Ezekiel is a man that experienced firsthand the glory of God. He was even given a scroll with writing front and back, just like Jesus in Revelation, chapter five. How cool is that!?
He heard the sounds of glory, the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another. (Ezekiel 3:13) The prophet described it as “the voice of a great earthquake.” It was speaking, “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place.”
In the midst of this glory, the Spirit lifted Ezekiel up and took him away, placing him with the exiles from the Babylonian captivity. His response: “And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.” (3:15)
New assignments can be overwhelming on the front end can’t they?
God had already made it clear that Israel would not listen to the prophet, but justice demanded that they have ample opportunity to hear.”Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.” (3:17)
Years later, moving with a glorious escort of the Spirit, Ezekiel had a ringside seat in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37). He prophesied according to the Lord’s instruction and the earth shook once again. Earthquakes (shaking) seem to be his forte.
Bones rattling, coming together “bone to bone”, sinews, flesh, and skin, followed by the breath of God to raise them up as a great army. Shaking breaks things apart and destroys; it also assembles and connects.
Shaking is often a creative process; a set-up for the breath of the Spirit.
No matter what your valley of dry bones might be, there is hope. I’ve seen many however, forfeit the answer to prayer, because they ran from the shaking. Or they’ve missed their rendezvous with breakthrough, choosing instead to prop up an old wine-skin to survive.
We chafe at the idea of sitting too long in a valley.
My observation, drawn from thirty-five years of pastoral ministry, is that premature departures from the valley account for the majority of those who scale back from a zealous pursuit of God. We forfeit creative endings, deeming the process unbearable.
Great armies in God, are filled with broken people who have stood with great resolve to receive and embrace the Spirit in the valley.
A wave of power was released upon the death of Christ that is still impacting the earth today. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, a divine act from above, creating a new and living way of access, and the greatest Prophet of all prophesied to every valley as He yielded up His spirit. The earth quaked and graves were opened in a Jerusalem cemetery. (Matthew 27:50-53) It’s only a matter of time before yours opens as well.
He is coming for you and me, of this we are certain. Whatever our valleys might be, transformation is on the way.