24. What to Do in a Valley

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. DAILY MEDITATION / PRAYER: Psalm 23
  2. MONDAY: Romans 1:1-17
  3. TUESDAY: Matthew 14
  4. WEDNESDAY: Matthew 15
  5. THURSDAY: Matthew 16
  6. FRIDAY: Matthew 17
  7. SATURDAY: James 3
  8. SUNDAY: 1 Samuel 14:1-14

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “What to Do in a Valley” ⤵️

Preacher: Jabin Chavez
Pastor of City Light Church in Las Vegas, NV
Passage: Ezekiel 37:1-10
Title: What to Do in a Valley
Date: October 20, 2019


Ezekiel 37:1-10, MSG

1-2 God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.

3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Master God, only you know that.”

4 He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!'”

5-6 God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”

7-8 I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.

9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!'”

10 So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.


Introduction

  • I wish I could preach a sermon about how not to have any valleys in life. It would make a good book.
  • I’ve learned to appreciate the valleys because there is no fruit on the mountaintops.
  • What God does through me starts with what God does deep in me.
  • The valley is like the gym of the Holy Spirit. It does what the mountaintop cannot do.

There are things you have to do in the valley, or it will destroy you:

  1. Know that God is with you in the valley.
  2. Look for possibility.
  3. Take a step into the unknown.
  4. Prophesy to the bones.
  5. Invite the wind.

1. Know that God is with You in the Valley

“God grabbed me.”
Ezekiel 37:1, MSG

  • “God grabbed me” (37:1, MSG)–God is always with you.
    • Don’t let circumstances tell you otherwise.
    • The valley will lie to you and try to convince you that God is not with you.
  • “Even though I walk, through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NIV)
  • “But I don’t feel like God is with me.”–It’s a good thing we don’t live by feelings (We live by faith–Romans 1:17)
  • If you feel like you’re standing at the Gates of Hell, don’t worry. Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18, NIV) and you is the church.
  • Rejoice in the fight–God has something for you on the other side.

2. Look for Possibility.

“God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.”
Ezekiel 37:1a-2, MSG

  • Bones, bones, bones!
  • It’s as if God is saying:
    • Where you’re standing all there is are bones.
    • Where I’m sitting there is possibility.
  • Choose to see the valley from a different place.
    • Choose to believe that God can do something
    • Don’t focus on what is wrong.
    • It may not change your circumstances, but it will change you.

3. Take a Step into the Unknown

He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
Ezekiel 37:3, MSG

  • God asks: “Can these bones live?”
  • Ezekiel replies: “Well, God… you know.”
  • God will take a Yes with a question mark.
    • He’s okay with mustard seed sized faith.
    • Don’t wait until you have great faith to do something for God.
    • Give him your small faith.
  • When you feel like you have enough:
    • Your pride is too high.
    • Your vision is too low.
  • God will always give you what you can’t handle, but perfect for what he can handle.
    • God will multiply your fish and loaves. (Matthew 14:13-21)
  • Faith and fear are married.
    • I need faith because I have fear.
    • The fear will always be there, but whose voice are you listening to?
  • Your flesh hates faith.
    • You have to get comfortable in the uncomfortable.
    • Peace is not a feeling in your stomach; peace is a person, and he will call you out of the boat, to places your flesh does not like. (Matthew 14:22-36)
    • The pit in my stomach keeps me moving toward Jesus.
  • A lot of faith is moving on a maybe.
    • Joshua: Let’s go pick a fight. (Numbers 13:30)
    • “It felt good to us and the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 15:28)
    • Jonathan moved on a maybe (1 Samuel 14:1-14)
    • Pastor Jabin, while working at a church in Newport Beach, CA, tells his pastor and boss: “I think I’m called to plant a church in Las Vegas.” His reply: “Did you get a word?” Jabin replies, “I think so.” And his boss responds, “That’s all you’re going to get.”

4. Prophesy to the Bones

He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!'”
Ezekiel 37:4, MSG

  • Just say what your Father says. (We have the Word of God!)
  • Find a promise, hold on to it, and say it. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Jesus never said deny the mountain. He said speak to it. (Matthew 17:20)
  • I’m not moved by the bones I see (Because I see potential).
  • God’s Word in our mouths is like a compass that directs our lives. (James 3:4-5a; Luke 6:45)

5. Invite the Wind

God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
Ezekiel 37:5-6, MSG

  • The breath of God = the Spirit of God
  • It’s not the Father, Son, and holy scripture; It’s the Holy Spirit!
  • “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” (Luke 1:13)

Salvation isn’t cheap, but it’s free.

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