Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 126

The Gifts Part 31

Miracles continued...

Another event in the word of God that could readily be placed in the miracle column was of course the resurrection of Lazarus. Lazarus’s resurrection in essence took the laws of nature and turned them on their ear. This particular event not only suspended natural law, it reversed it to such a degree that we realize the word ‘impossible’ is not in God’s vocabulary.

Unlike the widow’s son at Nain, or Jairus’ daughter, whom Christ also raised from the dead, Lazarus had been dead for four days, he had already been entombed, the weepers had already wept, and the mourners had already mourned. When Jesus finally came to Bethany, and asked to be taken to where Lazarus had been laid, those present simply assumed that because Jesus so loved him, He just wanted to go and see where his friend had been laid to rest.

Not one of those who had been assembled, not even the sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, thought even for a second that Jesus would raise their brother from the dead; they did not believe it a possibility, although Martha did concede that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died.

Often times, we are as Martha in our faith, believing that God is able to do a certain thing, but refusing to believe that He could do anything more than that. We establish boundaries for what we think God can do, and are willing to go only so far in our faith before we suddenly come to a standstill and say to ourselves, ‘this is as far as God can go, and this is as much as God can do.’

‘Well, I believe that God can take away my sniffles, but healing me of a terminal disease is another matter entirely.’

This is the mentality that many believers possess, limiting what God can do in their lives by not believing that God is the God of the impossible. If anything, the story of Lazarus ought to teach us that our God is an omnipotent God, all powerful and able to perform and do exceedingly beyond what we assume or sometimes believe.

Yes, by all means believe God for the little things, for the small things, but also believe God for the great things, for the seemingly impossible things, because faith moves the heart of God, and once we step out in faith we begin to see His power all the more in our lives.

Lazarus had been dead for four days, he had been laid in his tomb, which in essence was a cave with a stone laid against it, and when you couple the sweltering heat of Bethany, as well as the fact that there was no embalming process to be had for those who passed from this life, one realizes that the words of Martha were not hyperbolic, but true, that by this time there would have been a stench.

John 11:39-40, “Jesus said, ‘take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of whom who was dead, said to Him, ‘Lord by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?’”

What Jesus reminded Martha of, He reminds us of every single day, that if we believe, we will likewise see the glory of God. Do not limit God in your life by refusing to believe that He is able. Do not limit the power of God in your life by refusing to believe that He remains the same, yesterday today and forevermore. What He was able to do two thousand years ago, He is able to do today, and the miracles He performed while He walked the earth, He now performs through the power and the gifting of the Holy Spirit.

We must unburden ourselves or doubt, we must shake off the shackles of unbelief, we must open our hearts to the reality of our God’s omnipotence, for only when we ask believing will we receive, and only when our hearts are open to Him, will He enter therein.

John 11:41-42, “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that you always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent me.”

It was not a long or elaborate prayer, and Jesus prayed it more for the sake of those who were standing by that they may believe God had sent Him than He did hoping that the Father would hear Him, because He already knew that the Father always heard Him. When you walk in obedience and steadfastness, when you walk in faithfulness and holiness, you know that God hears you; you know that when you lift up your eyes toward heaven, God is hearing your prayers.

John 11:43-44, “Now when he had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’”

So why was this a greater miracle than the widow’s son at Nain, or Jairus’ daughter? Because Lazarus had been dead for four days, his body had already started the decomposition process, by his own sister’s admission he had started to smell, and God not only brought him back to life, but reversed the process of decomposition. Not only was life breathed back into Lazarus, his flesh was restored to that which he had been while he lived.

We serve a God of miracles, we serve a God of the miraculous, we serve a God who is able, and if we as His children believe, we too will see the glory of God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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