitewashed bones that had been food for wild beasts and left drying in the weather. God asks Ezekiel if those bones could live. He, being the smart man that he was realizes this is a trick question. In the natural, of course they couldn’t live again. There wasn’t a live cell left in these bones. However, he also knew that all things were possible with God. So he turns it back to the Lord. Let’s take a look at this passage.
Ezekiel 37:1-10 (NIV), “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. 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. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’ 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. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 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.”’” 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.”
How did those bones come to life?
God told the prophet to prophesy to the bones. We are all called to prophecy. Paul was very clear about that. (I Corinthians 14:5). When we are feeling like bare bones, speak life back into those dry bones. Call on the breath of God. Spend time in your heavenly prayer language (tongues) and allow the Spirit to build you up, and recharge your battery. We all get dry, it isn’t a sin, and it doesn’t surprise God.
Just don’t back away. Don’t allow yourself to think that your desert experience is forever. Don’t allow rebellion, grumbling and complaining, or complacency to come into your life, take a look at those that died in the dessert in Exodus if you want to see how that pans out. We all have to go through some wilderness experiences, we just don’t have to set up camp, don’t build your house there. Pass through in the strength of the Lord. Ask God to send you rain, to give you an oasis in the middle of the desert. To make the dry places a spring of life. Seek Him.
God can raise an army out of dry bones. What can He do with a live one?!