Thursday, August 14, 2014

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - Skeletons in the Closet

The Bible reading for this particular day lands on Ezekiel 37 entitled The Valley of Dry Bones. For those who are unfamiliar with this particular passage, it is a vision of Israel's restoration physically and spiritually to the land God promised them. God showed Ezekiel a valley full of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to prophesy over those bones and tell them God will breathe life back into them and that He will attach tendons and make flesh come upon them and they will come to life. (Ezekiel 37:1-6) It is a promise of hope for God's people.

As I was reading this morning, the phrase that came to mind was, "skeleton's in the closet." The more I read on, the more this picture the Lord began to give me was that this passage is an illustration of salvation. Bear with me on this, but I want to look at it under the New Covenant of the New Testament.

So many of us come to Jesus with skeleton's in our closet. Sometimes the skeletons come after we've come to Jesus too. Those skeletons represent the sin in our lives that even after becoming a follower of Jesus, we sometimes have a hard time getting past. What I mean by that is, even after receiving our salvation, we allow the things of the past and sometimes present, to haunt us. They are a hindrance that keep us from fully becoming what God has purposed for us, which is to become like his Son. Instead, God wants to take those dry bones and use them in our lives for His purpose to do good. Those skeletons are canceled out according to Romans 8:28 - 30 promise that says, "And we know that in all things (including the bad) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed into the likeness of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified."

Verse 10 in Ezekiel 37 says, "So I (Ezekiel) prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army." Verse 13 and 14 goes on to say, "Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord." Sounds like God is taking something dead and resurrecting it for His glory. Just like He did with his son, Jesus. Colossians 2:13 and 14 says, "13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross."

Chapter 37 concludes, beginning in verse 15 entitled One Nation Under One King. It says in verse 16 & 17, "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him. (Jesus came from the line of Judah) Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph (Joseph is often used as a parallel to the life of Jesus) and all the house of Israel associated with him.' 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand." The picture the Lord showed me as I read this, the only way for two sticks to be joined together would be in the form of a cross. A symbol of Christianity. The cross that brings complete redemption and wholeness to our lives. The cross that brings life to the skeletons in our closet. Like the vision the Lord showed Ezekiel by bringing the dry bones to life. The cross is a symbol of hope for us being conformed into the likeness of God's Son. That the spirit living in us is the life of the Holy Spirit and eventually we will settle in our eternal home which is the Kingdom of Heaven.

I hope you are able to track with me on this. I pray that the Lord would use this to encourage you today about those skeletons that might be stashed away in your spiritual closet. Know that from this day forward that they can be used for good works and purposes that will ultimately glorify the good work that the Lord is doing in your life. Just as Ezekiel prophesied life to those dead and dry bones, you too can prophesy over those dead, dry bones in your life, to be resurrected under the blood of Jesus and used to glorify God and God alone!