Luke 4:1 says,
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”
As the Spirit directed Jesus to the wilderness in preparation for His calling, He also leads us there as well to prepare us for our divine call. The call is to the world, which is the greatest wilderness of all. I believe that as Jesus was walking toward the wilderness, or His “valley”, I’m sure His carnal mind was thinking, “Wait, I just came out of the water and the Holy Ghost came upon me! Where am I going?” So rather than listening to the temptations of reason within the human mind, Jesus chose to turn and trust the Spirit of God and follow His leading, even though His mind as a man was saying, “Turn back, this is not the Lord!” We must remember Jesus was tempted on all points that man was being tempted in, yet without sin. Jesus was not a robot, He had to come as man and God, in order to identify what man goes through within his own mind. That’s why we now have a High Priest who can sympathize with us. He would yield to the Spirit of God within Himself when it came to temptation, instead of yielding to the mind of man that was also battling the Spirit of God within Him. He truly was the first to die daily, take up His cross daily, and deny His own life to follow the Spirit of God within. He overcame every mental temptation by choosing to be led by the thoughts and voice of Spirit. Who would have thought, that when the anointing of God comes upon us, it would take us to a valley of wilderness as it did Ezekiel and Jesus?
Ezekiel 37:2 – “Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were dry.”
God kept Ezekiel in the valley and caused him to look upon a disapproved situation long enough to form his own judgment of things. We can see Ezekiel’s opinion by the way he is describing the situation. This reflects to us the way the human mind instantly forms its own opinion when God begins to move on our lives. Like Ezekiel, we gaze at our situation and say, “There’s no way out of this! Humanity is dry! God is not here! There is no way the Spirit of God will move!” Ezekiel describes it the way we would basically see it. God then speaks to Ezekiel, in Ezekiel 37:3 and says,
“And He said to me, son of man can these bones live?”
At this point, God understands how Ezekiel’s carnal mind is working, so He asked Ezekiel an odd question to offend his mind, only to get him to pay attention to what God is about to show him. After the question, Ezekiel’s ears are now tuned to know that God has a different understanding. God wants to show Ezekiel His heart, so that He can position Him to do God’s glorious work. Ezekiel now is beginning to understand that God has placed him there to hear and see something about God he’s never experienced before.
It is important to know that when God drops us in uncharted territory, God wants to show Himself to us in a way we have never experienced before. It’s the place where we are set free from our carnal way of thinking. Like Ezekiel, if we look at our situation, then place our eyes and ears on what the Lord wants to say, that’s the time God will speak to us clearly. Dry valleys are truly the hidden places where the eyes and ears open to God’s heart. It’s not always when we go into our quiet place – even though there are times for that, but remember, those quiet places are times for refreshing. Valleys are God’s secret places for “show and tell”.
As most of us know, when God asks us a question, our answer will definitely not be correct. So, God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And Ezekiel answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Ezekiel’s response implies that God is changing his mind to understand the way the Lord sees it.
God places us in valley’s or trials like Ezekiel, because He trust the power of life that He has placed in us to bring about change and restoration. God is not trusting just Himself, He is also placing His trust in Ezekiel or us in the valley. God knows what He has deposited in us. This explains why He asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” God was awakening a part of Ezekiel that he didn’t know was there, yet Ezekiel is a bit nervous. How many of us would willingly agree to be put places and conditions that we literally didn’t want to be in? Most of us would say, “No way!” Anytime we are in a tough situation, it’s because God is showing us that He has empowered us for that trial to overcome it, or to bring about restoration and changel The enemy of this world does not want us to believe that. So now, we can say that our trials and valley of life actually reflect the power God that has been given to us to rule, restore, and transform.
Again, I want to keep reminding you, that when we are in a dark and tough situation, keep your ears open for the Lord and not for the enemy, nor your opinion. Our opinion, which is a product of our carnal mind, has been trained to look at things through fear when we are in a tough situation. We must remember our feelings or mind have not yet been completely sanctified or trained by the Spirit of God to look upon our world through the eyes and voice of the Lord. It must be renewed by listening to His words. So, when we are in a tough spot, our feelings tend to agree with the nature of the situation, then we become affected by our surroundings. However, if we can begin listening to what the Spirit is saying at that moment of intensity, then our feelings will start to agree with the attitude of the Spirit. Although at first, it will not feel good naturally, because our carnal mind is always against the wonderful will of God. (Romans 8:7)
Therefore, in such a case, you’ll have to speak positively like Ezekiel and say, “Oh Lord God you know, show me how you see it. What do you want to say in this situation? What type of nature do you want to exhibit here? How do you want to act? This is all new to me! My feelings are agreeing with what I think is bad. Let my mind agree with your Spirit and not my surroundings.”
Jesus wouldn’t have gotten anything done if he had allowed his feelings to be overwhelmed by the nature and intensity of the situations that He found Himself in. He had to obey the Spirit of the Lord, no matter what His will wanted to do.
In the moment, we can just say, “I must be willing to listen to His heart instead of my own opinion of things.” When God sees a dry place, He begins to think of breathing life upon it.
Like Ezekiel’s life, if we are being placed in a valley, but remember, God is also placing Himself there as well. When God sees a dry place, He begins to stir with inspiration to breathe life upon it. Therefore, God will find a submitted vessel like Ezekiel, who is willing to learn and be dropped in places that nobody wants to go. Most humanity doesn’t want to go to dry places. It wants revivals without much responsibility or challenges. Our nature mostly wants to have God inside a building, not in an intense situation. We have subconsciously been taught that it’s not how God moves. Yet in reality, God moves in the intense moments of life. The stories in the Bible prove it. Most of the time, where we think God is not, He is.