While there are multiple pages that have been writing on the topic of prayer and sanctification, I will conclude with this consideration in light of yesterday’s thought on hallowing God’s name.
As we read in Ezekiel 37, the infamous dry bones passage, God is making a statement like none other to the people of Israel. He is proclaiming to them that He is about to pour out His Spirit into their lives and allow them to live like never before. He is about to move on their hearts and change them forever.
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, My people, and lead you into the land of Israel. You will know that I am Yahweh, My people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. I have spoken, and I will do it. This is the declaration of the LORD. Ezekiel 37:12-14
What graves is God speaking? Graves are associated with death and once the casket closes there is no turning back. However, God says He is going to open up the graves and bring the people up from them. The study note in the column of the Holman Women’s Study Bible states this about Ezekiel 37:12-14:
The Lord encourages His people that He will do the impossible. He will resurrect His people from the dead by instilling His Spirit in them. This work foreshadows the New Testament work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating believers and indwelling them. This empowers them to walk in new life after having died to an old life of sin (Romans 6:4-11). Only by God’s Spirit within are believers able to live a God-pleasing life of obedience and holiness. This promise of the gift of the indwelling Spirit is something quite new for Ezekiel’s listeners, for the usual role of God’s Spirit was external (kings, prophets, etc.); He was poured out upon persons rather than dwelling within them.
This reference to resurrection is mentioned only a few times in the Old Testament and here in the context of Ezekiel we have a great picture of the sanctification God desires to do. Bringing dead bones to life is a miracle only God can and continually performs in the life of His children, including myself, but as I read the previous chapter God revealed something else to me especially in light of yesterday’s challenge to hallow God’s name. Take a look at the emphasis God places on why He will sanctify His people.
Therefore, say to the house of Israel: “This is what the Lord God says: `It is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went. I will honor the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations—the name you have profaned among them.’ Ezekiel 36:22-23
It is not for your sake that I will act…Ezekiel 36:32
Now consider what we discussed yesterday in regards to hallowing God’s name. It is not for their sake, but for His. Praise God for a God who is so faithful to His word and what He says He will do, He will do!! That includes sanctifying our hearts!!
Oh Lord God, raise us up from the graves we have been living in too long. Raise us up and breathe new life into our hearts. Not for our glory, but to Your Name be all glory, honor, and praise. May Your Name be Holy and Your will be done because You have spoken and You will do it!!