Exceeding Great Army
This week, a story in the Bible has been blessing me. I am filled with hope, anticipation, promise, and a prayer that is powerful, because it is based on the Word of God.
Ezekiel 37:10 says, "So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army."
Let me set up the story.
The first two verses of this chapter says, "The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry." (NKJV)
The LORD took Ezekiel to the valley and caused him to walk around to look at all of the dry bones. He wrote that they were "very dry." They had apparently been dead a long time.
I think the parallel between these bones and our prodigals is obvious.
1. They have been dead a long time.
2. They are very dry spiritually.
3.They have all been alive at one point.
4. God can raise them up, breathe life back into them, and use them to fight for His kingdom.
The first two are hard to take. It is so very hard to think of our loved ones being spiritually dead after having known God. In fact, in addition to being sad, I get really angry about it.
But the fourth point is powerful. Just like Jesus forgave the paralytic lowered by his friends through the roof and forgave his sins, demonstrating what He can do spiritually through what He did physically (Mark 2:3-12), He demonstrated through the "exceedingly great army" what He plans to do in the lives of our prodigals.
I have been moved for several weeks now to pray for our prodigals that they would be "saved, sanctified, filled with the Spirit, and anointed to fulfill the purpose, ministry, and calling for which they were created." I am asking God to do spiritually what He demonstrated physically, to raise up "an exceedingly great army" to fight along-side us.
Can you imagine what your loved one will do for the kingdom of God once he or she is saved? Remember, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20). Because of the things they have experienced, they will reach people who will not give us the time of day. They each have a calling on their life, and God will redeem all they have gone through!
God has already begun the return of the prodigal army. He has saved 22 people on our list, and He is working in the lives of the rest!
I give Him the praise for these that have been saved, and I thank Him that He is still working in the lives of the others to raise up this "exceedingly great army."