Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NIV): The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
God’s people give up too easily! God designed His people to be a mighty force, carrying salvation across the earth, changing the whole planet from the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God. He has give us power and authority to demolish strongholds, arguments, and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of Him; to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). He has provided us with the power of the Holy Spirit, and with the presence of the whole Trinity in our lives to guide, direct, and empower us to do all that He has called us to do. And yet, all around the world, including in America, God sees the Church sitting on the sidelines, crying over our powerlessness to change anything, and praying to be taken out of the game! It is not only confusing to see those who have been chosen and empowered to change the world moaning, and complaining, and whining, it is wrong to the point of blasphemy! We are, in effect, complaining that God has given us a job to do that is impossible, even with His help!
We as the Church need to catch of fresh vision of what God has called us to be and to do, and we need to be revived and begin to move forward anew under God’s direction and in His power and authority. The church in America today is much like the Church in Sardis: we have a reputation of being alive, but we are dead (Revelation 3:1). We are much like the dry bones that God showed to Ezekiel – no life, and seemingly no hope of getting life. We Christians are saying that our country has moved beyond the point of recovery, that the forces opposing us are too strong – all that’s left is to hang on until Jesus comes back! When did God ever tell His Church to merely hang on? When did He ever advocate retreat or retrenchment? Those actions and attitudes will never accomplish the mission He has given the Church!
The only option to allow God’s people in America to succeed is to be revived again – to let God put His life back into our dry bones, to once again breathe His life-giving, power-giving Spirit into our lives again. To stand us on our feet again as a mighty army, equipped with divine power to smash gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron (Psalm 107:16), so that we can set free the multiplied millions in our nation held captive by sin’s shackles. To begin again to do the work of the church in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. To change the kingdoms of this world into the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, who will reign for ever and ever. (cf. Revelation 11:15)
In the end, if America does fall, it will not be because the enemies of the kingdom were too strong, too united, or too clever, or because God was too powerless. It will be because God’s people refused to trust Him, obey Him, and be the people of God, the Church.
Father, this is strong medicine, but it is exactly true and right. Lord, we have fallen so far that sometimes it does seem that our nation has already slipped beyond hope, that our bones are so dry and lifeless that we have no hope of recovery. But, Lord, this very call means that all hope is not gone – it is NOT too late for us. Oh, Lord, revive us again! Lift us, Your people, up on our feet to do Your work in our sin-sick and evil-torn nation. Fill us with Your Spirit and Your power so that we can tear down the strongholds of evil in our nation, so that we can see our nation turn the corner back to You. Forgive us, Lord, for betraying You by carrying Your name and then being powerless, hopeless, and prayerless, for giving up and digging in instead of marching forward in Your strength. Raise us up, Father, from the dust and ashes. Make us Your Church. Amen.