A Cry for Revival
Karen E. Pansler
O Lord, breathe on us!
We are dead cold to the sin in our lives and in the world around us.
We must be dead to sin and alive to Christ!
We must cry out to God, “Revive us!”
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowst.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones; hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
In this vision, Ezekiel sees an open valley of dry bones. It is a dismal sight. It is a repulsive sight. It is a scene of silent ruin. There are no corpses, just bones. And the bones are dry; they are very dry. The vultures picked them clean, and they are left to bleach in the sun. The bones aren’t even lying about as complete skeletons. The vultures ruthlessly tore them joint from joint, and scattered the bones across the desolate valley. It is a valley of dry bones. It is a valley of death.
Yet God commands Ezekiel to preach to these dry bones! Remarkably, the preaching is effective: the bones shake and move and fit themselves together; and flesh, sinews, and skin cover them. They come together as complete corpses. Alas, still they are not alive. They are still lifeless; they are still dead. It is still a valley of death.
Then God commands Ezekiel to summons the four winds to breathe on the corpses and call them to life. And when he summons the winds, the breath comes into them and they are filled with the spirit of life. The bodies stand upon their feet as a great army. They are revived!
This vision not only represents the revival of the dead nation of Israel, it also symbolizes the revival of the lost and dead soul under the renewing and reviving power of the Holy Spirit. Just as the bodies in the valley were slain by a mighty power, we are engaged in a mighty battle against sin that may overpower and slay our soul. Many dead souls are in the valley of dry bones – the valley of spiritual death.
As we all know, when the corruption of a fatal disease overtakes our body, if not treated, our body will gradually weaken. We’ll eventually die and the spirit of life departs. It is the same with spiritual death. When the corruption of sin battles within our soul, if not overcome by a stronger power, our soul dies. While we are spiritually dead, recovery seems impossible; as impossible as for a great mass of dry bones scattered in the valley of death to be revived with life. Yet, life can come from God’s Spirit. We can be renewed and revived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What deadly sins have conquered your soul? Corrupt church politics? Racism? Greed? Drunkenness? Illegal or legal drugs? Snobbery? Discrimination? Pride? Lust? Deceit? I don’t have to name any more. You know what sins have slain your soul in your battle against evil (Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:28-32; Ephesians 5:1-6). Souls are dead while the body lives in sin. The spiritually dead are separated from God. They cannot have fellowship with God. They are dead to holy living. Are you slowly dying or are you already spiritually dead?
Today the Spirit of God wants to breathe life into your dead soul. The Holy Spirit may be speaking to your heart right now. The Spirit earnestly desires to renew and revive you to join God's army of truth and righteousness. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13). If the Spirit is pleading with you today, please don’t smother His voice. The Spirit may not always strive. If you continue to deaden your heart to His calling, one day, without warning, He will leave you alone – forever (Romans 1:28-32; Hebrews 3:7-19).
Friend, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never given your heart to Him, whether you’ve backslidden and slid back into sin, or if you’ve just started to smother the Spirit from your soul. Call on the Lord to breathe His Spirit into your dead soul.
We are dead cold to the sin in our lives and in the world around us. We must be dead to sin and alive to Christ! We must cry out to God, “Revive us!”