So often we come to moments in our life where the scene in front of us looks like Ezekiel's valley of dry bones—bleak with a thick cloud of gloom. The deep crevice of the valley can leave you searching for an escape or for a stream of relief. Maybe you have found yourself trekking through the valley, yet the hopelessness has left you questioning if your failure is repairable again.
I've been reminded of the unfolding scene of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. Just when nothing looked promising about the circumstances at hand, the Lord spoke and what seemed to be a solidified reality suddenly shifted. God rocked Ezekiel's world when He asked the prophet a ridiculous question: "Can these bones live?"
A seemingly obvious answer did not seem so accurate anymore. The great prophet staggered to comprehend the possible outcome of God's incredible inquiry. Finally, he gathered himself and answered, "You know, Lord." A situation that looked desolate and devastating in an instant was brushed with a stroke of hope and suddenly the horizon lightened and the gloom began to lift. In this moment of renewed hope, Ezekiel began to prophesy to the dry bones.
Did you catch that? Dry bones! They had been cast into the valley decades ago, left to face the intensity of the desert sun. Yet, when the Lord intervened on the scene of defeat, what once was a graveyard turned into a mighty infantry of victory (see Ezekiel 37:1-10). Can you think of a situation in your life that you have felt is too far gone? I encourage you to ask the Lord for His perspective on the situation.
When you take your heavenly seat, a first heaven tragedy and second heaven hurricane suddenly don't look the same. Because when you pray from heaven to earth your prayers become prophecies and your prophecies become the nuts and bolts of worlds. Things you may have thought were over, done and defeated have the ability to return in a fashion you've never dreamt of before. Don't adopt the current circumstances as your new norm; there is a different perspective when seated in your heavenly seat and listening to the inquiries of the Lord.
Your Heavenly Seat Is Your Sword
If the enemy leads you to believe that the valley is your new home or failure is the final word about who you are, he leaves you doubting the price that was paid for you on the cross. What was solidified in a moment suddenly becomes contingent on your ability; leaving you questioning your position in Christ. Yet, do you remember the situations that Judas and Peter both found themselves in? They had been caught red-handed denying Jesus multiple times.
The difference between Judas and Peter is that after the denials, Judas hung himself and Peter became the revered head of the church. What I am getting at is there is a way to fail successfully.
Sometimes we are tempted to discount people's lives after they experience failure even when they have a relationship with the Lord. But, that is not how the redemptive power of the cross works. The truth is, failure isn't final and neither is the desolate and devastating valley of dry bones.
No matter the depth of the valley or the magnitude of the storm, you remain seated in heavenly places—this is your sword. Don't lay it down in cowardice or shame and let it rot away in hopelessness. It's time to pick it up and fight back with the power of your words. Begin to prophesy to the storm; there is the power of life and death in your words.
4 Keys to Walking Through the Valley of Dry Bones
Just as Ezekiel was called to look at a hopeless situation of death and dismay and step into a moment that changed the course of history, so must we as believers look at our own world and see beyond what the enemy is doing. Instead of relinquishing the final say over to the enemy's foreboding forecast, I challenge you to take back your God-given authority and walk through the valleys of life with purpose, passion and the power of God's final say.
Here are 3 ways to walk this out:
- Learn to see beyond what's obvious. When everybody else sees a valley of dry bones, it is incumbent upon us as the prophetic people of God to envision a mighty army. Not only do we need to see beyond, but we have to take action, procreating with God through prophetic declarations. As we see through Ezekiel's story, prophecy is not just telling the future; oftentimes God calls us to cause the future!
- Learn to lead the way. When the people of God feel defeated, depressed, powerless, and outnumbered, it is the responsibility of God's prophetic people to rise up and pick a fight against overwhelming odds, because we can see into the invisible realm and we know that there are more who are for us than those who are against us!
- Be a bold bearer of hope. When the body of Christ encounters demonic forces in the dark night of the soul and they feel weak, hungry, and fragile, it is God's prophetic people who can see past the plots of the enemy and envision the battle plans of the angel armies. This gives us authority to release declarations of hope in the midst of the house of horrors, which in turn ensnares principalities, and disarms and imprisons them in their own demonic devices.
- Remember God's promises! When the mourners see a crucified body and the soldiers count their coins, while Pilot washes his hands of the whole mess—it is the people of God, thousands of years earlier, who had already predicted an empty tomb.
The world waits in hopeful anticipation as God's prophetic people stand in the valley of decision. My prayer is that God would once again equip us to see a mighty army rise from the dry bones and shine the light of hope into this desperate world!
How is God changing the way you view the valleys of life?
For the original article, visit krisvallotton.com.
Kris Vallotton is an author, international speaker, culture leader and, most of all, a spiritual father to this generation. As the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and co-founder of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and Moral Revolution, Vallotton has helped thousands of believers over the last 20 years realize their identity as sons and daughters of God.
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