"The hand of the Lord was on 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, "Sovereign Lord, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'"
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'" So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.'"
The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
"When your people ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?' say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim's hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.' Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. "'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'" Ezekiel 37:1-28
An infamous scripture. Pastors have used this for several specific teachings. Today I bring it to you in the way of the tongue. A powerful tool - WE ALL HAVE - with the ability to change things. To bring life or to bring death to things you don't want in your life...or very negatively to bring to death to things that should be living, encouraged and thriving.
"The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21
Ezekial was a prophet used by God to recessitate a dead generation. No flesh, no muscle, no blood, no nerves, no tendions, no life..just bare bones - was where God sent Ezekial - talk about tough crowd. BUT GOD.
I'm talking about the tongue today but let me also talk about the ear. Our church as been challenged to HEAR the WHISPERS of the LORD and have the KNOWLEDGE to know what to do with them. Ezekial HEARD FROM THE LORD and didn't just benefit his faith and then walk through his life - just seeking God's direction for ONLY his life. He was faithful to prophecy to a GENERATION of people.
"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy." 1 Corinthians 14:1
Prophecy is a gift the Word of the LORD says we should desire. Because when we press into God we become keenly aware that our faith is NOT...I say it again NOT about us! Did you hear what I said...NOT ABOUT OURSELVES, OUR NEEDS...ITS ABOUT THE LORD. When we walk out our faith and it becomes about others FOR THE LORD and HIS GLORY. He takes care of you. That is CHURCH.
The enemy hates this truth. OUR TONGUE HAS POWER TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF OUR LIFE, OF OUR FAMILIES LIVES, OUR FRIENDS LIVES, OF THE PEOPLE WE ENCOUNTERS LIVES. THAT'S CHURCH.
When we HEAR the WORDS of the LORD and we ACT and SPEAK into the lives of the others - GOD is GLORIFIED. When we HEAR GOD'S WORDS - we pray POWERFULLY ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE prayers, we speak TIMELY AND EXACT words to people, we bring LIFE AND FREEDOM to captives.
I believe we struggle with telling the truth and are tempted to gossip and slander because the enemy KNOWS and is AFFECTED and HINDERED by our life-giving TONGUE - so like he does everything else - he perverts it.
"keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies." Psalm 34:13
"The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Proverbs 12:18 NIV)
"Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church." 1 Corinthians 14:4
Prophecy the gift that uses the ability to HEAR and SPEAK God's edifying TRUTH.
When we desire this gift for the glorification of the Lord because of our measure of love for him and ask for it the LORD gives. And when we recieve it is never taken away from us.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." 1 John 5:14
"for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable." Romans 11:29
Lord I desire this - this one thing I seek today - that I have the gift of prophecy to HEAR YOUR WORDS and SPEAK SPECIFIC WORDS OF LIFE to those YOU LORD appoint me to encounter. The gift that will shake their being, break bondages, bring LIFE, restore and frustrate AND ruin the plans of the enemy for their lives, to give them a HOPE for their future and bring them to a point of conviction to do business with YOU JESUS. For your GLORY ONLY!