Son of man, can these bones live again? How does one answer that kind of question?
Let me read here from the thirty-seventh chapter of the book of Ezekiel.
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord and sent me down in the midst of the valley, which was full of bones. And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." And again he said unto me, "Prophesy onto these bones, and say unto them, 'O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.'"What a scene. Here was a valley where this man was first carried out. And, preachers, if you have been carried out you can never get back in where you were. Never. The Spirit will haunt you and taunt you. You may seek to squirm and to wrestle your way free, but you will never escape. You may do whatever you can to nullify your calling, but if he has carried you out you'll never get back in.
Can these bones live again? Can that first fresh resolve of enthusiasm [for preaching] come again to you? Can that first fresh morning enthusiasm be yours again?
Here was a valley of dry bones. This had once been a proud army with the regimental banners fluttering in the air. The polished chariots catching the reflection of the sun. The rhythmic thunder of marching feet. It had once been a mighty army—proud, self-assured—marching through a valley. But now all of that is gone. The once shining lances are rusting. The regimental banners are in tatters. The chariots are wheel-less and themselves rusting. And this man looks around. Is that what the preacher is called to do—to look around to see what havoc has been wrought in this valley, which we call life...