"Through Jesus’ sacrifice we can leave our valley and meet God on the mountain" by: Caleb Gibson

   One day, God took the Prophet Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones. He walked with him back and forth. 
   Then He asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” 
   He replied saying, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know” (Ezekiel 27:3). 
   The Lord told Ezekiel, “Prophecy to these bones.” These bones were so dry vultures probably weren’t even looking at them twice. 
   When we go through a valley, we can either give up or start speaking. 
   This is what the Prophet Ezekiel began to do. 
   As he began to speak, he began to hear a sound, these dry bones began to become connected. God then told him to Prophecy again and speak breath into them. 
   They received life and these dry bones stood up and they became a vast army!
   This vision was given to show Ezekiel how the people of Israel were at this time. 
   They were in a way, lifeless. They needed someone to prophecy life into them. 
   In a similar way, we are called to encourage those around us. 
   We can either copy and paste our surroundings, or we can write a new story.
   Simply because you are going through a storm does not mean it was God who sent the storm. Philip Yancey talks about this when he says, “Sometimes we confuse life with God.” 
   Not everything that happens to us is directly God’s will.
   Maybe you are in a valley and asking God, “Why is this happening in my life?” 
   I believe there are many reasons we go through something bad. Here are three reasons we are in a valley. 
   The first reason is because of our choices. 
   Psalms 23 tells us how God was leading him by still waters, guiding him by green pastures, but then David says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” (Psalms 23:4). 
   Notice how he begins by being led and then he starts walking his own path. 
   The next reason is because of someone else’s decision. 
   Israel was in bondage because of their mistake and another nation had taken them into captivity. 
   The third main reason is because God needs us to reach someone. 
   God sent Ezekiel, not to stay in the valley, but to save people out of the valley. 
   We need to be like this great prophet and speak life to people around us. 
   Sometimes God wants us to be the shepherd, leave the 99 and find the lost sheep.
   Sometimes we allow the valley to define us. Don’t make the valley your home. 
   Don’t let your current situation become your permanent destination. 
   Andy Stanley once said, “If you are where God wants you, fulfilling the responsibilities He has given you, you are successful!” 
   When Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary climbed to the top of Everest at 11:30 a.m. they were only on the top of that mountain for 15 minutes. That is a small time to be at the top. 
   Had these men not shared their experience, others would not have known how to climb this mountain. 
   You see, Jesus went down the mountain of Heaven to bring us up. 
   Through His sacrifice, we can leave our valley and meet God at the mountaintop! 
   Maybe you are in a valley but I believe that God will bring life to your situation. 

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