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 37:10
Orphans aren’t changed through a new belief system. It’s a start but by itself, it only yields changed behavior. If you tell a child, “Don’t need me so much,” they will feel rejected. Behavior will improve as they are then afraid to show their need. This is what it is to study the Word of God without the breath of the Spirit. Good behavior vs. real heart change. Consider this story and picture it as you read it.
Ezekiel (in a vision) is brought to the precipice of a valley. As he looks down, he sees carnage. Something horrific has happened and the valley floor is full of skeletons. He is distraught and asks God,“How can these bones live?” God doesn’t tell him it’s impossible. He tells him to do something and prophesy to the bones. That means, speak the Word of God over them. Ezekiel obeys and it takes effect. He sees the bones begin to move and show signs of life. Skin forms on the skeletons and flesh becomes visible. But they still lie there half dead, half alive. Something additional needed to happen.
The breath of the Spirit. The wind came and God breathed over that valley – over the Word that Ezekiel had spoken. The Word, plus the Spirit’s breath, brought completion to the resurrection below. Breath entered them and they all stood on their feet.
This is Old Testament. Is there a New Testament correlation? Yes, when Jesus talks to Nicodemus and tells him that to be born again, he must come by way of the Word and the Spirit. The Spirit (wind) blows over the darkened mind of an unbeliever. Eyes are open and their heart is ready for the 2nd part of the miracle. The Gospel is proclaimed and there is spiritual understanding. The Spirit, plus the Word, bring new life to the one who is spiritually dead.
So, how does God heal the heart of an orphan? Through His Word and through the breath of His Spirit. As you review the ten orphan characteristics, which ones describe your way of life? Did you own them? You are on the precipice of change. Knowing exactly what is wrong and acknowledging it is the beginning of a new life. The next step is to live in the scriptures that address your orphan ways. Ask the Spirit of God to breathe over your heart, over the lies, over what has been dead-end behavior. As you make those scriptures yours and meditate on them, be aware and continue to ask the Holy Spirit to write them on your heart. Close your eyes as you recite them. Jesus is there with you, and if you ask, He will breathe over you just as powerfully as when He stood in the upper room and breathed over a group of disciples that were depressed and feeling hopeless. What happened? Timidity was replaced by boldness. Unbelief melted away and passion took them from hiding in fear to public ministry. They gave up their lives joyfully.
Your Word is in me. Your Spirit is in me. I have both and I want to be changed. Amen
Originally published Monday, 25 February 2019.