Draw Closer To God!!

saturday Lord is a strong tower

 

Have a Wonderful and Blessed day!!! Drawing Closer to God!!!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
Ezekiel 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
Ezekiel 37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
Ezekiel 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
Ezekiel 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
Ezekiel 37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Ezekiel 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
Ezekiel 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

For so many people, New Year’s Day kind of gives us a new start. It gives us a sense of new hope. Maybe this year will be better than last year. With that comes new dreams, hopes, and expectations. So, what are you dreaming about this year? What is it you want to see happen in your life?

Hopefully for us all growing closer to our lord and Savior Jesus Christ is at the top of the list. We need to focus on who God is calling us to be.
Have you ever felt like there was no hope? You were hopeless . . . lost . . . You looked at your situation and there was no way out. You felt trapped . . . stuck. Can we become people of no hope, when we have a God who is all powerful? When we lose faith, when we fall intpo temptation, when our focus goes to self instead of the Lord we do feel hopeless.

When the odds seem to be going against us, what do we do? Do we just cower down and give up? Do we just see the so-called handwriting on the wall and accept the fact that there’s nothing we can do, so we quit? I have to admit to many times I was ready to quit, and did a couple times, and I will be honest not a place I want to ever go back too.
Or do we look at the situation and keep battling, keep looking for a way to overcome whatever it is that’s not going our way. We can look at many sporting events and see where a team which was getting crushed somehow came back and won. We need to be as that sport team don’t give up but go at our tril head on with prayer, fasting, and trust and faith in our Lord who happens to be far bigger than any of our little trials and the big ones too.

Maybe it’s much closer to home, it’s a physical illness … and you were able to come back and live a full life. Maybe it was rejection, a low self esteem, maybe there was abuse, maybe self doubt – – – whatever it was, and you were able to overcome it. Now I am not saying some of these things are easy, and can just get over them, but we get a lot further ahead striving to win whatever battle we are fighting. This is true regardless what situation it is; health, divorce, family drama, death loss of a loved one, debt, job problems, we will get nowhere by throwing our hands in the air and giving up.

Maybe because of all this you’ve been able to envision a future that in the past you never could. You felt like everything and everyone was against you, but you looked beyond all the outside interferences and you’ve made plans, you’ve allowed yourself to dream to see a future which was good . . . and now you’re working towards that future.
Well, the Israelites were in a bad predicament. In fact, they believed they were stuck in an impossible situation. The northern kingdom had been taken by the Assyrians, and now the southern kingdom, Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. Cities had been destroyed, the temple was destroyed and the entire nation had been exiled into captivity. All hope seemed lost. Yet God still had a plan. In the midst of this impossible situation God reminded the people through the prophet Ezekiel that He is the God of the impossible. Let’s look at what the Lord told Ezekiel in chapter 37 —Read the verses above in Ezekiel!!
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

Now, unless you’re a magician, this was an impossible situation. How do you bring life to something which is obviously dead? When was the last time you faced what appeared to be an impossible obstacle? Do you remember feeling hopeless?

Verse 1 tells us that the Spirit of God was upon Ezekiel, which basically means Ezekiel had a very, very deep spiritual experience in which God took him somewhere. It could be a physical place, it could be a spiritual vision. Whatever it was, God brought Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry bones. The bones represented the Israelites. They had been conquered and exiled and any chance of returning to the good old life, even to a normal life, were gone. They had to learn a new culture and ways to live away from home, with foreigners who oppressed them.

Dry bones are as dead as you can get. Face it you cannot bring life back to a bunch of disjointed dead bones. There’s no way humanly possible.

This is far, far worse. This is LONG dead. The body is not just dead – it’s gone! Notice that God makes a point to tell Ezekiel that these bones are VERY DRY! This means, there really is no hope from a human standpoint. You can’t bring life to very dry dead bones! No way! So, can these bones represent you and I? Are we those dried up bones? People of no hope, people with no more dreams? Sadly sometimes we do appear as dry bones, miserable, no movement, no energy, no will to move forward.

It’s one thing to believe in God for a miracle to heal the sick or even to raise a person who has just died. Remember the story when Lazarus died. Martha was hopeful, but by the 3rd day, hope was gone. She told Jesus “if only you had been here.” Her hope was gone!!
Situations in life can be like that sometimes can’t they? There may be issues in your life that seem difficult, but you’re trusting in God to get you through. However, as time goes by these situations don’t change or they grow worse. Still there might be hope. Over time hope fades and at some point dreams die within you and become hopeless situations. Like these dry bones.

God looks at Ezekiel and asks, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Most of us would give a quick and simple answer, “No way!” Ezekiel replies;
Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

Some say Ezekiel’s words show helplessness. I don’t! I believe he has hope in only the Lord. He knows this is over his abilities. Only God can perform this miracle. So, Ezekiel defers to God. Only you know, Lord. It’s up to you Lord. You are the sovereign God who can do all!
Are you facing any impossible situations in your life? Are there any dry bones you’re facing? Things that seem absolutely hopeless. Dreams that have long since died and been buried within you.

Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the bones — “Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!” When most people think of prophecy they think it’s like fortune telling or standing out on a street with a sign that says “end of the world near – repent.” Sadly the lost and some saved have said “well if people in the bible would prophesy, then going to a fortune teller, card reader, horoscopes are fine”. NONE of the just mentioned are okay. Them are playing with the occult, demons, evil spirits. Sure some may be able to tell you things that surprise people that they know. Keep in mind demons have some powers. Satan our enemy is the father of lies, and a deciever, and if he can send confusion or make us interested in these wrongful activities, he can do that. To prophesy simply means hearing God’s voice and proclaiming it.

Sometimes it may not make a whole lot of sense. When God calls to us and even speaks to us, we need to learn to listen, to discern . . . is this God’s voice or mine? Is it the voice of evil – passing thoughts and ideas into my heart which go against the will of God. Always know that if something is contrary to God’s nature, then it’s not from God. We need to ask ourselves is this really something the Lord would ask of me. If it seems wrong in anyway (sometimes good things maybe is not want the Lord wants of us at that time), if it doesn’t seem right or against the word of God we need to step away.

I believe God continues to speak into our difficult situations. Sometimes, and I know I can be that way, I see the worst of a situation. Sometimes, I immediately think all is lost, until I slow down. Until I listen to God and catch His wisdom and insight. At first we try to solve what we can on our own, but we need to trust in the God who can bring life to very dry bones.

We can be that way, can’t we? We see the worst – – and sometimes it overwhelms us and takes over in our lives. We end up losing hope and we become like those old very dry bones . . . kind of worthless, not living the way we should, not worshiping the way we should, not able to see hope and a future. As I have said so often if the lost see us without hope, questioning God and what is going on in our life why would the lost want our Jesus?

But – – we have a God of hope! A God who gives us mercy and grace, who came into this world so we could have a home in heaven saving our soul from hell, and gives us so much hope. A God who loves us so much that He sent His Son for you and I. A God who calls you child, holy, dearly loved.

When God reveals His will and plan to us we need to speak those words into the impossible situations in our life. What is God saying to you in your present situation? What is He asking you to do right now?
With God — valleys of dry bones become armies of righteousness. Impossibilities become possibilities. The perishable become imperishable. The dead come to life. There’s nothing God cannot do.
When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you’re slamming the door in the face of God. There are no hopeless situations. But the people felt that way.

Verse 11 tells us —
Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’

Do you hear the sense of despair from the people? They feel like dried up, dead bones, and their hope is lost. They feel cut off. Is this not how we sometimes feel when life is not going well? But God then tells this to Ezekiel –

Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Ezekiel 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

God has a plan for your life and He wants to use you. Take God at His word, step out in faith and remember that God is a God of the impossible.

Remember God’s words from Jeremiah 29 –
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

That’s part of the promise from God. God knows His plans! And that’s great news that He has plans for us. They are plans for good, not for harm, even though bad things do happen. God’s plans are to give us hope, to give us a future.
You see, we must call upon the Lord. We cry out, we whisper, we talk, whatever way it is, we call out to the Lord . . . and what will the Lord do? HE WILL HEAR US!

When we seek God we will find Him. It’s not hide and seek. God wants to be found by us. He’s not running from us. He’s always, always there!!
With all our heart. Not half heartedly. But with all that we have.
I believe that when we do that, we will discover a newness, a freshness with God that will surpass anything we’ve experienced before. That’s my hope for us this year . . . that we all will seek after God with our whole hearts and do what we thought could never be done!

FAITH IS THE VICTORY
Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.
His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav’n.
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring name.
Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.

Love and prayers
Cheryl

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