My birth into the Holy Spirit was an altogether different experience, though in some ways, it was just as painful. I'm not talking about when I was saved, but when God began to reveal to me what it truly looked like to live in His Spirit. He had made me a new creature, but I was not living in that reality. In many ways spiritually speaking, it was as if I were still dead. Dead in my apathy, my complacency. And to be perfectly honest, it is something I continue to struggle with.
I don't think my experience is an isolated one as a Christian in America today. This plague that struck the churches even in the New Testament haunts us as well, perhaps even to a greater degree:
"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." -Ephesians 5:14
"You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!" -Revelation 3:2But in the past couple years, I have felt a stirring, in my own heart and the hearts of those around me. A stirring that sounds like sleepers awakening, the dead rising, the dawn coming. The Spirit of God is moving, pouring breath into the lungs of the children who are hungry for Him. I have found no more beautiful picture to illustrate this in Scripture than the following vision of the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel:
"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'
"I said, 'O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.'
"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones and say to them, "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. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD."'
"So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 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.
"Then he said to me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel [the chosen people of God, i.e. the church]. They say, "Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off." Therefore prophesy and say to them: "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel [our promised inheritance]. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD."'" -Ezekiel 37:1-14 (emphasis added)Holy Spirit, come. Your people are ready to be made new.