Ezekiel was a great prophet who moved mightily in the Spirit. In Ezekiel 37, God gave him a vision that I believe holds a timely message of spiritual awakening for the dry church of today.
Like most Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel served Israel’s king. This often meant traveling with the king’s army and witnessing the horrors of war. Ezekiel saw a lot of carnage no person should ever have to see. Yet he beheld a vision that surpassed anything he had seen before. This vision was from the Holy Spirit and Ezekiel testified, “The hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezekiel 37:1).
In this life, we are going to witness a lot of difficult things. Several weeks ago I prayed with a mother whose 22-year-old son had died suddenly—a young man I had known since he was two. Year after year, I see marriages fall apart. I observe drug addiction destroying young lives in their prime. As I drive to my office each day, I think of the 80 percent of our city’s population who do not know Jesus.
When God created humankind, He did not intend for us to experience the sinful things that befall us. Yet, even as we witness tragedy, we rest in God’s hand as Ezekiel did—and the Bible says no power can pluck us from it. This truth must be established in our hearts. If we are to do battle with the dark forces that come against our families, our young people and our communities, we have to know we are constantly protected and watched over.
God told Ezekiel, “Sit down and behold what I want to show you. I am about to perform an amazing work, yet you won’t be able to grasp it with your human understanding. You need My Spirit to reveal to you what I am going to do.”
The Hebrew word for “sit down” in Ezekiel 37 is the same word found in Luke 24:49, when Jesus instructed His disciples, “Stay [sit down] in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” The meaning in both instances is, “Lay down your plans and strategies. Then wait on Me to fill you with My power.”
I am convinced the church today desperately needs to hear this word. How often do we plan seminars, concerts and conferences — events that won’t make a difference unless Christ breathes life into them? Only when the Holy Spirit fills us will we have something real to give.