Many of us are going through a difficult season personally, as a church, and on a global level – things seem to be going crazy don’t they? If I was sitting across a table having a coffee with you I’d say, “Don’t give up – dream again”. What is there to give up to anyway? I don’t think giving up is an option really, not for the beautiful Church of Jesus.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are never without hope and we have been equipped to face the challenges that God promises are never more than we can bear. I prayed a prayer from Ephesians over our church a few weeks ago; a prayer Paul prayed over the early church that is still as powerful and relevant today as it was then. I also pray this over you today…
I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!
I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you!
— Eph 1:18-19 (TPT)
How amazing is the thought that God will flood us with light! In a season where there is much challenge, loss, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, isolation, fatigue, loneliness, pain, numbness, deferred hope, anger, doubt, and deep disappointment, I urge you not to give up. We are going to dream again! Maybe you have given up on your dream or maybe you don’t even have a dream. But I am encouraging all of us – myself included – to dream again with the light of God that illuminates our hearts. As a church family we need to anchor our faith on the things that do not change — God, His Word, and His covenant with us.
Israel had wandered far from God and given up their faith – they had lost all hope. Have you ever felt like that? I know I have. But it was during this time that God raised up Ezekiel to lead God’s people from captivity to freedom. In Ezekiel 37, his vision of the valley of dry bones resembled the aftermath of a great battle. The dry bones covered the valley floor and were “completely dried out”, representing death and disgrace. When God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live again?”, Ezekiel replied, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know”. Then God instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones that God would breathe on them, making them live again. And suddenly as he spoke, a great rattling noise filled the valley as the bones came together, first as skeletons and finally to living humans standing on their feet as a great army. What an incredible image! The power to bring life out of death is only found in God’s sovereignty.
Maybe your business has failed, your children are zafar from God, or you have experienced devastating loss. Do you believe that your dead and disgraced situation can be revived to life? I believe it with all my heart and declare that dead things shall come back to life for you in Jesus’ name! Remember, when Jesus hung dead on the cross, it seemed all hope was lost – but three days later what happened? Jesus was resurrected from the dead – an impossible situation! Jesus declared, “What is impossible for man is possible with God.”
The Bible is filled with stories of impossible things becoming possible, and this can be your story too. The key is to put your trust in the sovereignty of God, not in your own strength. Like Ezekiel, as we look to the future, God wants to remind us there is:
If something looks dead or impossible, prophesy the Word of the Lord over it. God’s Word is alive and powerful, transformative, and creative (Heb 4:12) and when we pay attention to it and receive revelation from it, we find life and healing (Prv 4:22). Get your promise from God and speak it over your situation.
The same breath of God that breathed life into those bones was the breath that breathed life into Adam. His breath is the life of His Word. When everyone thought Jesus was dead in the grave, an angel announced, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Lk 24:5). We serve a risen Saviour whose resurrection life is available to us.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. — Romans 8:11 (NLT)
God restores us from the inside out. In the valley of the shadow of death, He restores our soul (Ps 23:3). We need God’s restoring power every day; that means recognising and accepting our dependency on God and allowing His power to refine us through the ‘fire’.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will cause us to rise to our feet as “an exceedingly great army” for the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Christ. In Jesus we are never without hope and so we can confidently declare that our best days are ahead. Do you believe it?
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. — Jer 29:11 (NLT)
When you face your dry bones, remember the revelation, resurrection, restoration, and revival life of God is within you — so stir it up and dream again!