We are in Week Two of our Come Alive series, picking up where we left off last week in Ezekiel 37:15. God’s people had been conquered, divided into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom, and exiled. Already, we today can relate to the Israelites. As people living in a broken world, we experience all kinds of division in our lives—division in our families, marriages, intentions, resources, minds, and loyalties. The enemy wants to divide and distract you.
But God says to us the same thing He spoke to the Israelites through Ezekiel. In a vision, God showed Ezekiel two pieces of wood, one representing the Northern Kingdom, and one the Southern. God told Ezekiel to hold the pieces together, as if they were one.
“When your people ask you what your actions mean, say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign lord says: I will take Ephraim and the northern tribes and join them to Judah. I will make them one piece of wood in my hand.” (Ezekiel 37:18-19)
Sometimes God allows us to go through the things we go through. He wants us not to hide our past or what we’re going through, but to hold it out for everyone to see and say, “Look at what God can do!” God promised to bring the Israelites home; He promised to gather what had been scattered. And this applies to us today, too! He will bring us home. Religion paints this picture that God is exclusive and that Christians are hypocritical. But God is not that way. He is a gatherer, an accepting God, a come-into-the-family God, a restoring God. Not only will God bring back the Israelites, but He promises that when He does, things will be better than they were before. This is the heart of our God.
- God restores what was broken and makes it better than before. He wants to fix your broken marriage, relationships, and intentions. All of it. This isn’t just positivity; this is gospel thinking. Where we see parts of us that are destroyed by sin, God sees the possibility for something beautiful. Where we see destruction, God sees the possibility of restoration. We serve a Fixer Upper God. A God who wants to resurrect our dead life for the world to see. God wants to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond what you could ask for or dream of.
- God will finish what he has begun. He promised the Israelites that He would make an everlasting covenant of peace with them. With us. A covenant that will never be broken or shaken. A covenant of real peace, of shalom—the peace of God. This is where we can rest in our calling, not strive for it, where we find joy, not depression. It is a peace of completion.
God gives us this peace freely. What Jesus did on the cross tore the veil separating us from God, so now we have complete access to Him and everything that He is. And not only is it available to us—God says it is already ours. We are worthy and have claim to His goodness, His grace, and His peace. He wants to exchange our sin and mess for His grace and life.