Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven contains that famous story about dry bones coming to life.
The Lord showed the prophet Ezekiel a vision of a valley of dry bones…signifying God’s people. Their bones were dry. Their hope was gone. They felt cut off from God’s favor.
Through this vision, God was restoring hope to his people– He was saying He would breathe life into the dead places. His Spirit would settle in them and they would live like they had never lived before. Most importantly, they would once again know the Lord’s love, glory, and power.
If you haven’t heard, Kevin and I are in a season of training with Mission Church in order to launch a brand new church in the West Chicagoland area next fall.
There are two-out-of-three people in the 15 minutes around us who don’t know Christ. It is our passion to join hands with other churches in the area in order to bring hope to those who have not yet experienced the renewing love of God. We want to see our entire community find true life in Jesus.
The coolest thing is this: statistics on church plants show that when a new church comes to town, it not only reaches about twenty percent of previously unchurched people–the existing churches also grow by about twenty percent. In other words, it’s a win for everyone! We’re so thankful for the other churches around us who have welcomed us to the neighborhood and encouraged us in our ministry.
But before we find a location or begin holding services, the first thing weâ€™re doing as a church is praying about and facing the dry bones in our own livesâ€”those broken emotions, relationships, attitudes, situations, failures, regrets, or sinsâ€”those places that need to be touched by the restoring hand of God.
We’re asking God to bring renewal to us, so that He might bring it through us–to others.
As my husband says, “Renewal is a work of God; only He can do it. The incredible thing is that God also wants to bring renewal.”
This advent, as we are waiting for our church to launch, I know you also are in a season of waiting. My prayer is that we will wait as people who have hope.
For God has come–wrapped in the very flesh He restores and empowered with the very Spirit He gives to us–Jesus has come to nourish the arid places of our lives with His living water and to breathe new life into what seems dead.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to live my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people and I will be your God.” –Ezekiel 36: 20-27
What about you? What dry bones are you facing this holiday season? Are you in a time of waiting?