Yall, this past week has been so hard for me. Spiritually I have been engaged in a battle that my heart and mind were not ready to fight. With each metaphorical blow that came my way, I fought harder and harder to hold onto the unchanging hand of my Lord and Savior. My current struggle: waiting for marriage.
Beloved, let me tell you how much I did not want to write this blog. I did not want to let the world know that I have been struggling so intimately with, well, intimacy. It started back in November with the attention of one man and grew into sticky situations with several men. I am ashamed to say that my friends jokingly referred to my growing list of male friends as my “Rolodex” because there were so many men and they kept revolving. When one man left, another would soon replace him, and the cycle would continue again. I thought everything was OK because I wasn’t being physical/intimate with any of them and we were just harmlessly conversing… until things turned intimate with one man and I found myself craving his touch more than His touch.
This season of intimacy lasted for two months until I finally pulled on God’s strength to walk away this past Friday. I was sitting in Prayer Service at church and I felt my heart beat a bit differently. As I sat and wrote my prayers to my Abba, I picked up my phone and texted this one man whose body spoke a secret language to mine. He ignited a passionate flame within my body that I had never felt in my entire life. TMI alert– while it’s been three years since I last had intercourse or intimacy with a man, I am no virgin, and this man had a way with my body that no other man has ever had. He’s a Christian, too, so we would have moments where we stopped because we both knew what we were doing was wrong… but then we would hit each other up eventually and be back to our old routine. Every Sunday I sat in church, emotionlessly singing praise and worship songs, nodding with the preacher in agreement, all the while thinking of this man and that last time.
But then this week happened.
For some time I felt like there was this growing barrier in between me and God but I didn’t want to admit the cause of the barrier. It was my sin; my sin was separating me from my Savior. Funny truth? I remember texting him one day after one of us had had a change of heart to say:
Sin will hold you tighter than you want to be held and take you deeper than you want to go.Unknown
I forget where I originally heard that but its words are so true. I knew that what I was doing with this man completely went against everything that I knew to be right. I was dancing with the Devil because it felt good and right at the time. The attention from this man stroked my ego and he himself stroked everything else. It was wrong… and as I danced with danger, God’s Spirit was leaving me.
In my devotional reading on Thursday the author led us to Ezekiel 37. Gospel songs have mentioned this passage for decades but I promise this was the first time that I ever heard its words with my heart. God told His prophet Ezekiel to speak to a valley of dry bones, commanding them in the name of the Lord to come together. God gave Ezekiel all of the words to say to not only get the bones to come together, cause flesh and tendon to form, but also for God’s breath to flow within them.
A Ruach breath.
As I read the scripture I realized that the bones could have come together all they wanted to, but without the breath of God- the Ruach breath (pronounced Roo-ha)- the bones would never be alive. Dear friend, that was me. I had the bones, structure, and movement of someone who was alive but I did not have His breath within me. Like Samson and Saul, God’s Spirit had left me and I did not even notice… because I was too busy dancing with the Devil. I missed the days when God would place someone on my heart and give me a word to share with them or a prayer to offer on their behalf. I missed God speaking to me in my dreams, showing me things that no human (including myself) could ever understand. I missed my intimate relationship with God. My perpetual and willing sin was distancing me from God and I felt powerless to stop.
But then there was prayer service.
I had been feeling like such a hypocrite. How could I talk to people of the mercy and grace of God, all the while I’m off doing on my own thing? I sat in prayer service, wordlessly crying out to my God, begging for His forgiveness and His mercy. I didn’t deserve either, but I needed a place to start; I needed to start over. So there I was, mentally lying prostrate at His altar, asking Him to alter my heart and mind.
I have life in these dry bones.
Beloved, I have no right to ask this question, but here I go: has God breathed a Ruach breath within you? What I mean is, has God taken what should be (or was) lifeless in your life and resurrected it from its death? If He has, let’s take a minute right here to praise God for His resurrection power! Understand that Jesus and Lazarus were not the only two people to be resurrected by God… you and I were once dead [in our sins] but now we live; we have been resurrected with Christ!
What I love most about Ezekiel 37 is that we don’t know how these bones came to be. They were in a valley and God desired for them to be an army… but how did these people die? My brother and sister, it does not matter how they died, what matters enough to be mentioned is how God brought them to life. Likewise, the particulars and specificity of your sins are in the past; what matters now is the life that you will lead once His breath is in your lungs.
Here it is…
Are you ready?
We have life in these dry bones.