Stand Up, You Dry Bones Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Next, since we depend wholly upon the Holy Spirit, we must be anxious to tell others about Christ and to live close to Him.
The Word of God is the Holy Spirit’s sword.
Therefore, we should place a high value on the inspired Word, because with it we will defeat our opponents.
So, be wise, and don’t rely on your own wisdom, but instead depend on the Word of God, to which you can add, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Even Jesus said that the words He spoke were God’s words.
As He went out of the Garden of Gethsemane, He told His disciples, “The word which I hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
Let’s be like Jesus and speak those words that are not our own, but are those which God will give to us.
Perhaps we can say, “I would rather speak five words out of the Bible, than fifty thousand out of a textbook.
I would rather be a fool with God, than to be a wise man with the cleverest philosopher, because, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
You cannot work for Christ unless you have the Spirit of Christ, and you cannot teach for Christ unless you teach Christ.
The work you do will not be blessed unless it is God’s word that you speak to other men.
If we want revivals, we must have a respect for the Word of God.
If we want to see more people saved, we must put more of God’s word into our sermons and into our witness; it must be his word that we rely upon because the real power is in His word.
It is God’s Word that saves souls, not what we have to say about it.
Therefore, let’s honor the Holy Spirit, by taking the weapon He has prepared for us, and let’s believe in the inspiration of every word of scripture.
And let’s expect that God will prove their inspiration by the effect they have on the minds and hearts of men and women.
Since we are nothing without the Holy Spirit, we must avoid bringing to our work, anything that is not from Him.
We want to see people saved, but we can’t do it; only the Holy Spirit can do that.
But we have a part in it because God uses us to give out the gospel, but let’s be very careful not to do anything to grieve the Holy Spirit, or cause Him to leave us.
You must have the Spirit of God if you are going to do anything for Him, so don’t do anything to cause His power to leave you.
Furthermore, we must always be ready to obey the Holy Spirit’s influences in our lives.
By that I mean the light we gain from reading God’s word, and the internal whispers He speaks to those who are in Christ.
I believe that the Holy Spirit still does speak to those who are His, in a very remarkable way.
Some will make fun of this, and we don’t talk much about it, but the child of God knows that there are times when distinct movements of the Holy Spirit on our minds leads us to do a certain thing.
Listen for these touches, and do what He says.
Some people don’t feel these movements, but perhaps they would, if they lived closer to Him, and showed God more respect.
Let your spirit be little before God, and easily moved, so you will recognize every urge that the Spirit gives you, and then obey it at once, whatever it might be.
Yield yourself totally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Now, in dealing with people, be like Ezekiel as he stood before the Valley of Dry Bones.
Before you speak, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and He may work through you to raise the dead; to give life to one who is dead in sin.
Just one more thought on this topic: since we are powerless without the Holy Spirit, we must appreciate every movement of His power.
Notice, that in this account of the vision in the Valley of Dry Bones, that Ezekiel draws attention to noises, and the shaking of the bones, and how the muscle and flesh begin to cover the skeletons, even before there was any sign of life.
I think if we want the Spirit of God to bless us, we must be vigilant, so we are aware of everything He does.
Watch for the first desire or the first fear.
God wants us to be alive to the touch of the Holy Spirit, and then He will make others alive by us.
Before we move on to the second point, let me repeat the first great truth, and that is: we are nothing without the Holy Spirit.
Now, the second thing that we can learn from Ezekiel’s actions on this occasion is that WE ALL CAN KNOW THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IF WE ACT IN A CERTAIN WAY.
When he saw the dry bones for the first time, there wasn’t any wind or breath; nevertheless, he obeyed the voice of the Lord, which came in the vision, and then the breath came, and life followed.
But how should we act?
Let me give you just five things that can be observed from this incident.
If we want the Holy Spirit to be with us, and to bless us, we must by the power of the Spirit, be conscious of the setting in which we are to work.
On this occasion, the Holy Spirit carried Ezekiel to the valley and set him down in the midst of this valley which was full of bones.
This is just an example of what will happen to every man that the Spirit intends to use.
Do you want to lead people to the Lord, right here in this nursing home?
Then you must go to them, and get to know them and be able to sympathize with them.
I don’t believe that anyone can witness effectively to people they don’t understand.
If you have been through the same problems that others have, then you can say to them, “I’ve been there myself: I know all about it; God willing, I will lead you out of this mess.”
Friends, we must be sympathetic toward those who are lost.
The Holy Spirit, when He uses us, sets us down in the midst of the valley full of dry bones, and he causes us to examine the scene until we fully understand how difficult our work is going to be.
Even Ezekiel said, “Behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry."
Next, if the Holy Spirit is going to be with us, we must witness in the power of faith.
If Ezekiel did not have faith, he certainly would not have preached to dry bones; they were a pitiful congregation, and he wouldn’t have preached to the wind because it is a very unpredictable listener.
Would anyone besides a fool have acted this way, unless faith was involved?
When we witness to anyone, it must be an act of faith.
We must speak by faith, as much as Noah built the Ark by faith, and just as the walls of Jericho were brought down by faith.
And men are won for Christ by faithful witnessing, that is, witnessing that is full of faith.
In addition to this, if we want to have the Spirit of God with us, we must act according to God’s instructions.
We must state the message God has given us loud and clear.
God will only bless the message He has given us, so we must stay clear of anything that is contrary to His Word.
Our witness will be received when we are speaking the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s be sure that before the Word of God leaves our mouth, that we have received it from the mouth of God.
Then we can expect that people will receive it from us.
The Spirit of God will only go with the Word of God, and nothing else.
The next thing that we need to do to have the Holy Spirit with us is to, be enthusiastic in our witnessing.
The prophet was enthusiastic; he cried out, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live!"
In his mind's eye, he could see the people in front of him, and he makes a passionate appeal to the Spirit of God, to make them live.
I believe that today, God uses those men who long to see souls saved.
Lastly, if we want to have more of the power of the Holy Spirit with us, we must see only God’s purpose, God’s power, and God’s working.
God’s Spirit will go with those who see Him at work.
In our text, God said, "When I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."
It is not my plan that God is going to work out; it is His own.
The Holy Spirit is not going to carry out what I propose; He will carry out only God’s will.
No one will come to believe in our Lord because of my power, or my experience, or by my way of thinking; it’s the Holy Spirit that will do it, and only Him.