There is a story in the Old Testament that most of us have never read, but we know the story well from the old folksong, “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.” In this story, the prophet Ezekiel is taken by the Spirit and put down in the middle of a valley. As Ezekiel looks around he discovers that the valley is full of bones. The Spirit causes him to walk around and he sees that these bones are very dry. After he’s had a chance to see the devastation and lifelessness, the Spirit asks him, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
Imagine you are Ezekiel. What would you answer? Ezekiel answered, “Oh, Lord God, thou knowest,” (Ezekiel 37:3).
The Lord then commanded Ezekiel to speak to the bones and prophesy that the Lord will “cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live” (Ezekiel 37:4-5). And the bones began to move and to attach to one another, and sinew and flesh was restored to them, and they were covered with skin and filled with the spirit.
Obviously this is a prophecy of restoration, resurrection, and life, but there are other things for us to learn from this story about words and their power. What would have happened if Ezekiel had answered the question “Can these bones live?” by saying, “No way!” That’s the natural response most people would have. But Ezekiel says, “You know they can.”
Likewise when we face difficult life situations such as bad relationships, health impairments, financial woes, or anything that looks as hopeless as a valley full of old, dry bones and the adversary tempts us with thoughts of discouragement and hopelessness, we can say, “But God can fix this.”
The words we choose to speak and say have power over us. Words of faith bring about feelings of faith.