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But just like with Lazarus, being alive, being forgiven for your sins, being raised for a new life in Christ doesn’t mean that you are free. And you know what? You already knew that. Because everyone of us today can testify to times in our lives when we have sat in a chair, staring out a window, thinking. . .”God, what is wrong with me? If I have been saved by your grace, why do I feel like a prisoner? Why am I still struggling with so many hurts, failures, handicaps, and challenges? Is this really as good as it gets?”
Of course the answer is no. But it starts in our thoughts and beliefs when we accept the truth that there is a difference between being alive, and being free.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever followed the rest of Lazarus’ story. To be honest with you, it wasn’t until recently that I came across these few verses. Never heard anyone preach on them. Never even heard it mentioned in a message on about Lazarus. But it is right there in God’s Word, so there must be something to gain from it.
John 12:9 (read through verse 11). That’s kind of a bummer wouldn’t you say. I mean, first you get sick. Then you die. THAT kind of stinks. Then YOU begin to stink after about 4 days in the tomb. But along comes that voice, raises you from the dead, orders those around you to loose you, and you are off to the showers, ready to begin a new chapter in your life. Things are really going your way wouldn’t you say?
Well, only if you consider having a bounty on your head things going your way. Because that is what Lazarus had. Not just a bounty, but a bounty from the Chief Priests of all people. Talk about turning the tables. One minute you have been raised from the dead, and the next minute you see on CNN that the pope wants you dead.
Truth number two. If you want to experience God’s healing power in our life, if you really want to see God move over the next few weeks and months in your life. . .you better understand truth number two. . .
B. BEING FREE DOES NOT MEAN THE BATTLE IS OVER
Lazarus was free. Better than that, he was alive and free. That beats dead and free any day. But the adventure wasn’t over. In fact, it was just beginning.
Maybe you have an area of your life that in the past you really thought you had been freed from. Maybe you had a miracle happen in your life, and you were 100% confident that the book had been closed on that chapter. Maybe it was a cancer that could no longer be found. Maybe it was a marriage that was restored. Maybe it was a demonic attack on your spirit that had been defeated.
Then it happens. The doctors spot another tumor. The arguments return to the home. The demons start swirling again in your mind. And you begin to question whether God ever worked the original miracle to begin with. You begin to question whether you dare get your hopes up a second time. You begin to question if it is really worth it to go into battle again.
If you build your thought life on a false foundation, the answer will be no. No more praying for healing this time. No more counseling this time. No more applying the blood of Jesus to those demons in your life. With a false foundation of thought, it will be game over. Time to give up.
But when you build your foundation on the
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