"Come, O Breath" | September 2021
“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, breath, from the four winds 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.” Ezekiel 37:9-10.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8.
The style and imagery of this painting at first glance may come as a bit of a surprise. I don’t normally paint skulls. As I prayed into September’s painting, I heard the Lord say, “paint the breath of life, dry bones come to life!”
On their own dry bones and a skull often represent death and decay, however we must remember that the details in this painting do not simply end here. Rather, it is mirroring the anticipated beginnings of the biblical story that is found in Ezekiel 37. I would encourage you to make time, to review the whole chapter and meditate on the words from the Lord for this season and what it can mean for us today.
As we dive a little deeper, we begin to clearly trace the breath of the Holy Spirit enveloping over these dry bones; to both hear the word of the Lord and arise from the graves. This breath symbolically represents the rushing wind of Holy Spirit, bursting forth to clothe the body with skin and sinews of flesh. This breath, Ruach in Hebrew, means the creative life force of God. Just as God breathed life into Adam for the first time, forming a living man, He told Ezekiel to command the breath into these dry bones. I see this as a prayer strategy in this season, to command the breath of life into dead, dry places to come alive again! God’s presence & power drawing the four corners of the earth to woe all of creation back to Him.
We see these bones came together to form a great army, and yet if the body of Christ cannot be united as one, we hinder our witness and compromise the coming of generational revivals to take place. Our need to display community and connection is integral to our effectiveness and ministry; “…and the bones came together, bone to bone.” (Ezekiel 37:7). May we leave no room for the enemy to work through open doors of offense, un-forgiveness, opinions or pride. Let us be a people who join hand in hand, shake the dust from our feet and journey upwards and onwards in Christ, as the mighty army of God. Letting the old flesh die, for the breath to breathe anew in us and into the Church.
The Withering Flower:
Capturing the breath as wind blowing in a painting is difficult, unless there is a subject tangibly being blown. I immediately saw petals dancing in the wind and heard the verse in Isaiah, “the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” I love how God uses metaphors all throughout His word. In this verse, human fragility is compared to flowers falling and grass withering. Like the flower, our life is fleeting, only here for a moment, but the Word of God endures forever. Much like the dry bones, we too are dead to our sinful nature, until accepting God’s saving grace through His Son, Jesus, the Word became flesh spoken at creation – we then receive the breath of life, the Holy Spirit, breathed into our ‘dry bones’ to fully live, here and in eternity.
Our Need for Hope:
“Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’” (Ez. 37:11) I want to stop for a moment and highlight the word hope, because this little word is imperative to lay hold of. You may find yourself or the current state of the world in a season of the wilderness, be encouraged that the Lord is near; however you must also chose to respond. May we make room for Him to breathe afresh over us, and to not allow your hope to become distorted and appear deferred. Be reminded that you are the gatekeeper of your hope, but you do not have to go about it alone. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). Ask the Lord to help you protect your hope so that you would be able to test all things, endure the course – and when you have done all you can do, stand.
Prophesy Dead Things Back to Life:
In chapter 37 of Ezekiel the word “prophesy and to be prophesied” is spoken of 7 times. The Lord actually commands Ezekiel to prophesy to his own heart, while both speaking and believing that all things are possible to Him who is able. I urge you to see past the stale tomb, where dead things once lay, and be reminded that we serve a God and King who has conquered over death, hell and the grave! May we take this truth up, so that as a people, we can walk in the available power and authority freely given to His beloved to rise in Him again; “Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.” (Ez. 37: 12).So I ask you, what graves are you living from that God has called you to prophesy you out from? Have you asked Him? Be open to hear his voice over those things big and small.
This message is three prong. First it is a word for the corporate body; reviving our lost hope to be brought back to Him. Secondly, we are given a command. We are asked to prophesy, and prophesy with boldness and complete authority because of His sacrifice. And thirdly we are to acknowledge and revere the Word of the Lord in all we do; For then all will know that the Lord has spoken and caused these great wonders to happen.
Let us be reminded of the promised hope that our valleys of dry bones are being exchanged for the Spirits’ transformative power that is living within us. His unyielding grace that is constantly longing to captivate and flood the temple of our hearts with the knowledge of His name.
May dry bones comes back to life and become a mighty army in this day!