Mark TracyDevotionals

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” (EZEK. 37:3)

For awakening to come to the nations, a different kind of revival must come to the church. And for revival to come to the church, a different kind of renewal must come to many millions of men and women.

It will not be driven by our hand-wringing angst about the insurmountable challenges around us. We are talking about something beyond what present generations have known; not a mere resurgence of our resolve or even our commitment. Neither are we talking about a mere recovery of some particular kind of charismatic experience or spiritual phenomenon. And for God’s sake, we are not talking about a revitalization of our bestlaid plans to grow the church—driven by our visionary leadership, strategic thinking, and enterprising programs—no matter how prayerfully conceived they may be.

We are talking about something far more primitive, a renewal of the original and eternal source of life at the core of our beings. We are talking about a profound renewal of the very life of God in the souls of men and women. Hence the fundamental question, “Can these bones live?”

We must resist our incessant impulse to answer with optimism. We must release our expectations, renounce any entitlement, and return, like so many bones, to the ground from which we came, together crying out in humble submission, “Sovereign Lord, only you know.”

Come Holy Spirit, stir up our confidence in you, strip us of our confidence in ourselves, and renew in our deepest souls a submission to your sovereignty. We confess that we do not know if these bones can live; only you do. We need something more than our thin can-do optimism going forward. We need to be filled with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Of all the possible ways we might answer this question, “Can these bones live?” why must, “Sovereign Lord, only you know,” be the only response? What is explicitly and implicitly implied by this response?