“Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones:’ I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life…come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.“
What do dry bones and the spirit of slumber have to do with each other? I wondered the same thing. We find the answer in Isaiah 29:10:
“For the LORD has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has shut your eyes, O prophets; He has covered your heads, O seers.”
Sometimes I’m surprised when I look into the original language to better understand the meaning of a word. I wanted to look a little closer to see what the word “shut” means. The Hebrew meaning for shut is, “bones.” It means tightly shut eyes, to break the bones, to bind fast. It’s like our spiritual “eyes” have cataracts. Our spiritual perception becomes blurry when we yield to the spirit of slumber.
Let’s go on in this verse. What does it mean to cover the heads of the seers? It means to cover self, to flee, to hide or to overwhelm. This is exactly what happens when we discern the spirit of slumber operating over an area. There is a feeling of being overwhelmed, wanting to quit and run away.
While this verse tells us that the LORD poured out this spirit of deep sleep, I think we have to back up a little bit to see the cause and effect. The “why” behind God shutting the eyes of the prophets and covering the heads of the seers. If we decide that the problems we’re facing are just too hard or scary to face, we attempt to cover ourselves. We can choose to seek comfort by slumbering. If we choose this path, the LORD will allow us to go there. He doesn’t force us to look at the spiritual battle. I’ve seen this happen in my own life. I’ve observed it in the life of a person who had great spiritual insight. But when life got too scary, they no longer wanted to see. So God allowed them to “go to sleep.” When this happens, we don’t operate in our spiritual gifts. The operation of the Holy Spirit in our life shuts down by our own choice.
What do we do if we recognize that we’ve been yielding to the spirit of slumber? The most important thing we can do is to recognize that we are NOT limited to our own strength or resources. God is our strength. He is our Mighty God, and we are made in His image. I have to remind myself to ask God for His strength. This is obvious, yet easy to forget. Sometimes we have not because we ask not.
Another thing we can do if we recognize that we’ve been yielding to the spirit of slumber is to resist! James 4:7 says,
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
One of the best ways to resist this spirit is by quoting the word of God. A couple of scriptures that I quote (out loud…the enemy cannot read our minds) when discerning the spirit of slumber are:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
“…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Sometimes the enemy will flee quickly when we resist him. Other times, we will need to stand our ground until he does. We have full authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. Think of it as a wrestling match. Whoever exerts the most pressure for the longest time wins! There’s no reason to back down. Christ has given us all we need in order to stand firm! What we’re facing is guerrilla warfare. The war is over! We need to enforce the victory that Christ has won for us. Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus, “…disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Habakkuk 3 tells us that Jesus crushed the leader of land of wickedness and stripped him from head to foot. Jesus’ victory was complete, and He has given us His shield of victory!
May you know Christ as your strength and your 2020 vision for 2020,