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Dry Bones Missions 6th August, 2011

Posted by Scotty in Bible, Challenges, Mission, Musings.
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There are certain passages in Scripture that speak right into the situation in Scotland (or Europe as a whole).  Ezekiel 34-37 is one of those chunks.

As I sat reading Ezekiel 37 (the Valley of Dry Bones) I couldn’t help but see God’s clear strategy for a place like Scotland where the church is but lifeless bones.

Step One:  Preach the Word!

Then he said to me, “Prophecy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’

It’s pretty simple.  It’s the way it has always been.  God’s Word has power and so our job is to declare His Word.  Boldly.  Departing from God’s Word is why Europe is dry.  Bibleless pulpits and leaders devoid of the Word is why Scottish churches have died.  The solution is clear.  Those sent to the dry bones valleys are commanded to speak His Words.  I get angry with “missionaries” that come to our country and think the solution lies outside the simplicity of the gospel.  They come with clever strategies, fancy books, flashy outreach, and “authentic community”, yet they fail to bring the very thing we need:  God’s Word.

Thankfully Ezekiel was a man who understood obedience.  When he obeyed, something amazing happened:

… “so I prophecied 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.”

Oh how I long to hear the rattling of old bones in the churches of Scotland.  I have even had the honour of seeing some of those old bones begin to rattle and take form again.  But we need more.  More people who are committed to declaring His Word.

But that wasn’t enough for God.  There was more Ezekiel had to do.  And there’s more that we need to do:

Step Two:  Call on the Spirit (Pray!)

“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 on their feet—a vast army”.

The Word put everything back in its rightful place, and then as His Spirit—the breath—came upon them, they came back to life and stood.  It wasn’t until His Spirit was poured out that the process was complete.

We have to be a praying people.  Prayer is the human act more closely related to the Spirit.  “Pray in the Spirit at all times” wrote Paul.  We have to pray, long and hard, that God would breathe life back into our nation.

It’s such a simple process but we work so hard at complicating things.  I get angry with those who travel across the world to bring a worldly system to the lost.  We don’t need “clever” we need the power of God.  We don’t need “new”, we need the thing God has done time and time again… His Word, carried on His breath.  If that is all that’s needed for God to create the universe… why think our idea is better.

The Word & Prayer.  It’s the killer combination.  Let’s stop trying to be cool, clever, relevant, (insert whatever other word you want), and start being obedient.  And it starts with ME!

I have spoken to many people who claim that the Word & Prayer doesn’t work.  But a few quick questions reveal that THEY are not people who are being transformed by God’s Word and THEY are not people casting themselves on God in prayer.

If God can use His Word & His Spirit to make an army out of a valley of dry bones, He can certainly use it to bring life to Scotland.

Learn from Ezekiel.  Do it God’s way not your way.

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