Sunday 20th May Morning Pentecost
Barry Littleford - Notes Pentecost 2018 Why do we try and follow God in our own Strength? We try and be good in our own strength We try and connect with God in our own strength wondering why it doesn’t happen We try to love ourselves and others and our love runs dry God doesn’t call us to self help he calls us to live by the spirit We can wonder at times why our hearts seem so dry We can have a lack of hope that things can change God seems distant Where is God? This is the position that Israel was in when taken to Babylon – God seemed distant, hope was gone But with God hope is never gone so God gives Ezekiel a vision Ezekiel 37:1-14 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” --So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 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.’ ” This is a vision of Hope, that nothing is beyond God, if he can bring bones back to life he can resurrect anything. I wonder what in your life is your hope gone? What is dry, is it God, marriage, work? The valley represents dryness and lack of life but for God this is not a big thing, he can change anything, any heart, any situation, any issue and bring new life to it. This is what the Spirit does, the spirit creates and recreates, the spirit brings things back from the dead and renews them. Your issues, your dryness, your lack of hope - let God have it and see what he does. The spirit renews passion, renews relationships, renews purpose for life. Here is the funny thing about this passage, God is not saying look what I can do, he tells the prophet to speak to the situation. Sometimes we think God doesn’t want to act but he is waiting for us to speak his words over it. He is waiting for us to speak his life into our situation. He speaks life to the bones, he speaks to the flesh, he speaks to the spirit. He says this is what God wants, this is what God desires. I wonder in your life what would happen if you spoke what God wants over your situation, over your marriage over your job, over your relationships. Not what you see, you will see only dry bones but what God wants then you will see life. Speak over your family not who they are but who God wants them to be, speak over your job, not what you want but what God wants it to be. Speak words of life. What words you may ask, he gives us scripture to guide us, - bible references here John 10:10, Jer 29:11, Ps 46, Matt 5 These all speak of what God wants So today seek the spirit that brings life and makes things new, we are empty cups without it. The spirit changes everything, how you view God, how you see scripture, how your pray. Seek the spirit for the spirit gives life. Eph 1:13-14 is the sign we are God’s and God is ours. The spirit is what enables us not to try and be good, not to try and love but to be and change ( next week) Be filled with the spirit, ask for it come and get prayer for it, hunger for it and receive the new life you need.