April 13th, 2011 - Courage to Live

I was spending some quiet time before the Lord one night when He drew my eye to my easel.  My current prophetic work-in-progress "Montana...Can These Bones Live?" was propped up on the stand.  (See the work on the On the Easel page.)

When God first gave me the picture, it came with a message for the State of Montana.  In a nutshell, He spoke about things valued more extinct than alive, more as an icon of the past than for their future, coming back to life again.  That this State and people will once again become known and valued not just for their past but for their future.  Not for their death but for their life.  And like the Lord asked Ezekiel, He is now asking us, “Montana…can these bones live?  Do you believe I can do this?  Can you see the dead things coming back to life again?  Prophecy to the bones!”  

At the time, I did not believe the picture had a personal message.  But this time when I looked at it I heard the Lord speak very clearly into my spirit.  This is the entry that I wrote in my journal.

March 17th, 2011


"This picture is not just for the State of Montana, the Flathead Valley or Kalispell.  There is a personal message as well.  [The message is] It takes courage to live.  It takes courage to allow the dead places inside to live again.  Like the army in Ezekiel 37, there are dreams that have been brutally slain.  Hopes and promises have bleached in the sun.  It is easier to let them stay that way.  Dead things have no feeling.  They cannot be disappointed.  They have no uncertainties, no doubts, no questions.  They are predictable and safe.  But it takes courage to live."

I believe there is a call coming that is going to rattle the bones hidden away in the battlefields of our hearts.  God is asking, "Can these bones live?"

What is your answer?  Will you allow things to come to life again?  It takes courage to live.  To feel.  To hope.  To love.  It takes courage to dream and plan for a future.

Do not fight to remain dead.  For though life may come, it is fragile.  Those who do not long for life will snuff it out again, believing death to be safer.  It takes courage to live.  All places where death has crept in, make the decision to allow life; a life that thrives and experiences all that God intended it to experience.  An army ready at attention to receive orders from the One who gives them life.

The following night while at a worship meeting, the Lord addressed this again.  During a quite time in worship I saw a picture of a gravestone and heard the Lord say, "Every human heart has a graveyard."

Then suddenly I was looking at a row of gravestones in a beautiful, peaceful church cemetery.  A chapel was off to one side.  The entire site was surrounded by tall trees that moved ever so slightly in a gentle wind.  The sun was shining.  Everything was well cared for and appearing well in order.  I knew I was looking at the graveyard of my heart.  Somehow in my mind I would have expected it to be a dark, depressive sort of place.  It did not seem so terrible to me.

I heard the Lord say, "You think because you have given them [hopes, dreams, prophetic words] a Christian burial that it is okay, even right and spiritual, that they have died and been buried.  But it is not okay.  I am not okay with graveyards."

I saw Jesus come into the clearing and begin to walk along the row of gravestones.  He read the description on each one as He passed.  At one, He paused and pointed.  "That one died prematurely," He said.

They were not only dead, like the bones of the army in Ezekiel 37, but I had buried them.  I had pronounced them dead and covered them over with pain, disappointment, regret, fear, and the biggest shovelful of all…resignation.  There were hopes, dreams, parts of my destiny even, that I had buried and wanted to believe that they were meant to be that way because it was painful to hope.  It was actually easier to allow them to be dead and gone.  And then, with my words, I had declared myself resigned to the loss and even determined to keep them safely buried in the ground.

In essence, I had taken control over certain areas of my life and decided that I would not revisit them again.  I had buried them.

I felt like I heard the Lord say, "You say you want Me to bring forth your destiny.  You say you will follow Me wherever I call you to go.  What if the time for the fullness of one of these promises is now and you have buried it?  Will you let it live again?  Will you trust Me and let Me bring it to life again?"

Even as I accepted that I wanted resurrection, I saw Him hand me a shovel.  I knew I had to clear away the words spoken, stances taken, decisions made, and walls built that were holding down my destiny before resurrection could occur.  I had pronounced it dead.  Now I had to determine to live.  I had to have the courage to unearth a dream, a calling, a destiny and allow it to live again.

I will not say it is easy.  There is fear of experiencing pain or rejection again as you start unearthing what has been safely buried.  But the fact is, I do want all that God has for me in this hour, this moment of my life.  And if that means that I have to face things that frighten me, things I have hidden away so I do not have to look at them and deal with the emotions they bring, then I want to do it.  If He is not okay with graveyards, then I don't want to be either.

Yes, it takes courage to live.  But I can say, even after just a short time of agreeing with Life, that it is worth it all. 

Do not miss out on something God wants to bring forth in your life because you are trying to protect yourself.  Fear will never lead to freedom.  Only life will take you there.