Victory in the valley
Synopsis of Sermon 05/09/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Ezekiel 37:1-10: 1The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
All of us have had experiences that were difficult to explain. Sometimes the answer can be elusive when we are encountering very difficult circumstances. Ultimately, we all come to one place. The place is the position of wanting to come out. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is, all of us can testify that we wonder when this is going to end. This then becomes our consistent prayer. There is something that we believers have to believe in life. It is this, regardless of our situation, regardless to whatever we are experiencing, there are lessons we must learn prior to coming out. God will not give us deliverance until we demonstrate an apprehension of things he wants us to gain while we are in it. So it is good just to go on and go through it, because you can’t get out of it until God says so. What we discover is that God is providently working in it. Romans 8:28 says 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.- We fall short and we find ourselves in messed up situations, but somehow God just works things out for our good. It is not context that defines you. It is your content. It is who you are that defines where you are.
When you look at Ezekiel 37, you see that it is a marvelous revelation. God speaks to the prophet Ezekiel about a situation. God tells him that there are some bones in the valley. This used to be the mighty house of Israel a strong army. What this gives us an insight into how people see themselves. It demonstrates how people see themselves because of circumstances, because of the exile and a variety of other issues. Israel had begun to see themselves as hopeless now, based on what has happened to them. God asks Ezekiel can these bones live. Ezekiel says to God that he is in control and only he knows. In the text God gives Ezekiel a series of things to do to bring possibility and hope to a hopeless situation. God has given this word to somebody today, because many of you would testify that life can change on you in an instant. One moment you can be on the mountain, everything can be going well and the next minute you can be in the valley. Regardless of our circumstances that we can’t control, know that we can control our response to it. We can control how we come out of it. Do we come out as a victim feeling sorry for ourselves or do we come out with the victory realizing that we came out better because of what we went through. Do we come out stronger or wiser? We are going to get the victory in our valley. You have to come out with your head up. Storms are only temporary. Hold on and see what the end is going to be and you will see that God is going to work it out.
I. It is a sad condition
1. Look at it. It is bones in the valley. It is about potential. They were in the valley and in an open place, exposed. In that place the elements can get to them and people can come by and see their circumstances. Just like this, it is one thing to handle things privately, but what do you do when it is in the valley where everyone can see the problem.
2. Scripture says there are many bones in the valley. Ezekiel 37:2 says 2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. – You might think you are the only one going through but ask others around you and you will find out you aren’t. Many of us are familiar with valley situations.
3. There is a condition going on with the bones in the valley:
a. Dryness- The elements had gotten to the bones. Just like the bones, your motivation has dried up.
b. Distance- Often when we are dried up, it is a result of being distance. With distance the motivation is gone. Like the dry bones in the valley, you lose your motivation.
c. Disconnect- Distance can cause you to get disconnected. We can’t respond to our context like everyone else. We can’t see our context like everyone else sees it. Being spiritual people we must see responsibility when others see hopelessness. Ex-Pluto is the 9th plant from the sun. It is a cold place. In fact nobody talks about it, because it is so far away from sun. Next you have Mercury. It is always hot because it so close the sun. No matter what is going on, Mercury is always hot. Pluto is always cold. Pluto is cold because of its distance. Just like this, you can tell Pluto members, because of their distance from the son. There are Mercury members inside the church too. No matter what is going on, they are always giving God the praise. They are not looking for a hand out. Instead, they are looking for a hand up!
II. Supernatural connection
1. God supernaturally connects things back together. Ezekiel 37:4-6 says 4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. – When God is beginning to move in your life it gives the prophetic for the pathetic. You need a prophetic revelation, for your pathetic situation. Most can say they would have lost their mind if it wasn’t for that one word they got. A Prophetic Word moves us from our right now to our not yet. Ex-You got all these notes you have taken from bible study and the sermons and you must know that there will come a time where you will have use all of it to help you prophesy over your situation. The power of life and death is in your tongue. God will restore you and you shall be healed by speaking those things though they be not as though they were. The devil wants to keep you quiet, because he knows if a child of God speaks over their situation things will happen! Learn how to speak over your situation.
2. How does this happen? By Process and position.
a. Process – 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.- Sinews are muscle. God says he is going to put muscle over the bones and then cover them with flesh. Finally God says he is going to breathe his breath into the bones. This is called process. In other words God is saying he is going to build us up from the inside out. This will not be a cosmetic cover up. We need God to deal with the sinew. We have pain and stuff we are wrestling with on the inside. What good does it do to build a house and not have a home?
b. Positioning – Old black Baptist Preachers used to really preach this sermon back in the times of old. This sermon of the dry bones is not a topic that has not been preached on before, but there is a deeper revelation. The bones lying in the valley disconnected was once bodies. In the valley you had one bone here and one bone there. This means that each set of bones was disconnected from different bodies. They were not all from the same body. God made the different bones from each different body find its rightful place. Each bone had to reunite with the body it came from. The bones could not be what they are supposed to be, until everyone or every bone got back to its proper place.
III. This is a season of comeback
1. You’ve been in the valley, but you can still make a comeback. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t comeback. The 2nd time will be better than the first. You learned in the valley that God can give you power. The bible says in Ezekiel 37:9-10 9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. – When we first saw them, they were bones in the valley. In other words, they were unrealized potential, but in the end we see that they were an exceeding great army.
2. The question we must ask is how do we get these bones back together? Another way to ask it is; through all that has been happening in this season concerning floods, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and etc… What is God saying to this generation? We have to speak prophetically to this city. Is it enough to just get your house rebuilt and the cars off the street? Will we be good to go if we just do that? What is God saying? In the scripture, the bones came back together.
3. Know that because of God’s mercy, you will get your stuff back, but what is the real issue? Ezekiel 37:8 says 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. – God worked on them and they came together, but there was no breath in them. The essence of life is when God gave Adam breath. This is the point where man became a living soul. Paul said that in him (Christ) he lived and moved and had his being. It is not by might or power, but his (God’s) spirit saith the Lord. God is saying you are nothing without him. You can’t make it without God!
4. Why is God having such a difficult time getting this world’s attention? We didn’t do anything to deserve the flood we got the other week. God rains on the just and unjust at the same time. What was God saying though the events of the Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunamis, the Earthquakes, and Volcanic Ash. During the recent flood here in TN, we found out most people didn’t even have flood insurance although now they will have to have it. God is saying he allowed the recession, famines, and all these major events to come so folk can recognize what is most important. It is the stuff money can’t buy that should be important. You get to a point where you say, you are going to trust God in spite of what’s going on around you. God has to shake us a little. When he shakes us he brings us together. Folk that would never speak before are now working together, because God had to shake us. Churches that would never fellowship together are now calling asking what they can do. Lord we thank you for the shaking? Shake us till we walk right! Shake us until we talk right. Shake us until we live right! Shake us until we give right! When you come out of this, you are coming out on your fee and with your hands up. You are coming out a might army! Put your hands on yourself and say you are coming out a might army! This is your season for a comeback. Everything you lost, God is going to restore it! Your valley days are over!