Happy Birthday Mimbres. Happy Birthday to us one and all in the body of Christ and the church universal. This is the day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. Today is Pentecost, that what’s up with all the red balloons. They’re supposed to be tongues of flame over your heads. This is the day that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us and birthed His church on earth, but I want to go back a little bit in time and see why God sent the Holy Spirit to us in the first place. To do this we need to look at the Prophet Ezekiel, the Babylonian Empire and to scripture of course, specifically I want to open your hearts and minds to Ezekiel 30:10 now verse 10 is God speaking to Ezekiel after King Nebuchadnezzar has enslaved the Hebrew people. You might remember Daniel and the lion’s den or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and the fiery furnace. Same time, same place. The nation is divided into two lands, Israel and Judah. The southern kingdom holds the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and Jerusalem is its capital, while the north consisted of the remaining tribes and its capital is Samaria. While God used Daniel and his friends to change the heart of the king, He used Ezekiel and Israel’s captivity to change the hearts of His people and unite them. Under normal circumstances had Ezekiel been home in Jerusalem with King Jehoiachin instead being exiled to Babylon, in his thirtieth year he would have been ordained a priest and lived his life accordingly. But God had other plans for Ezekiel and instead he was commissioned by God as a prophet for God. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Really, I know most of us aren’t off to the priesthood or likely to be commissioned as a prophet for God but think about it for a second. You have plans, right…everyone has plans for their lives. If I do A, B, C and life is good, everything will go exactly as I want it. My expectations will be fulfilled if I can just get X, Y, and Z, I’ll be happy, and my life will be complete. Amen. Then before you know it King Nebuchadnezzar kicks down your door and your whole life is completely upset or more realistically speaking maybe, you have financial difficulties, health issues, legal issues, or maybe family life is just not as simple as it used to be. Whatever the cause, life is no longer going according to your plans. Then God comes along and goes hey why don’t you do this instead, I got this little job I need you to take care of.
Hey Zeke, I need you to be my voice and talk to my people. Straighten them out before it’s too late. In our case maybe Gods sending you to another Job or asking you to get out of your comfort zone, do something that you don’t want to do, not for yourself but for God, because He has plans for you, because He wants you to go and make disciples for his glory. Now, I sympathize with Ezekiel, I really do and if you don’t, if you’ve never had this happen to you and don’t know what I’m talking about, then praise God, I am happy that you don’t know…I am happy that God has blessed you with the peace that is only possible through Him… so, don’t worry about it. For those of us who do know the unexpected “Joys” of life as a Christian, I tell you in all truth…don’t worry about it either. Because we aren’t really talking about our expectations or how we live with the unexpected or with disappointment. How do we make lemonade out of lemon’s? The short answer. We don’t. It’s not about us. It’s about God. God makes our lives as He sees fit, as He plans it. We are nothing alone, we do nothing by ourselves, no matter how much you think you got this, you don’t. God does. God used Ezekiel to prove this to Israel then and to us now. That creation and life are through God’s will and not ours, not only that but they are separate and distinct from one another. God tells Ezekiel in verse 10 Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” …How do we live? Seriously this isn’t a rhetorical question. I want you to ask yourself how is it that you live? What makes you alive? What makes you…you. Electricity firing your synapses through bundles of neurons, chemical receptors, hormones, DNA, some random cosmic accident? How can we live? Creation is no accident. In chapter 37 Ezekiel has a vision, “the hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” [37:1-4] That a tough question for us as well. Science tells us it’s impossible, that anything dead so long could not possibly live again.
Society tells us the same thing about ourselves. Oh! No! “So & So” won’t change, leopards never change their spots. What’s done is done and cannot be undone. Do you truly believe that the creator of the universe is unable to recreate it again? 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. If He can create new bodies from dry dusty bones, don’t you think He can do the same for you, for anyone, for everyone? Yes or No? Still even though God has made his new creations they lack life, they have substance, but no direction. Think about your life before you came to God, before you gave yourself to Christ. Where were you going, did you have a direction like Ezekiel. Was your life all planned out and perfect, or were you just trying to make your way through life. Dead to the world around you, maybe you were happy, but you felt that something was missing, didn’t know what it was and couldn’t figure it out. Because society was telling you that you had it all, you were going in the right direction. You just weren’t “good” enough, “smart” enough, “pretty” enough, or strong enough, whatever excuse life gave you. You were just dry bones without direction or life. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. You see it’s not enough that we are new creations, because it takes the breath of God, the Holy Spirit to give that creation life.
We are only alive if we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, the Breath of God, without the Spirit we are dry bones inside rotting carcasses with no direction and no purpose. Only God can make us anew and Breathe into us the Holy Spirit. Only God can give us purpose and direction. Only God can raise us from our sins and deliver us from our transgressions. Only God can renew us. 11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord. So, welcome back from the dead, Happy Birthday. For today you are new creations through Christ, you are alive because you have the breath of God within you, the Holy Spirit fills you and you are fearfully and wonderfully created for Gods purpose for His plans 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. [Jeremiah 29:11] And that hope is our faith in Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life. Amen.