1-2 God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
4 He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’”
5-6 God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
7-8 I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
10 So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.
11 Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Listen to what they’re saying: ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, there’s nothing left of us.’
12-14 ”Therefore, prophesy. Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says: I’ll dig up your graves and bring you out alive—O my people! Then I’ll take you straight to the land of Israel. When I dig up graves and bring you out as my people, you’ll realize that I am God. I’ll breathe my life into you and you’ll live. Then I’ll lead you straight back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God. I’ve said it and I’ll do it. God’s Decree.’”
I love driving into my city, Olympia, and dreaming about the things God is going to do in the hearts and lives of the people of my city. Then I get stirred up when I think about the fact that no matter how much I dream up of God’s plan to draw broken people to him, or imagine the lives that will be forever changed, no matter how excited I get thinking of the marriages that will be restored and relationships that will be started, The bible tells us in Ephesians 3:20 (NLV), “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
When I read this passage in Ezekiel, I ask myself “what if God is waiting for us?” What if God asked the question to the church, “can the people of this city experience life, hope, restoration, joy, strength in trials… salvation? Deliverance?” How would YOU respond? How do you think the church would respond? I think we should dream some BIG dreams and reach for some amazing goals for the kingdom of God, because the truth is God’s will is for the salvation of all mankind, that includes my city!!!
Some things that I dream of seeing in my city:
I see a diverse church; people from every walk of life, color, background and socioeconomic status worshiping God and hanging out with one another.
I see thousands of young people in unhindered worship to Jesus: some with hands raised, some jumping in pure enthusiasm, some kneeling, some praying with one one another.
I see the church giving dignity to the people who live on the streets.
I see church services filled with laughter and fun.
I see young people leading the charge in serving this city. Young people leading the church by setting an example of selfless service.
I see art shows, music venues, coffee houses started by the church.
I see the city filled with the talk of what God is doing through the church.
I see walls of judgment falling and ropes of help being thrown out.
I see rescue teams, that go out and serve in practical ways, the neighboring community.
I see businesses being started for the soul purpose of raising money to support the ministry of the church.
I see single mothers finding hope, and rest with the support they find within the church.
I see single fathers leading their kids with dignity and strength.
I see broken people loving broken people.
I see joy where there was sadness.
I see strength and reason for the person who was about to give up on life.
I see deliverance and motivation for the addict.
I see a safe place for the skeptic to be skeptical.
I see a risky place for those who need excitement.
I see far reaching aid.
I see Jesus.
I see Jesus in my city.
I see Jesus’ people in my city.
…and these bones shall live…