Did you know that bones have blood vessels inside of them? Well, they do… which sheds a whole new light on this idea of bringing dry bones to life, like we read about in Ezekiel. We don’t normally think beyond the visualization of a Halloween-like, dried up skeleton when we consider those verses, and consider how bones actually function. Why does it matter? Because…
As Christians, we’re supposed to be vessels.
Vessels of what? Living water.
Where is that living water supposed to go when it leaves us? To the dry bones.
How do you get a vessel into a dry bone? You don’t. The vessel is already there. Inside the bone.
If I’ve somehow lost you on this analogy, re-read it. (Trust me. You are going to want to get this.) When you’re with me on the analogy, there is an imperative, subsequent discussion to be had.
The fact that there are still “dry bones” we have yet to reach for Christ means that we as Christians need to be intentional and diligent in conducting that living water. Can we agree that if one is destined to be a Christian at some point, they are therefore a vital part of the body? Great.
Here is the inconvenience of the matter…
Those dry bones are not the people you call sinners; not the couple always arguing in the apartment above you. They’re not your in-laws who you can’t stand. They’re not your teenagers who refuse to go to church. They’re not your relatives can’t stop drinking or get off the heroin. Not even the rude homeless guy who asks you for money then curses you out.
Because we are all part of the same body, they ALONE are not the dry bones.
If you are a believer, those bones, those hurting people, are part of your OWN body. The body of Christ. And since we have no way of knowing who will and will not accept the gift of grace, we would do well to start treating people like we need them and the gifts they bring… not just their salvation stories for a sensational church service or excuse to pat ourselves on the back. That type of motivation doesn’t hold water. It delivers poison.
So what IS our function as vessels?
We exist to be filled up and to be poured out.
Most of us are good on the filling up part. We do it once a week when we go to church (if we go), but then we return home and don’t do any pouring out. If you are empty it’s because God’s not going to fill you up when you’re not pouring out. Why would He? So you can feel better? God’s not concerned with placating your emotions. He’s concerned about your salvation, and the salvation of the people around you. The people He loves. The people we should be loving as well. If you would like to be continually filled with the Spirit, then you need to reconsider your Sunday afternoon through Saturday night activities. (Not just Monday through Saturday. You don’t get a pass for Sunday afternoon because you checked the box that morning.)
So who are you going to pour into?
How about people you’re already with every day? Don’t wait for a mission trip. Grow where you are planted and grow those around you. Are you loving the people who are right in front of you? If you have children, they are your first disciples. How much life are you pouring into your spouse… and your spouse’s parents? How about your co-workers? Your boss? You already have a prepared mission field! Take hold of it for Jesus and He will take hold of you as you grow through the process. This is how He intended it to be.
It’s time we Christians start fulfilling our calling as vessels instead of dragging brittle bones to the altar and expecting God to do all the work.
Don’t you dare invite someone to a house of God before you have brought Him to them. God is worth more than a lazy sacrifice in the form of an awkward invite. Be His hands and feet. Maybe then we will witness what it really looks like for the body of Christ to come fully alive. Personally, I am excited to see what is in store when we commit to living this way. His way.