I’ve been reading a lot on foundations, lately. Basic Christianity 101 stuff, but so important. God wants to strip us down to our bare bones and rebuild us in His image. The bible says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Ezekiel 37 is an incredible description of how God wants to reconstruct us into a mighty army. I think this chapter provides a great illustration of the…let’s call it the Bare Bones Concept. Check it out.
The hand of the LORD was upon 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, “O 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 from the four winds, O breath, 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.
Powerful read, huh? Every time I read this chapter my mind races. It’s a vivid portrayal of God’s heart for His people. Allow me to do a slight expository study of these ten verses.
The bones represent your foundations. The principles and values in which you build your life upon. You must start on your foundation. What are the core fundamentals that you live by? Do you walk with integrity? Do you know what it means to be integral? In order to last you have to live principally. Principles are things that hold true no matter what happens. They don’t change. The best foundation you can build on is Jesus. He talks about this quite a bit in the gospels (Matt. 7)
A great tool we use to help build strong biblical foundations in our church is the “Purple Book”. Completing the purple book isn’t the key to a strong foundation, but assimilating and applying what you learn in the purple book really does help in developing strong bones. When I meet with guys and start digging into their lives I always check to see if they have healthy bones (Godly, biblical values) because I can talk until I’m blue in the face and can say some really good stuff, but it won’t last because they don’t have a strong enough structure to support the truth
We humans have a certain number of tendons and ligaments that connect our various body parts. In a spiritual sense, God desires us to connect and bond with other brothers and sisters. The anterior crucial ligament (ACL) gives a person the ability to move laterally. When your ACL is torn you cannot move laterally. If you do your knee will give out and you’ll fall. In the same way, God wants us to have people that support us as we move along in life. We hurt ourselves when we isolate from others. When we isolate from others we are impeding on God’s given design to help us move through life. You need to belong to a spiritual community.
This is a neat part of that scripture. One term that is not used as often as it should be is covering. Your covering is your spiritual authority. It’s the people in your life that you go to for guidance and advice. You need these people in your life because everyone has blind spots. There are issues and circumstance in our life that can be difficult to see properly. We need spiritual authority to help us see what we are blind too. Too often I see people reject the advice of their Godly authority to follow their own desires. They could save themselves a world of hurt if they listen to and obey the people that God has placed in their lives to shepherd the souls.
I heard Pastor Russ say once that you can’t have family without government. You have to give someone permission to speak into your life. I would hope that when you do you listen to what your authority says you actually heed their advice. Sometimes people will meet and talk with Godly leaders to construct or maintain the façade that they value the guidance of spiritual authority. They will listen, but will refuse to obey what their leaders tell them. They are rebellious and stubborn. There is no true submission in their heart. Please allow yourself to be covered by the leaders that the Holy Spirit has put in your life.
You can’t do anything without the breath of God. We must be filled with His presence! Notice how it was the breath of God that finally made these people (in Ezekiel 37) alive again. It’s great to build your life on Godly principles. It is so important to connect with Christian community. It’s vital that you have spiritually covering in your life, but all of these other areas fall short in comparison to the mighty breath of God. It gives us life. I want to be infused with the life of Jesus. We must ask the Holy Spirit to breathe on us. Don’t go through the motions. Enter into the presence of God! Boldly enter the throne room of grace. Don’t settle. You need the power of God to become all that our heavenly Father has destined for you to become.
All of these areas are important. I would hope that God is continually stripping you down to your bare bones and rebuilding you into His glorious image. Amen.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.