Most everyone has heard John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus came that we may have life… abundant life. So do we? Are we all living fully and abundantly? Or are we the living dead? I can only speak for myself here, but I have to say I fall into the latter category. I have been barely living. I have been existing. So many of my days consist of me longing for the evening to come. So often, I go through the motions of my day, doing just what I need to do to make it to nightfall. And then, I fall asleep on the couch, take myself to bed, and then wake up to do it all over again. This cannot be what Jesus meant when He said that He came so we may have life.
There’s another verse that comes to mind… “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). I’m sure this verse is about salvation through Jesus Christ, but when I ponder the first part of that verse, I wonder if it goes deeper than that. Because yes, God wants for all His creation to be saved and have eternal life in heaven. But, I think He also wants us to live here on this earth… fully and abundantly. For His purposes. But sin throws us off course. I feel my life is living proof of just that. I had two abortions when I was young. I cringe as I type that. But what’s done is done and I cannot go back and change it. But, I can change how I move forward in life. Because although I truly repented of that lifestyle years ago, I never brought my specific acts to God. I never really talked to Him about it till this past Fall. And I think that my holding on to those sins, even though I no longer agreed with what I did, has hindered me all these years. That old sin that I carried in the deep recesses of my heart slowly ate away at me. My life slowly ebbed away, until I was simply a shell of a woman. A woman who simply went through the motions in every sense of the word… in every aspect of my life. A woman who did her best to get through each day, so she could get to the evening… a woman who barely lived.
Do you know what God says in Ezekiel 18:32? He says, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies… therefore turn and live!” Man, did this verse jump off the pages at me. Turn and live! Although God is talking to His chosen people of long ago, I’m sure He is also talking to His people of today. I’m sure He wants for us all to listen up, and “Turn and live!” But how do we do that? The preceding verse says, “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?” Cast away my sins… I’m in the process of doing that, you know. I began dealing with my past in the Fall, and it’s somehow carried over to now. Because I just made a huge confession on Friday. God’s word assures me that when we confess, and when we repent of our sins, we are forgiven! Because of the blood of Christ, my sins are covered. Can I truly receive His word? Can I trust Him in that, and really once and for all leave what’s past in the past? I pray I can.
I read Ezekiel 37 today. I was totally captivated by God’s word. I felt like each verse was written just for me. I couldn’t get enough of it. I just have to share what I read because God’s vision to Ezekiel still holds true… for all of us. Because you know what? With the exception of a few blessed souls who are really living life the way God intends, most of us are barely living at all. Most of us are going through the motions. Most of us are stagnating in a rut of routine. Most of us are completely hindered by our pasts, refusing to let go and just move forwad. So many of us are complacent… too many of us are comfortable in our bubbles of security. And for some of us, we are dead in our trespasses in every sense of the word. So listen and hear God’s word today…
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. Behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. God said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord, God, You know.” And He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Because He says, “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.” So I prophesied as I was commanded, and there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling… the bones came together… bone to bone. God said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, say to the breath, ‘Thus says the LORD God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.'” And breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet. (Portions of Scripture taken from Ezekiel 37:1-14)
Do you want to live? I do. I do not want to go through the motions one more day. I want to live fully and abundantly. I want God to breathe new breath into me, and pour out His Spirit upon me. I want it bad. And He wants it for me. And so all I have to do is turn to Him, and I’ll live. I’ll receive His word… I’ll receive His Spirit… and I’ll receive His promises. Because the gift of God through Christ Jesus our Lord is eternal life… and I’ll grab it with both hands.
Hush, listen… what’s that I hear? Is that the rattling of bones?