I want to go further with this picture of a people finding their places as members in a body. I want to take a picture from the Old Testament, the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, a prophetic vision of God’s people at the close of this age, a vision which I believe is finding fulfillment in the church today. Ezekiel had a vision in which he saw God’s people as dry scattered bones, but as God began to move by His Spirit, something happened to those bones. Life came into them. They began to move. And they were brought together as members of a body. Let’s read this passage, Ezekiel 37, beginning at verse 1:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. And He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, Thou knowest.’ 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 God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you that you may come to life. And I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.”
That’s a picture of individuals that have been scattered on their own without proper relationships, coming by the work of God’s Spirit into a right and proper relationship with one another. I do believe that in many, many ways many sections of the Church have been like those dry bones, just scattered lying around, cut off, not really finding the life of the body, not really in a right relationship with one another. But I believe that one of the great things God is doing by His Spirit today for His people is to bring life to those bones and to bring those bones together and build the bones up into a structure that will form the basis for a complete body.
Think about, for instance, your arm. The basic structure of your arm consists of three bones. Their medical names are humerus, radius and ulna. Picture each of those bones on its own. A strong firm bone. And, in a certain sense, it can move around and rattle together against the other bones, but that is all it’s capable of. It can’t perform any really useful or effective function. Before it becomes a functioning arm it has to be united with two other bones and then, out of the union of those three bones in effective function, there comes forth an arm.
Well, that’s like you and me. We can lie around on our own, we can rattle around against other bones in a meeting or a conference, but we’ll never be useful and effective in the kingdom of God until we allow ourselves to be united with the other bones and then we can become a functioning arm and the arm can become part of a functioning body. I believe that’s what God is saying to His people today. I believe that as our minds are renewed, that radar is going to take us to the very place and function in the body that God has appointed for us.
Father, thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that You have promised to restore and heal Your Church, and make it alive again. I pray with Ephesians 3:10 that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. In Jesus’ Name, amen!