You cannot walk this Christian walk, God was saying this to the prophet Ezekiel, ‘can these bones live?’ As God is restoring and bringing life back into Israel so with the church. Jesus will do everything for Him/her who bows the knee constantly in His presence.
Well I have a title this morning ‘O Lord God You Know’
and to those who don’t have baggage, to those who don’t see a great need then God will say ‘I have nothing for you’, because it’s only those who truly are touched by God [that] have to say ‘Lord God You know’. But to those who are weighed down and have got too much baggage and it’s getting too heavy and it’s getting all out of control, then you will begin to understand ‘O Lord God You Know’. Jesus says ‘I will do everything for Him who realises that the baggage he or she has is just weighing them down and it’s getting too much’. He is the only one who can take that load, and the condition is acknowledging it, bowing that knee and having that attitude (of a bowed knee) constantly in His presence.
I want us to look to something very familiar and I know that it’s applying very much to Israel being restored in the last days but turn with me if you will to Ezekiel 37 – the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones – the bones coming alive. This is happening brothers
and sisters, this is why we know we’re in the last days. Life is being restored – being brought back to the Body of Christ, to the true Overcomers .. The Body of Christ and Israel as a nation move together, so when we talk of Israel .. being restored – life being brought back to her it’s the same with the .. Body of Christ. We can identify when we read these words here ..
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
CAN THESE BONES LIVE
I wonder why he [Ezekiel answered] that, probably because it looked hopeless, it looked too far gone. Israel’s history was just a mere mirage, a thing of the past – it’s
what happened centuries ago, how can anything now be revived, all we have is mere dust, bones, it’s all decayed, nothing can come out of that. But those are the very things which God challenges us to believe – to overcome. You will know, if you’re walking right with God, you will know if you’re destined for the throne of grace because the challenges in your life and the experiences in your life and the mountains in your life are going to be ‘Lord, you know’ because naturally speaking it is impossible. It’s those that don’t see this, it’s those that are not touched by this one has to question, and we will look at this. But the question with verse 3 [is]
‘Can a sinner be turned into a saint’
.. ‘Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Is my life too far gone? Has there been too much baggage – have I been too damaged in the world over the years? .. Am I a Christian, this shouldn’t be going on in my life?’
You know, you battle these things, but thank God He has a way of using everything and turning it to His glory, praise Him for that. But can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a life be completely turned around? We try to assist God with this don’t we, and we still do it.. ‘Well I will assist God and I will show Him that I am turned completely around and I’m a new creation because I am now going to have regular bible study.. listen to all the tapes .. buy all the books ..’ Of course we know that it has that place but brothers and sisters there’s been an awful lot of striving over the years trying to assist God in our salvation but it comes back to motive – what are you actually believing.
What is being exposed at the moment is unbelief and it shatters us when we think all these years we were in faith and actually we were not – we were in works. Or my prayer life – it’s got to be at least an hour a day, that is what’s required of the saints if they belong to Full Gospel Assembly. Now again, if you have an hour a day praise God, but that isn’t the motive, that isn’t the point. The point is do I desire to come before God in prayer and intercession, does it come out of that affection, that relationship that I have with Him? Or am I all the while questioning. We have a prayer meeting each week, but what is our motive for coming to that prayer meeting? Do we come .. in a religious way or a critical way or do we come because it’s out of an affection, [is it] because ‘O Lord You Know’? We’re always going to find weaknesses, we’re always going to find among our circles that there are still areas for change, but who are you, who am I to judge or question those things, what arrogance but we do it instead of saying ‘O Lord You Know’
Can you do anything with these dry bones because sometimes Full Gospel Assembly still looks like dry bones. Or do I go and do .. charity work? It can have a place, I’m not against a saint going to do charity work if it is led by the Holy Spirit. These areas are so subtle how they work, you see it’s much easier to be active than to trust God and this works in diverse ways. It’s so easy to be active, it’s so easy to be doing. Most can do that, sadly most in our churches do that, but am I trusting God, am I believing, am I actually walking in faith, that’s the whole question.
‘I MUST DO SOMETHING’
‘I must do something, I must look as though I’m a Christian’
This is why we see so many who work for God and so few work with God, and there’s the difference.
‘This is the company I work for’ ‘This is what I expect you to do for us’.
That is our thinking, our mentality, but when God saves us [He says] ‘you work with me‘. What a big difference because it’s all about relationship, it’s about working together, waiting upon the one who leads who touches who inspires and so forth. We get it so wrong at times and we wonder why we don’t bear the fruit at times that we should or why things don’t work out.
‘Well I tried this, I’m not going to do it any more, I stepped out in faith – I’ve tried’
– and so forth. Yes you’ve tried because you’re working for God instead of working with Him, there’s such a difference – ‘O Lord You Know’. We’d much rather work for God and do His job –
‘I will assist God with my faith, I will keep pressing in until the manifestation’
Now there can be a pressing in and for manifestation, and there is certainly a place for waiting on God, we are to wait on God each day but what is the motive. Am I working for Him at that point or am I working with Him? Is He leading me to press in for the manifestation – that is the question. Because we’ve heard testimonies that that’s what you do so everyone assumes that that is what you must do instead of getting it from God.
‘What would you have me do Lord? I am going through a trial, I don’t know what to do, I can only look to you, I have your Word I have your promises, I move with You, I can only do what You reveal, what You show’.
That is why we wait on Him, that is what He’s teaching us. And so often that looks as though we’re not doing anything, and if I’m not doing anything I start getting down and depressed and things are not working right, it doesn’t look very christian and how the enemy gets in and uses it, instead of just coming to that place of just resting in His presence. That is why the spirit of this age tries to rob us and keep us out of God’s presence. The Devil knows, he knows where it lies, and if he keeps you busy – active all the time, he is keeping you out of God’s presence so in the end you find that you are striving, you’re working for God instead of working with Him, that’s the whole problem and so your faith starts to become works .. and when you have got works you have got strife .. legalism .. bondage .. division..
True unity cannot exist .. when you have got works .. jealousy .. competition .. what the world does .. there’s competition for virtually anything .. why .. because it’s a way of creating divisions .. pride .. everyone striving to get the better of somebody else .. What motivates? Money, because someone will sponsor .. It’s actually creating more despair, depression, despondency, rejection, inward looking ‘I am no good, I don’t fit in’.. it’s the same in industry, it’s the same at work, there is this drive now all the time for the very best, it promotes pride. It’s a vicious circle, no wonder we’re getting delivered. God is doing a complete reversal of all of that because we know that the ground is level at the foot of the cross for all. Why even Muslims know that in their worship – from a lawyer to a road sweeper when they bow prostrate and worship they are all the same height, yet Christians can be so blind to that spiritually speaking before almighty God.
AM I REALLY BELIEVING?
Do I really believe that God can deliver me from what I cannot do ? ..
Being active [to] feel spiritual – [putting] people down by so called spirituality .. that is not Gods heart .. this is why God brings .. every one of us to the end of ourselves where we have to say ‘O Lord God You Know’ And He does this yet we are still thinking it a surprise, we’re still shocked .. downcast .. depressed by it .. it is a sign that God wants us to work with Him – we are reacting because we have still been working for Him – and there’s such a difference. .. Are you in a situation that seems impossible, are you crying out ‘O Lord God You Know’? Well that’s the very means where your faith will work else God wouldn’t allow us to go through it. That’s the irony of all of this. .. My faith to believe and make it in is also for others .. fellowship .. brothers and sisters .. are we believing for others. There are big trials in this church that some are going through – horrendous. Am I believing .. don’t look to me.
‘Am I believing that he or she is going to be raised up’
That’s the question, because at the end of the day it is only God who can change things. My being in that helpless situation enables me to move with God – to work with Him. The question we raise as we look at our lives – has this been achieved in me? Is this working in me – what I’m hearing today – is this my experience? Because if it is we’re on our way to glory .. we’re going to see breakthroughs. Only you can answer these questions as we are challenged by the Word each week. Yes we’re challenged but it’s to encourage us not to crush us .. ok if you’re missing it or you’ve got it wrong then praise God you’ve been given light today .. to get it right, because our souls could be required of us this very night before God. All the while there’s life and breath in me I can get it right. Hallelujah that’s the good news of the Gospel.
I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES
God’s going to let us see ourselves, and if you’re really fighting against this God’s going to get you to the place where you’re going to see yourself for what you are. How do I know, look at verse 12
12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
What is a grave? It’s dead, it speaks of death, and God is going to open your eyes to areas in you that are still dead. Hallelujah, what a deliverance eh? .. He shows what man is like separated from God and He’ll start not with the person sitting next to you or the church but with you, that’s where He always starts. We don’t grasp that one because it’s always somebody else’s fault. But He starts with you and that’s why He shows us the graves .. You see God will always give you a vision of what you would be like without His grace. If you want to know what you would be like without His grace and mercy, look at a grave.
‘I was once that – I was dead in sin but made alive in Christ Jesus.’
Brothers and sisters never forget this, we can never go too far in theology and teaching to forget that basic principle that must ever motivate our lives daily.
‘Thank you Father I am alive today in Christ because otherwise I would be dead like those graves.’
But the good news of the Gospel is God speaks to those graves ‘dead come forth‘ because the gospel is about resurrection. That’s why it’s good news brothers and sisters and may we never forget this. God’s going to remind you that when you were dead you were the worst of criminals. But my grave has been opened. I think that’s good news to alot of people when it’s genuinely by the Spirit brought forth – when you’re not trying to convert them, when you’re not trying to be theologically clever.
‘Look what God has done for me and how I’m blessed and living the abundant life’
So much of that has gone on. No, when Jesus met them where they were, He wasn’t afraid to bow down on His knees and meet them at the level of where they were, and that’s what we do aswell. We just let the life of Christ touch those people in the way He knows how to do it. Believe me.
What does the apostle Paul say about this as we know in Romans chapter 7 and verse 18
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Before you will ever start to change you have got to settle to the fact that in your flesh there is nothing good whatsoever – nothing, period .. religion doesn’t save man .. He’s going to continue to remind you and me and you’ve got to just face the facts that that is what God does – God keeps us in that place – because that’s where we are effective, that’s where we work with God .. Brothers and sisters when we see areas of weakness in each one of us let’s first make sure the mote is out of my eye before I then can effectively intercede and pray. The way you will know if the mote is out of your eye is [by] coming back to these basics – coming back and looking to the grave, ‘cos that is where you were brought from, that’s what you were, you were dead.
‘Father open the eyes of my brother, open the eyes of my sister that they may see’
Because what you are in effect doing [is] praying that God will then touch that person in that area, because at the moment they don’t see – they’re not touched there yet. Did you know that you still have to be touched by God. We’re going to continue to be touched by God until He calls us – when the call goes out and the trumpet sounds. How do you think the bride makes herself ready? She makes herself ready because she is touched by God, and the way she is touched by God [is] by her acknowledgement and abasement and humility before Him ..
TOUCHED BY THE BREATH OF LIFE
5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
No man can create and build this fellowship this unity .. I can certainly spot certain denominations by the way they act, by the way they dress by the way they speak – you can normally sus out what they are. That’s wrong, you can’t do that with true fellowship .. no way .. You’re not of that ilk, you’ve been.. set free from that.. I just say to them – ‘no I’m a disciple of Christ and I follow Him’ .. who knows that may be a seed that is planted into their minds and hearts.
We have to fit into boxes – that’s man .. it’s fear .. fear has torment, fear wants to try to be in control. You are not in control of your life, except it brothers and sisters and move on. You are not in control, every day when you wake up you are not in control of that day and if you think you are then there’s something that is still driving you .. hand .. this day over to the Lord – you then are walking in that total faith and that peace, and even though the enemy will try and .. buffet you know that your control is in Jesus and Him alone, and nothing is going to touch you .. rattle you .. knock you off course because you are completely dependent on Him. When you get to that place you are then working with Him because you’re moving with Him
He’s doing it brothers and sisters, He wouldn’t be speaking to us this morning if He’s not. This is a love message from the Lord, this is from His heart – because He loves us. As I’ve said He’s touching us, He’s touching us right now, and every touch every crevice – because we’re spiritual we’re made in the image of God now we’re a new creation. How can you work that out, you can’t analyse that, we just know it in [the heart] and He knows how to touch all of that new creation that we are in Him. Every time He touches us our eyes are opened – we see, we’re in faith, we’re in rest, and so often when He touches us we want others to be touched aswell and that’s why we’re so active and effective because we can then pray that through – that my brother, my sister, yes the pastor, the teacher – all can be touched in that area as I have been touched.
That’s what creates that true unity and fellowship and care and oneness .. so that when one suffers we all suffer, when one is joyful we are all joyful, because it’s the same message .. aim .. purpose .. Holy Spirit .. When you find yourself saying [‘O Lord God You Know’] in situations don’t be despondent, that’s God challenging your faith. He’s bringing you to another location that looks impossible.
Every location you are brought to looks impossible and it looks like a grave – dead.
Have you seen dead situations? Praying for your family and it doesn’t look as though it could get more dead than it is. Praise God, there’s a reason, it shouldn’t take us by surprise because that’s how we’re to walk. It is impossible to walk this otherwise, don’t even attempt it.
You think in any small area you can walk this Christian walk you are still missing it. And that is what God was saying to the prophet Ezekiel .. to that nation that once walked with God and for many centuries was just dispersed, gone into the world, completely unregenerate – ‘can anything come back, can anything be restored?’ [Ezekiel 37:3] Yes it can and it is, and as God is restoring and bringing life back into Israel so He’s working it with the church. You are a part of it aswell, that’s why you’re hearing this message today, God doesn’t make mistakes. If there’s anything that I’m aware as I finish now – I’m really aware and touched by God’s grace, His mercy. We were all criminals justified for imprisonment for the rest of our lives. What have I done to deserve this, I have no words I can only praise and thank Him but I know one thing I’ll say – ‘O Lord God You Know’. Amen.
Heavenly Father, you know how to humble us, and rightly so. You know how to focus and bring us back to the basics, you’ve caused us to look to the cross again today, You’ve caused us to look to those graves that we’ve been hewn from. We were dead but we’ve now been made alive in Christ Jesus. Father help us just to surrender each day, we are not in control as we think we are and how wrong of us to think that we are, what a slight it makes on You, it throws everything back in Your face. But Lord you know our weaknesses and you know fear will do this, you know unbelief will do this, and Lord we are desperate because unless You touch us in areas of our blindness we will just continue to do what we’re doing – yes even listening to a message like this. But we’re here today Father because we desire to change, we’re here today because we desire to be in Your likeness – to walk and be like you. And we can only make ourselves available and be before you and know at that right time and hour You will touch the inner man and change us. So Lord we want to thank you today, we want to thank you for this fellowship, we want to thank you for bringing us together from near and far and Lord we just express our love and our gratitude in our hearts for you Father in Jesus name “
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O Lord God You Know | Jesus disciple | valley of dry bones | restoration | God’s touches
O Lord God You Know