Here is a life changing sermon THRIVING IN A MOMENT CALLED NOW by Pastor Derek Smith from Bolton, England. I admit it. I am in the valley of dry bones. God gave me the Word for 2014 was “My Cup Overflows.” And since then, things have dried up. My ex still isn’t paying child support. I still have not found a job after this broken leg. And this Thanksgiving we were served Foreclosure papers. Yeah. Yippee! So, I am listening to the Word – for hope, for peace, and to build my faith.
I really don’t know what God is up to. I have been here in the valley before. But I do know that God is faithful – and He is still on the throne and He has a plan for me and my family. He has opened up new doors for me and my music – I have started playing out in the community lately. And He has provided us a new home to rent that is $150 less a month than the mortgage was. And this house is not falling down around us like the other one. We are blessed – even though our bank account doesn’t show it. God has blessed my husband abundantly with many big jobs. He even has enough work to hire a very good friend of ours. Things are changing. God is good. But it is a journey.
THRIVING IN A MOMENT CALLED NOW is based upon Ezekiel 37. Remember this story? Hey Zeke – lets go for a walk – to the place of death…where nothing grows and there is no life. Sound like fun?
Do you miss what God is doing by waiting for something to happen to thrive?
Do you have dry places, dead places in your life?
Is the hand of the Lord upon you and has He brought you to the valley of dry bones?
Has God allowed you to travel to a place where only God can get you out?
Every problem that the non-Christian faces still comes to us. We still have problems, but we have Jesus to help us cope with them.
There is often a journey that is going to cost you. There is a journey to thriving. It could be a journey to:
- great marriage
- great business
We can’t take shortcuts. We have to embrace the journey that God wants to take us on.
God teaches us in Ezekiel 37. The Hand of the Lord was upon Ezekiel. It brought him to the valley of dry bones – not to a really cool place like Hawaii, or England – it did not bring him there. Very dry bones in the valley – a place of death. Surrounded by death God asks Ezekiel to walk over dead bodies thinking “Why have you brought me here? What are you doing God?” (I can relate to this!!!)
Some of us are trying to get OUT of a place God has put us IN. God is NOT trying to punish us – never. That is not His character. Sometimes He allows us to go into places to bring us through so that we can pick up all the incredible testimonies, revelation, and truths that God can’t always get to us.There are diamonds there for us to pick up.There are diamonds in our brokenness. If you are going through Hell – keep going.If you can pick up those diamonds the journey will be shorter. If we learn what to do in the place of death, you can take those diamonds and it will be a shorter trip.
God is not making us a child – He is making us a Warrior.
The Church is not a Hospital – it is a Battleship.
The church is not here to make us comfortable. It is to equip us to go out and be a radical follower of Jesus so you can bring life and light and hope into the dead valleys that people don’t know how to get out of. But you do!
Do you feel barren?
Are you done?
Maybe it’s your finances, or your health?
Does life feels like you are being surrounded by death?
Do you open the front door to your house and feel death?
Do people not get you?
Are you in the valley of dry bones? Good News – We are not staying in this valley!
Things to do in the Valley:
1. Stop arguing with God – you are here. Accept it. (ok, it’s taken me 12 months to do this – but today I accept it. I am in the valley, I guess God has a few more things to teach me. It’s not because I was a ‘bad little girl’ either. I have been serving Jesus. I have been seeking, and praying, and reading my Bible uh, oh – I better get on to Reason #2, I’m “spiritualizing”.)
2. God will ask you ridiculous stuff. Put away the Bible College answer. God knows we are there. Its our lack of revelation that keeps us in the valley. Don’t spiritualize about where you are. Don’t make a theology about it. (I don’t know why I am here. I am going to stop arguing and start hunting for my diamonds. Oh yeah – to all those gossipers who are laughing at me here – I heard what you said. Yes, when Spirit filled people gossip and slander – Spirit filled believers will hear it. You can laugh or accuse or point fingers all you want – I don’t care. God is not mad at me. I am not in the valley because He is punishing me for my sins. I am forgiven and free and I am still going diamond hunting with or without you!)
3. Don’t make your home in the valley. Don’t put out the porch swing. We are travelling through the valley. We are not making home in lack, we are not making home in sickness, debt, or disease. We are passing through this valley. We are making home in THRIVE. (I am NOT staying here. I will get through this and I will THRIVE!)
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!