This is my 100th post!

Lately, I’ve been caught up in some reflection and honest scrutiny of who I am as one called to vocational ministry, what my role is as a “leader,” and what the things I do look like if I could do them the “ideal” way. Of course, this is nothing really new. Since before we planted Thrive Church, I’ve always embraced this type of introspection and welcomed necessary change as part of keeping the vision of an intentionality-driven faith community.

Everything we do, and the way we do it, is thought out, prayed over, and intentionally “designed” according to what we believe is God’s way to do something. Because of this focus on intentionality, one of the hardest things for me is to look at something we do and have to admit that it isn’t working. It may be extraordinarily beautiful, yet be completely ineffective.

I came across this scripture this morning:

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. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
( Ezekiel 37:7-8 )

While there is some discussion in Hebraic circles as to whether this was part of a “mental vision” -or- that Ezekiel witnessed an actual miracle, it is an impressive image nonetheless.

It occurred to me that the sight of this vast army must have been impressive. To watch God rebuild thousands of human bodies (while a little gross at times) must have been absolutely incredible. It must have been insanely satisfying to see the power of God so magnificently displayed – even if they were all lying around in heaps.

9 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.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
( Ezekiel 37:9-10 )

Do not be mistaken, God re-built these bodies. From nothing, these bones grew new tissue. They were complete human bodies. Yet, until he breathed into them, they were lifeless. Fully formed, and beautiful creations, but lifeless.

Sometimes the things we fashion, in full belief and confidence of God’s direction and His help, are lifeless. When we find ourselves looking at heaps of beautiful but lifeless forms, we need to desire, seek, and call upon the breath of God. Without His breath, these are just empty vessels. With His breath, they are a vast army.

Where do you need God’s breath today?

23 thoughts on “”

  1. Excellent post – In life and in ministry I have had many things I need God to breath His life into.

    Lord breath life into me and put the flesh on the things I need to do and allow those things to die that need to die.

    1. I agree with you, Dusty. Just read your linked post – good stuff. Got me thinking: Given your take on it, that it was intentional that God took Ezekiel there in the midst of death, I think it is significant that the valley was of dry bones.

      If they still had rotting flesh on them, the immediate reaction could have been “Eww! get me out of here, whatever it takes” – but the bones were dry. I remember my dad telling me not to touch dead animals. But one afternoon we discovered a bleached dog skeleton in an old abandoned rocky creek bed. It was old, and dry, and we had no problem touching it.

      My point is, that we can become quite at home in the valley of dry bones.

      1. It’s a sad statement that we become comfortable with death…but when we reject His empowering and indwelling to do things our own way, that is exactly where it leaves us.

        May God breathe life into our lives and the ministries of His Kingdom.

  2. I’ve been in Ezekiel for my daily reading and just read this chapter recently. I love these verses and love how you applied it here. Yes and amen–I need and desire the breath of God!

    Thank you Herb.

  3. Wow! I love it when scriptures are explained because I don’t know that much. I need His breath everyday. There are times I’m dry and I need the waterfall of His love and I can breathe again. I remember a friend praying for me and I felt like a waterfall coming down in my heart and flowing there as if something was cleansed and taken away and it felt like there was space and I could breath. Happened once but it was amazing. Revived again.

    Herb, I don’t know maybe you go through rough times but your posts are amazing. This weekend I’m offline again but I will be praying for all of this community, that includes you and your family and church. Bye bye. Have a great weekend, with a lot of fun. Read Jim’s blog about laughter, joy and fun. 🙂 Remember God loves you just the way you are if you are doing something or not, it doesn’t matter to Him. Like you love your children as just the way they are. You are loved, you Mr. Mixed-a-lot. 😀

    1. Ani,

      Your comments are always encouraging and fresh. Thank you for the prayers – it means a lot. I love that phrase “waterfall of His love” – it’s beautiful.

      I hope I do not sound “sad” when I post, because I am a generally content and happy person. But I do take this blogging very seriously as it is my personal devotion time with God – you guys just get to tag along on my journey. So, if my posts seem melancholy, its only because I am in earnestly seeking the Holy Spirit to transform my heart continuously.

      1. You don’t sound sad, not at all. I always have fun with you. Being serious is as important as being happy. I think it goes together. Jesus was serious too and I believe He was happy. It has to be because His joy is our strenght.

  4. Congrats on the 100th bro’ that awesome…keep the encouragement coming!

    The breath of God means life and I need it daily! Thanks for sharing your insight!

    God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  5. Oh my! Our church is in the midst of transition, and a few of us have been praying and sensing that it is time to just stop and seek Him. Put programs on hold, man’s plans on hold, our agendas on hold, laying everything down at His feet and waiting for Him to impart His vision.

    Sadly, this is a very rare few of us and leadership does not seem to be hearing us right now.

    Without His breath.. all remains lifeless.

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