I’m Dry, but not dead

 

Dev Paramarajan, Jul 4th 2010 for HTWC Sunday Service

 

Text: Hebrew 11:8-40, John 6:38-39, Matthew 27:50-53

Theme: Lord gave the Church, the vision. In order for the vision to fulfill and be carried down to many generations, structure is important. Structure is what would give Christ’s body the stability to stand in times of test and power to move swiftly, bringing the growth and ability to contain it and pass down the life to each cell to stay strong and healthy.

“Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened and many bodies of the saints who had gone to their rest were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:50-53

Did you noticed, “…many bodies of the saints who had gone to their rest were raised!”

They were dead, decayed and all that was left out was mere dry bones. They died believing that one day that Promised One would come and raise them up from the dead and their bones simply refuse to die even though they got dry.

Today I’m going to talk about bones and I titled, “I’m dry, but not dead” – refusing to be called as dead!

How many know that bones are a living human part as much as a human heart. Bones live, they grow, and they produce and contain the bone marrow. This bone marrow produces the new blood cells, red blood cells to carry life giving oxygen, and white blood cells which gives resistance/immune and fight the foreign particles. Blood vessels and capillaries run in the bones. Our life is right in center of the bones!

Bone is what gives human body a structure. Without bones, we can’t call it as a body in first place – it would be a blob!

Does Bible call Church as Christ Body or Christ Blob?

What make the difference between a body and blob are the bones – the structure!

If you were in the New Year Eve Service or in the early Services of this year 2010, you would have heard from Pastor that Lord told this would be a year of Structure.

Lord gave an awesome vision for this Church.

  • It is imperative that each one understand the vision of the Church.
  • It is imperative that each one enter the vision.

For vision to come to pass, structure is very imperative. Without structure Church can’t function, or move, or have stability, or the shape and can’t produce life continually.

Why would God say 2010 would be a year of Structure for Harvest Time? Without structure God can’t bring growth that we are praying for.

Read Ezekiel 37:1-1 “…middle of the valley, and it was full of bones”.

As the passage reads, “middle of the valley” – we’re in the middle of this year 2010, which is a year of Structure!

As this passage says, are we a heap of dry bones, or structured and joined together in this vision? Are we tired and hopeless, lack the vision and purpose to become such dry bones?

In the middle of this year of Structure, God want to make sure we understand what is expected of us as a Church and get that vision into the structure as we build.

Lord is telling today, Ezekiel 37:4-10

Ezekiel 37:7Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley (ROAR 12). The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons.”

Note those bones attached to their own bodies and became a complete skeleton – not one part missing. Only when we connect with each other in the giving vision we can become a skeleton for God to put flesh, tendons, skins, breathe life and raise us up as the Church He wants.

Unless we connect we stay as mere dry bones, the longer we wait we get drier and may eventually die.

As we start connecting as Holy Spirit speak over our lives, we come together as skeleton and Lord can see what is missing and He can bring those missing bones from far places to make it complete.

Lord Jesus said in John 10:16 “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

For this to happen, you got to be won for the vision. You got to be connected to the vision. You got to be trained for the vision. You got to be willing to be send for the vision.

We dry bones have to realize that we’re one body! We got to be willing to connect with each other for the sake of the vision. We debate and refuse to connect to what God want to raise up as a mighty army for such a time like this!

If we’re a leader raised up in this vision, we got to learn to work together to build the structure. Can an arm say I’m more important than a leg? Or can an arm say, what is the point for me to connect for that leg to walk?

Don’t you know that it’s is important for the body to have those arms to balance as legs walk? Don’t you know that legs needs arms to reach, touch, carry and hold as it walks? There is no ministry for leg without arms; no gift would operate for the arms if legs can’t ‘go’!

Are we not one body? Should we not rejoice when one part of the body have success, should we not burst into tears and suffer when one part of the body suffer?

We all may have individual vision, nothing wrong about it. What you do about it? If God is the one to give you that dream and vision, it can’t come to fruition until you connect to the vision of the Church. In this vision, your vision will be fulfilled. In this vision/ministry your promised gifts would operate.

The longer you stay away, you would be frustrated, confused, doubt, question and become dry and desolate losing the dreams and calling God placed in your lives. 

1. Refuse to Settle

Joseph was sold into slavery, his 10 brothers lacked vision. They didn’t know that they got to stay together with Joseph and Benjamin to move to the Promised Land. Only the 12 as they stayed together can fulfill God’s plan. They don’t have right as an individual to pick and chose for their future.

It took a painful lesson for the 10 brothers to realize God’s plan and purpose, and they eventually came and formed that connection.

Gen 50:25
Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath, and he said, “When God comes to help you and lead you back, you must take my bones with you.”

Joseph was pleading to take his bones to the Promise Land. He simply refused to have his remains to settle in Egypt.

Joseph didn’t live his dream, but his vision. His was not a dreamer boy, but rather a visionary! He believed not just his dreams, but also believed the promise God made to Abraham.

Haggai 1:4, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple
to lie in ruins”

Indicates don’t be caught up with your own things, connect and form the structure that His Church lacks. Don’t settle in Egypt, connect and move towards the Promise Land – that’s what vision is for.

Even though you don’t much to do, because we are connected the vision will carry us to the promise land!

God want us to understand the time! It’s time not to settle but time to form the structure!

 2. Refuse to receive

It was an awesome time in Israelites lives as they moved out of Egypt, not just end of slavery but they had a tremendous plunder out of the things of Egypt. People of Egypt want this Israelites to get out as soon as possible, so they were ready to give anything and everything these Israelites asked for.
Israelites walked out of Egypt with stuffs they need, stuffs they don’t need, stuffs they wanted and stuffs they don’t want – just too greedy!

But there was one visionary; he carried what means to be in the vision!

Exodus 13:19 Moses carried bones of Joseph (the still burning vision).

While all other Israelites carrying goods, gold and valuables – Moses was carrying the bones of Joseph – which was the only thing valuable to him to be carried out of Egypt! He was not even a descendent of Joseph, but a vision descendent that God rose!

Moses understood what time he was living in! It was a prophetical time, the vision is coming true – he is required to do the right thing.

Bones of Joseph would have cried out as Israelite moved out carrying worthless garbage, “carry me, and don’t leave me in Egypt. I was the one prayed for you and prophesied over you”.

In the other side, Moses would have searched for the bones of Joseph and wanted to be that person to fulfill those words!

 Elisha was challenging King of Israel, Aram that God of Israel is able to heal Naaman. But his servant Gehazi lacked vision and want to receive – scope what God was doing to himself – greedy.

2 Kings 5:26 “Is it a time to accept money and clothes, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female slaves?

God want us to understand the time! It’s time not to settle but time to form the structure!

 3. Refuse to be buried

Once when some Israelites were burying a man, they spied a band of these raiders. So they hastily threw the corpse into the tomb of Elisha and fled. But as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet!” 2 Kings 13:21
Who said Elisha was dead, his bones were still living and breathing the vision – to display the God’s living power. He, his vision simply refused to be buried.

“The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of man. This is true. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.” – James Russell Miller (a Pastor and a Christian author).

Let’s come together form the structure this year and let the vision in you shall be fire in your bones as it did for prophet Jeremiah – refuse to be buried!

“…his word burns in my heart like a fire.
      It’s like a fire in my bones!” Jeremiah 20:9

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Performance: Is it for the audience to watch or you to excel?

“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.” 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

True leadership will often puts you in a lonely place. In fact, it should make you feel lonely – otherwise your standard isn’t high enough to inspire, challenge and compel others to follow you.

Many want to be ‘known’ and be in the ‘center’ – these aren’t there to lead but to play for the audience to watch. When there isn’t enough audience they lack in performance. When there’s no audience they can’t perform at all.

Paul statement is clear “I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got.”

You can’t make such statement, when you don’t know the finish line. Vision is what gives you the end state. When there’s in no vision you will only play for the audience, you can’t play to win!

Even when there’s no applause, and ‘inspiration’, ‘motivation’ tangible around – you still run and declare like Paul, “No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”

People want to know that you’re there for real, not just to play for the crowd.

Remember, staying with a crowd won’t make you a leader. You got to be walking ahead ‘alone’ while others are compelled to follow you – then you’re leading, which makes you a true leader.