Do You Believe This?
Day 17 of 21 Days of Prayer. Do You Believe This? Believe and you will see the glory of God. Faith requires that we believe before we see. Intellect says let me see it first then I will believe. It seems as though many of God’s children are from Missouri (the show me state). Too often, we need proof before we can make a decision to trust God. If you’re a Missouri saint, don’t feel bad. Martha, Mary and a few of the disciples felt the same way.
John Chapter 11 is full of faith.
After Jesus received the news about Lazarus being sick, he said to the disciples, “This sickness is not unto death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.”
Although Jesus knew Lazarus was sick, he stayed in his current location two more days, then decided to go back to Judea. The disciples began to worry. They wondered why would he go back to a place where the Jews tried to stone him.
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light (John 11: 9-10).”
“After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up (John 11:11).” The disciples thought Jesus was speaking of natural sleep but Jesus was speaking of Lazarus’s death. To confirm this, Jesus told them that Lazarus was dead. By the way, Jesus let the disciples know that he was glad that he was not there when Lazarus died.
To summarize the story, Jesus and the disciples returned to the home of Mary and Martha to find Lazarus buried in his grave. Many theologians believe Jesus wept because he empathized with Mary and Martha, but I believe Jesus wept because he was among Missouri saints. In other words, they had witnessed him perform many miracles but they still needed to see first before they would believe.
Martha and Mary both approached Jesus stating their brother would not have died if he had been there. In John 11:25-26, Jesus reminded Martha who he was. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life” but Martha thought he was talking about life after death. In addition, those around him questioned his authority.
After Lazarus had been buried for four days, Jesus spoke to the Father for the benefit of the people so that they may believe He sent him. Afterwards, Jesus gave three commands, they are:
Take away the stone.
Take off the grave clothes.
Let him go.
Lesson 1: Take away the stone
Taking away the stone is symbolic of faith. Jesus wants us to trust him when we cannot see what’s behind the stone. When we walk in Missouri faith, we have to see before we believe. We have to take away the stone. This is when we need the help of the saints to move stones in our lives that are too much for us to bear. In this life, you either help someone else move their stone or get some help to move yours. But, you will not see what's behind the stone until it's moved. If you help someone else move their stone, then you will have a community to help you when it's your turn to move a stone.
Lesson 2: Take off the grave clothes
The grave clothes represent the past. Once God puts his hand on our lives, he wants us to take off the grave clothes. Don’t wrap your faith in dirty grave cloths.
Some of you are wrapped in hurt.
Some of you are wrapped in unforgiveness.
Some of you are wrapped in loneliness.
Some of you are wrapped in pain.
Some of you are wrapped in denial.
Some of you are wrapped in backbiting, gossiping, and backstabbing.
It’s time to take off the grave clothes and be delivered from darkness.
Lesson 3: Let him go.
Jesus gave a command to “let him go”. Jesus was speaking to the darkness of death in Lazarus. In verse 11, Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up. Question, where is there? Jesus was not speaking of a physical realm but of a spiritual realm. He said, “I am going there”. I am going into the darkness because I am the way, the truth, and the life. I can walk in darkness and see what no man can see because I am the resurrection and the light. When the light shows up, resurrection follows. Anything old or dead passes away and new life comes forth.
Believe and you will see the glory of God
Father God, thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit to help me remove the stones from blinding my faith. Strip me of grave clothes that’s suffocating the Holy Spirit. Let the power of the Holy Spirit brew over every situation in my life. Breathe life on every area of my life. Resurrect my dreams. Resurrect my promotions. Resurrect my marriage. Resurrect my finances. Resurrect relationships with my children. Resurrect my business. Resurrect my passion for living a victorious believer’s life, in the name of Jesus, amen.
BIBLE READING: Read Chapter John 11
~Inspiring hope & seasoning faith, Dr. Regina M. Daigre