DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Brokenness and disrespect; memories of disheartening and humiliating times haunt groups of people or just you or someone you know.   Remember when Joseph was sold off by his own brothers to be a slave in a strange land, but became a king in the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:40)?  When famine came, his brothers and his father found refuge in that strange land, because Joseph was a ruler there.  Joseph had one request, that when he died they should take his body from that strange land (Genesis 50:25). Therefore, when Moses delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, they carried the bones of Joseph with them (Joshua 24:32).  Oddly, during the 40 year journey, the people brought up the good times they had in Egypt, but never the mistreatment and bad times there.  They carried a dead man, but not the memory of dead acts of Pharaoh whose hands were bloody from the infanticide of Hebrew babies and the harsh treatment of the Hebrew men and women. Consequentially, they could not comprehend true freedom and prosperity.

Today there are groups of people who are alive in a land of plenty, but carry the past offenses against their forefathers like a dead man’s shroud.  They preach about the past, because they are in a perpetual time warp. They rehearse the offenses of the past so much so that they are blind; sitting their overtures of the despairing past like a shrine on the mantle of their mind; they clad themselves in irrevocable assumptions and invisible dead men’s clothes.

It’s kind of like those horror movies when someone receives transplants of the eyes or the hand or brain of a psychopath and they start living the evil lifestyle of their donor. You’ve got bow tie wearing newspaper peddlers on the street corners whose leader openly advocates the constant chastising of a particular ethnic group, because of dead works over 200 to 2,000 years ago. You have the ‘fist pumping’, black beret hat wearing group who intimidate and threaten a certain ethnic group, because of what their dead forefathers did over 200 years ago to theirs. Then you have the clean head and white robe wearing embracers of demonic doctrine of hate who intimidate and threaten a specific ethnic group, because they illuminate the past sins of their own dead forefathers.  These groups look like normal functioning human beings, but they are clothed in a translucent and unforgiving shroud of dead men’s clothes.

There was a mystery in a valley full of dead men bones (Ezekiel 37:3). God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel had to acknowledge that only God knows.

There’s a mystery that I cannot unravel, because it seems as if we live in a valley of dead men bones.  I’ve heard the spin of old wives tales, spit out of our dead forefather’s mouths, still spoken today.  Grandparents spew them from their lips with such ease like the very breath from their nostrils. I still hear the aged say that no man has ever gone to the moon… And I hear individuals annually spinning their tales of abuse and the harshness of the past (I’ve been there too). As they muse over dead works, I see them continually shackle their minds and their finances to wicked caretakers who are bound and determined to keep them in dead men’s clothes in a sepulchre of poverty, depression and oppression.  They spend so much time there that they don’t hear the voice of Moses nor see the clearing in Canaan. Shrouded in dead men’s clothes of the past, they fail to discern the cunning enslavers nor do they recognize the freedom and deliverance which God has placed in plain sight. Even the congregations seem to glorify in the moth-eaten oratories of misinformation without godly understanding or vision; thereby unknowingly aligning themselves with masters of oppression who exploit their erroneous traditions and fears. I can’t help but pose that same question to God; “Can these bones live?”

When God told Joshua that he was in charge, he said to him, “Moses is dead (Joshua 1:2).”  God told him that He would be with him. But notice that God did not say, “Take Moses’ robe and wear it as you go into the promise land.” Joshua did not win battles wearing dead men’s clothes or dwelling on the past. He was victorious by the help of God. God told him who the enemy was and told him the weapon to use. He told him to meditate and focus on His word not on the dead or the past. He gave Joshua instructions on how to live and be successful in a new land. Jericho, the land of giants, was not overcome by the memories of past hurts or past victories, but by the obedience and praises of God’s vibrant people and with a very present shout! The giants were defeated and the oppression of Egypt was in their past! They became a prosperous and free people in the promise land. Unfortunately, those who longed for Egypt, those who dwelled on the past, died in the wilderness wearing dead men’s clothes. They never knew the prosperity and freedom which God had placed in plain sight…

Maybe there is so little victory because of people confusing the past with the present. There is too much revisiting the ashes and crypts of the past. Now that residency is in the promise land, with the help of the Lord, advantage should be taken of all that freedom and prosperity has to offer. Dead men cannot buy and sell. Shake loose the dust of the past. Bury the dead in their graves. Just because an undertaker hands you a shovel doesn’t mean that you have to dig graves and wear the shroud of past hurts of your forefathers.  Put on the work clothes of a vibrant life, then take the shovel and dig roads to a brighter future of freedom and prosperity for yourself and your children and their children. There needs to be a change in focus. There needs to be a change in apparel.

When Christ died on the cross, He was buried in a borrowed tomb.  When the disciples went to the empty tomb, they found the shroud Christ had worn when He was dead and buried. They found the shroud in the tomb (Luke 24:12).  When they saw Him alive and well, He was wearing a transfigured robe; not dead man’s clothes.  Before I was born again, I wore dead men’s clothes (Romans 8:13).  When I accepted Christ as Lord, I took off the shroud and put on a transformed life.  As Paul said it, “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20);” and Christ no longer wears dead men’s clothes.

God told Ezekiel to preach to the dead bones and then call forth the four winds. Then there was a shaking in the valley, God breathed and wind moved upon the bones. Then the bones attached themselves; the flesh covered the bones; they received the breath of life and stood up on their feet an exceeding great army. The mystery in th valley was solved. Ezekiel concluded that by the Word (John 1:1) and breath of God, “Yes, these bones can live!”

Hear all ye people! Forgive and move forward. Take off dead men’s clothes and bury the past. Let past offenses be carried in history books, not upon your back. Come out of the graveyard of mental enslavement and oppression and focus on a new life thru Jesus Christ.  Christ is alive; He is Lord and He has risen just like He said He would! He has defeated the giants and the sins of long ago are in the past. Christ saves and He delivers. Christ can transform you and change your clothes. He will give you victory in a dying land. Try Him. He will remove those dead men’s clothes and put on you a robe of truth and life. He will reveal to you freedom and prosperity… It’s in plain sight.

Because He transformed me and others too, I must conclude that “Yes, by the Word and breath of God, these bones can live!” However, as generation after generation continually cloak themselves in dead men’s clothes, there is yet a prevailing mystery…

The question remains, “When, Lord…when?”

Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matthew 8:22

That’s Today’s’ Single Focus…

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