Israel had bones out of place, bones that had been disjointed and the pain was excruciating. Instead of putting bones back in place—putting both vertical and horizontal relationships in place in their hearts—they would suffer in excruciating pain, seeing their economy go down and their lives go bad.
Whenever you read the Old Testament, it is not an event of yesterday. It is our tendencies of today. It is a mirror, and what they did and their tendencies are a reflection of what is inside of us. We will become the same thing if we do not learn from those lessons.
We love talking about the problem. All this does is train us to stay on the problem side. But when we move to the resolution side, we are saying, “Enough blaming! Let us see how we can correct it and rectify it.” Until we move past that center point, faith does not enter. We will not be able to see the future because we are blinded by the problem.
As we retrace these stories, we begin to see what God is saying: some of the obvious things in life are like putting the bones back in place.
God is going to give us three steps on how to move from the problem side of the equation to the resolution side.
Well, how do we go from one side to the other?
- Seeing is Believing.
- Set Non-Negotiable Priorities.
- Speak God’s Promises into Reality.
Faith is not going to be able to flow in because we are going to stay on the problem side and rationalize why we should stay there. Now we must be able to see.
We do not see with our eyes. We see with our brain. Our eyes are simply lenses; our optical lobe actually projects the image onto our brain. We do not see with our eyes; we see with our minds.
That is why the Lord says, in order to see correctly, we have got to renew the spirit of our minds. God is saying that we must renew the spirit of our minds so that we can see things in a way that is a preferred future.
“For as he thinks within himself, so is he …” (Prov. 23:7).
If we cannot see it, nothing changes, but if we can see it, we have moved across. That is when forgiveness is available.
Get across that center point. If we cannot see it, it will not happen.
The second thing God is saying is we have got to put the bones in order, which means that our priorities must be in order again. Sometimes the reason things are out of whack is because our priorities go off. We violate priorities and healing is only going to come again when we get priorities back or bones where they should be.
The first priority is God. The second priority is not your family; it is your spouse. The third priority then is your family. If you are single, it is God, then family. The fourth priority is your career.
Remember that number four is not an end in itself. It is a means for us to be able to do this well. Here is our major problem: We have made our jobs and careers an end in themselves. No, it is a means in God’s priority scheme. It is a means to do well in much more important places. It is so that we will be released so that we can do well and provide and be a family or have our faith strong in Christ.
This is the priority scheme. We must be able to go from here to put bones in place. Is it easy? Not necessarily. It can sometimes be painful but this is the most important part of this whole message: Get those bones back into place.
“… And to him who orders his way aright, I shall show the salvation of God” (Ps. 50:23).
You have got to speak God’s promises into reality.
“Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.”’ Thus says the Lord … ‘Behold I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life’” (Ezek. 37:4-5).
There are people in church who just do not talk to one another. There is still a church and church people but life is starting to drain out. Somebody has to speak to that. Someone has to prophesy.
What does to prophesy mean?
“But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3).
One who prophesies speaks for edification; to edify, to build up an edifice.
Build Them Up
Speak words that build up our daughters and our sons. Let them know how good they are doing.
Stir Their Faith
I want you to stir their faith so that you will see things in a larger context. Somebody has to prophesy. Somebody has to speak God’s promises.
Comfort and Encourage
Envision what could be and God says that miracles are bound to happen. Then we put things in order — bones where they should be.
The last point is consolation. To console someone means you comfort and encourage.
If we can be those—starting with our families and our own lives—that open the doors to God’s best, then light will begin to flood this community.