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?