Stop Doing God’s Job

Have you ever been in a situation (or season of life) where you felt like nothing you did was working? Perhaps you were doing everything right but it felt like you were still hitting a brick wall. ¬†If you have been a Christian for long, you may have even experienced this with your own relationship with Christ… a sort of “dead area” ¬†where you could not hear Him, feel Him, and no matter how many prayers you sent up or Scriptures you read- you just could not break through. God seemed silent and uncaring; you were at an impasse spiritually and nothing you did could break you out of it. ¬†This is an extremely hard place to be in, but one that God often uses to either teach us something or to break us away from sin.

I have recently given this  season of silence a name; I call it- The Valley of Bones. Oooooohhhhh creepy. Let me explain why this is fitting in my opinion:

First of all, when you are in this empty place, for many, there is a feeling of hollow pointlessness. You feel dead inside and more often than not, your hope is no where to be found. While you may not be thinking of death itself- when you cannot connect with the Father, there is a sort of decay that’s felt.

Secondly, this place is- and only is- a valley. It’s an area that will be gotten past, it’s just we can’t see how large the valley is. We may feel as though we’ll remain in this place forever and that God will never show Himself real to us again. Remember the Israelites in the desert though? 40 years was an awful long time to be lost in a desert… but God remained faithful.

The Valley of Bones was ¬†a place that Ezekiel the Prophet visited (not 100% on whether it was an actual valley that the Holy Spirit took him to, or a vision) regardless, the ¬†point of the experience was/is clear and powerful. Ezekiel was a prophet during the time that ¬†King Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon ransacked, destroyed, and exiled ¬†the people of Judah- including precious Jerusalem. Ezekiel was given visions of consequence to the ¬†people because of their blatant disobedience of God’s commands and for (once again) worshiping idols instead of the One True God. However, Ezekiel’s messages were also ones of hope; although they were scattered to countless nations, God promised to one day bring them back to their promised land and make them His holy people again.

The¬†hand of the¬†Lord¬†was upon me, and He¬†brought me out¬†by the Spirit of the¬†Lord¬†and set me down in the middle of the¬†valley; and it was full of bones.¬†He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold,¬†there were¬†very many on the surface of the valley; and lo,¬†they were¬†very dry.¬†He said to me, ‚ÄúSon of man,¬†can these bones live?‚ÄĚ And I answered, ‚ÄúO Lord¬†God,¬†You know.‚Ä̬†Again He said to me, ‚ÄúProphesy over these bones and say to them, ‚ÄėO dry bones,¬†hear the word of the¬†Lord.‚Äô¬†Thus says the Lord¬†God¬†to these bones, ‚ÄėBehold, I will cause¬†breath to enter you that you may come to life.¬†I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will¬†know that I am the¬†Lord.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
So I prophesied¬†as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a¬†noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.¬†And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.¬†Then He said to me, ‚ÄúProphesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‚ÄėThus says the Lord¬†God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and¬†breathe on these slain, that they¬†come to life.‚Äô‚Ä̬†So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the¬†breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an¬†exceedingly great army. ¬† (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

This is some freaky stuff right?! ¬†The point God was making though was that the barren wasteland that His chosen nation had become would one day rise up as the children of God they were created to be. They would once again be united in their own country- with new breath, strength, and a renewed love for the Father. ¬†The story of the redemptive promise over God’s chosen nation cuts me to the quick because He speaks the same redemptive promise over us, His adopted sons and daughters. Go back just 1 chapter and we see not just what God promised to do with this nation as a whole, but with the individual lives of His people…

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

When we are in The Valley of Bones ourselves, feeling like a pile of decay and dust , we can claim this promise over our lives just as the people of Judah did over theirs. ¬†Here’s the kicker though, while they were required to turn back in love to God and obey His laws, the actual change that was to take place within them was God’s job description not theirs! Listen to all the “I” statements in that paragraph: “I will take you… I will cleanse you… I will give you a new heart… I will cause you to walk in My statutes.” That means that while we ARE to turn to God and continue to seek Him with everything in us, the actual job of change in our lives has to be done by Him! There is absolutely nothing we can do to MAKE God show up, cleanse us, change our hearts, etc. We can pray, repent, and ask for blessing (He wants us to do that) but WE cannot do that work ourselves.Speaking from personal experience, the time that I was in the Valley was THE hardest season of my life thus far. I felt like God WOULD not hear me and I was on my own. I tried everything to get back where I felt I used to be with Him: more Scripture, more praying, more repenting, more EVERYTHING! Nothing worked… because I expected my attempts to be what fixed things. Surely if I couldn’t hear God anymore in my life, it must have been something I did right? Not necessarily. God took me through that valley to teach me so many things that I could not list them all out on here. He transformed me in inner crevices of my being that I had not realized needing changing. It was a gradual process coming out of that place, but He DID bring me out of it and I have a testimony because of it. ¬†The point: HE did the work in HIS timing, in HIS way. I could rest in that and while still difficult, I knew He would be faithful and would do the work necessary to renew my life and breathe new breath into me.

If you’re in that Valley now, try to step back and let God do His work. Stay faithful to Him, but even if you can’t feel Him right now- rely on His promises and trust in His methods. Let God do His job.

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