Monday, June 20, 2005

Flesh On Bones

We had a Camaroon Evangelist speak at St. Andrews this Sunday. He is one of these Missionaries to the States with the purpose to awaken the US Church. You know the prophecy in Ezekiel where the bones gain flesh and then receive breath for life to be given back to them? It is an amazing illustration of the direction God wants to go with the American public. I would not be surprised to see a revival of the faith like we have yet to see in the States if we take preachers like Pastor Jonah seriously. You see dramatic change happens in two steps: The Bones must first obtain flesh, only then can God breathe life back into his people. Flesh represents strength. I get frustrated when I hear people so excited about these kinds of messages because they aren't thinking of the challenge. They expect fast results, easy results. Healing is not easy. Healing is like growing new flesh. Bones don't walk on their own. We have to heal before we can live again.
I know I'm right because I've seen the alternative fail time and again. Those who do not do the healing work, rather, ignore their wounds and stuff their pain, are rendered powerless in the fight for the Kingdom. I tried to ignore my junk and serve God but I was distracted and fruitless. The more I think about it the more I think I just need to say that you can't ignore self-development.
Another thing about the Ezekiel prophecy that is good to remember is that it is only God who breathes life into us. I can see in every person I encounter examples of how we all try to create fulfillment, whether it is through cars or jobs, movies or video games, music or sports. It seems Satan has successfully sent us on a wild goose chase for things to improve our lives when all along fulfillment is in Christ alone.
Apparently perfect love casts out all fear. Perfect love only comes from God. When God loves us, and we accept that love, fear leaves us and we gain strength. Perhaps accepting God's love is synonymous with gaining flesh on bones. Perhaps His breath is the excitement of knowing God that compels us to share the good news. Perhaps that is why people with little or no flesh seldomly share the good news, or if they do, they are not very fruitful because they lack the credibility to proclaim victory if they don't have it themselves.
I know, I know... You don't have to be victorious over sin and failings to be an effective ambassador. I hope it didn't come across that way. All I am saying is that ignoring the whole of our experience is dangerous. The pain we have from broken relationships, that's important.
The pride we get from doing the right things, that pulls our gaze toward the mirror instead of where it should be, on Christ.

Those are my thoughts as of late. They are not well delivered as proof that there is a God. But you know what? The only proof I will be able to offer through this venue will require reflection, serious thought to the validity of my words and trust in the feelings of hope, excitement and joy that what I wrote may be true.