Breath upon the Bones
by Minoli Haththotuwa
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"Breath upon the Bones" - Ezekiel 37:4-10
Then He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
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. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them 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 it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live'." So I prophesied as He commanded me and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army.
We find the prophet Ezekiel where we left him last week - in a valley full of dead bones! God took him there in a supernatural vision, and as he looked around at the sheer dryness and 'deadness' of the hundreds of old bones strewn around the valley, God told him to prophesy to the bones. Ezekiel had previously prophesied to mountains (Ezekiel 6:2, 36:1) and forests (Ezekiel 20:47); now he was to prophesy to the bones and the 'breath'. As Ezekiel obeyed the Word of the Lord, he began to see a mighty miracle take shape before him.
1) When Ezekiel commanded the dry bones to hear the Word of the Lord, he was preparing the spiritual atmosphere to receive the life-giving power of God's Word. He was rendering inoperative the powers that would keep the Word from being effective. These are the same forces that make people feel sleepy and lethargic or unable to concentrate, when the Word of God is being spoken or read. They also blind people to the relevance and application of the Word. These forces can be bound and rendered powerless to hinder the Word taking root and being fruitful. We can command places and situations to submit to the Word of the Lord.
2) Ezekiel spoke the Word of the Lord as it was given to him. Too many people today water down the Word of God to make it acceptable to their hearers. Political correctness can go too far when it results in presenting the partial truth or even an outright lie! God's Word (not man's word!) will not return to Him void but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
As Ezekiel spoke each Word as God directed him, things began to happen in the valley of death. Each word entered the atmosphere and became a vibrating force of life and power, impacting the dry bones and raising them from death. Ezekiel was probably amazed, watching it all happen in slow motion, as he spoke the Words of the Lord upon the bones.
3) God said that 'breath' would enter the bones. This is the moving of the Holy Spirit (Pneuma in Greek). Nothing can come to life apart from the moving of the blessed Holy Spirit, the power of Creation. The book of Genesis shows us how God spoke and the Spirit brought His Word to fulfilment as the world was created. Ezekiel prophesied "I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." We cannot see our family and friends come to new life in Jesus until the breath of God comes upon them. As we pray for the moving of the Holy Spirit upon the lives and minds of people, He will begin a softening work upon them, and we will see them receive new life! We can do the same with every difficult and seemingly unchanging circumstance that we face - command it to be receptive to the Word of God, and speak the breath of God upon it. Miracles from God can only happen when the Holy Spirit moves.
4) Ezekiel specified each stage of the miracle that had to come to pass - first tendons and flesh being attached to the bones, then a covering of skin. The Holy Spirit made all this happen as he spoke it. He heard rattling sounds as the matching bones miraculously found each other and came together, and then the tendons, flesh and skin made the picture complete. Now he was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of human bodies recreated by the breath of God coming upon them, but they were still lying down. He had said "I will put breath in you and you will come to life". The miracle had been happening because of the Holy Spirit bringing the spoken Word to pass upon a valley full of death and dryness. But there was still a long way to go. The bones were not dry and dead any more - they were human bodies. But they still had to stand up and become a mighty army. God touches us by His sweet Spirit and brings us to a new birth in Him, but there is still work to be done. Even Adam was created but did not stand up to be Adam until God breathed life into him. As we yield to the Holy Spirit and surrender our 'deadness' and dryness to Him, His breath comes upon us and brings us to the fullness of our potential - effective and fruitful in the callings He has for us, as individuals and as His Body upon the earth.
5) Ezekiel prophesied the breath of God would come from every direction (with the force of the winds from the North, South, East and West), and the Holy Spirit began to move upon the dormant bodies lying on the floor of the valley. They came to life and stood up on their feet - they were a vast army. A formidable and powerful people ready for battle!
Precious people, this Word from God can be applied to any situation in our life. It shows us the reality of the Holy Spirit working with the spoken Word to transform the most hopeless situation into a radical miracle. However, I feel the Holy Spirit longing to minister to many followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who have lost their first love, and the fire and zeal in which they once walked. Complacency sets in when we do not seek the Breath upon our lives from day to day. Suddenly you find yourself in a state of dryness - bones scattered in a valley with no signs of life and fruitfulness. I prophesy the Word of the Lord over you today:"I will put breath in you and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord." God desires to reveal Himself afresh to you. He wants to show you He is with you and He is Lord! When we begin to see the supernatural bursting forth in our daily lives, we cannot help but acknowledge that surely, Jesus is Lord! If He can bring those dead bones to life, He can surely heal the sickness you are battling with. He is more than able to heal your marriage or deliver your child. He can bring a breakthrough into your financial difficulties and peace into your home. As you surrender to His Breath and invite the Holy Spirit to bring life to your heart, ministry and walk with God, He will come upon you and raise you to life - a mighty force to be reckoned with! An instrument in the hands of the Almighty. Hallelujah! May the Word of the Lord be fulfilled in you today. Stand up and walk into all the power and blessing God has for you. Take your place and your calling. You are a part of His vast army!
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