This week I would like to contemplate the phrase, “Back to Life”. What does that mean when we consider that phrase? Most of us Christians would first think about Jesus’ death and resurrection, of course. Aside from that, what does it stir up in your spirit?
For me, I’m digging my way back to life after a season of deep depression. It all started with entering menopause at the same time we lost the house we had built and brought our son into the world in. An extremely hurting ending to a 10-year ministry and fellowship with a large women’s Bible study group happened about that same time as well and we moved back to my hometown to be near my mother who had to enter a nursing home having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Being an autism mom and daughter of an Alzheimer’s mother has taken its toll. I try to stay close to the Lord and having the commitment of reading the Bible to my son every night as he falls to sleep keeps me in the Word.
I encourage you to find a way to be accountable to read the Bible daily!
I read this devotional during my evening devotional readings on You Version after my regular read-through-the-Bible in a year plan during which my sweet son fell sleep with his head on my shoulder. It touched my spirit and I hope it does yours as well! —>
Back To Life
Devotional by Mandisa
I have read, meditated on, and heard messages on Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones, for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those passages that I’ve heard so many times, I wasn’t sure what else I could possibly get out of it! But after experiencing my own valley of dry bones, and inhabiting a pit of despair for several years, God has illuminated this familiar passage for me.
God very easily could have spoken to the dry bones Himself and seen them come to life. Instead, He commanded Ezekiel to listen to His words, then repeat them to the bones. It was only when Ezekiel obeyed and spoke life that the bones responded.
Similarly, I find that this is how God lifted me out of the dark. Rather than experiencing immediate deliverance, God lifted me out bit by bit, allowing me to learn valuable lessons in the process. He taught me how to prophesy His words over myself:
I breathed out shame, and breathed in grace
I breathed out fear, and breathed in peace
I breathed out weakness, and breathed in strength
This is not to say that I felt these things immediately. But in the beginning of this process, I knew I needed to do what Ezekiel did—prophesy God’s truth over what felt dead. As my friend TobyMac says, I needed to speak life!
I ended the deluxe edition of my ‘Out of the Dark’ album with a worship song that illustrates this process perfectly.
“Shame and depression And all anxieties They have no power over me Addiction and strongholds And every disease They have no power over me”
Even as I recorded those words, I felt shame. But as I repeated those words over and over, the shame lifted. Sometimes our behavior follows our acts of faith. For reasons we may not fully understand, there is great power in God’s Word, and in worship. When I least feel like opening my mouth to praise or proclaim Truth is when it is most important for me to do so. By magnifying Jesus, our circumstances grow smaller in comparison. In those moments when we feel like all signs of life are gone, proclaim the breath of heaven into that situation, and watch God bring those dry bones back to life.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV
You can check out Mandisa’s “Out of the Dark” CD here –>