Believing when you can’t see how
John 11:1-6, 17-23
So, many Christians go through there spiritual journey not experiencing the fullness of God because of there limited faith. Some believe that Jesus can heal or set free as long as it is in the realm of there belief system. But the moment the problem goes outside of there belief system and get to a point of no return or getting better in there eye site, they stop believing and start placing blame. Some folk only believe when they see how it’s going to work out or they have enough or know enough resources to work it out before it gets worst. But sometimes God will allow it to get worst, so that he can get your faith to a place that even when you don’t see how you are going to come out you will still believe in him. Our faith needs to get from operating on our time to understand and operating on his time. Our faith sometimes operate on our time that’s why Jesus will allow our situations to get worst from time to time so that we can learn how to operate on his time. He may not come when you want him to, but thank God he’s always on time. Our time is not when he shows up. Our time is always now. But sometimes he won’t show up until later which is right on time. His on time is our late, and our late is his on time. But some of us only operate on our on time and our faith never develops beyond that. The power of Jesus isn’t limited to our time. He is all powerful. And we must get our faith to operate beyond what we can see. Even if it dies, death is not the last word or action. Even if it gets worst, that not the last result. The question is how do we get our faith to operate on his time and not our time even when we can’t see how.
Here in the text Lazarus is sick so Martha and Mary goes to Jesus and tells him that Lazarus is sick. Let me first suggest that if your have a problem then you should go to Jesus. Envogue has a song that says “Who can I run to, to fill this empty life, who can I run to I need love. Somebody maybe sitting here today with the same question, who can I run to, to fill my empty life, to heal my body, to give me comfort and peace to get me out of this mess, because you need healing, you need a breakthrough, you need a miracle. My answer to you is you better run to Jesus. Stop running to everybody else and everything, run to Jesus.
Secondly the text suggest that they did not ask him to come, they only told him there problem. See if we just tell him the problem, then we summit ourselves to his time and be patient and wait on him until he shows up. But if we ask him and he does not show up when we ask, we get up set because he did not show up when you wanted him to. Some folk have a problem wit waiting on Jesus. We live in a get it quick world. They have minute everything. There was a time when you had to cook rice on the stove for about 10 minutes to get it good and soft, now they have minute rice. Pop it in the microwave and in a minute it’s done. Everything is centered on getting it done in half of the time. But there are something’s, that still needs time. You can bake a cake in a minute. You can’t fry a hamburger in a minute. You can’t fry chicken in a minute. There are something’s you just have to wait for if you want it right. Sometimes what Jesus wants to do in your life you may have to wait for it. Because there is a reason why you are waiting.
So, they told him about Lazarus being sick and he said that the sickness is not unto death. But for the glory of God. In other words the final result will not be death but for the glory of God. He was trying to tell them that no matter what happens, God is going to do something that will bring glory to his name. What you are going through will result in praise. I’m telling you now that the end result of your problem is not destruction but your end result is praise. Somehow some way God is going to do something in your situation that will cause you to praise him. Jesus need to show you and everybody around you that he has power over everything you and I experience in this life. God is getting ready to do something big in your life. The reason for your trial is so that God can get some glory. You are going through so that in the end God will get the praise. Nobody else deserves the praise; nobody else will get the praise, only God will get the praise. So if the end result is going to be praise that let’s you know how it is going to end. It’s going to end with you having the victory. If it’s going to end in praise then it must be victory praise.
Now Lazarus is dead. Jesus did not go after they came to him. He stayed 2 days before leaving to go, because his own disciples did not believe. See Jesus will use your problem to help someone else’s faith. You’re not going through just for you; you’re going through for a testimony to someone else. Because Jesus said in v. 15… God wants to use you to prove something to someone else. God decided to use you, so show case a great and powerful miracle. He could have used anybody else, but he decides to use you as an example of how powerful he is. God allows you to experience pain, for his glory so that someone else’s faith can be increased. Sounds like Jesus is selfish, but before you jump to that conclusion first off you may be experiencing the same problem he’s trying to teach, not only that but when it’s all over you’re the one going to get the blessing of overcoming. You’re the one going to have a victory party along with your victory dance.
Now Lazarus is dead and Martha as soon as she hears that Jesus is coming gets up and goes out to meet him. Watch this, Martha gets up to meet him but Mary stays home. They both went to Jesus and told him the problem but only one got up to go and meet him. One said I need to get up and go meet Jesus, the other said I’ll just stay home and cry. All of us are Martha or Mary. Some of us will get up and go to church to meet Jesus; other will just stay home and cry. Martha gets up even after Lazarus is dead goes to Jesus and blames him. See sometimes folk don’t come to Jesus to praise him, they come to blame him. If you loved me you would have not allowed this to happen. If you were God then you would not allowed them to die. If you would have showed up when he was alive it would have been alright. See it was alright with her as long as he was still living, but the moment he dies her faith dies too. It’s alright as long as we can see how, but the moment we can’t see how we start blaming God. When he just told us 2 days ago that the end result was not death but Glory to God. How soon we forget what he told us. It’s ok as long as we can see a way out but soon as it gets dark and we can’t see we are in trouble.
The problem with her faith is that she believed that she would see Lazarus again in the last day but not right now. Some of us believe God will deliver us in the future but we don’t believe he can deliver us now. Her mind was not on seeing Lazarus now because he’s dead. So, she thought yeah I know I will see him again in the last day. But Jesus was not talking about later he was talking about now. I know you don’t believe that you can be delivered now but Jesus is saying you will rise again, right now. You may think that it’s too late for Jesus to bring you out, but he’s about to show you something. I know to you it seems like that’s it, it’s the end, but Jesus is saying I’m just getting started.
He tells her that he has power over death, and if you can believe in that then I can work with that. So, she gets happy goes and gets Mary.
Mary comes and says the something. But she has something working in her favor. She comes to Jesus crying along with the Jews, and Jesus looks at them and the text says that his spirit groaned and was troubled.
In other words he felt there pain, tried to hold it but could not. Let me suggest that all the tears you have cried he saw you and felt your pain, and if you don’t believe he can, you better come crawling on your knees crying.
Now, he goes to the tomb and tells them to remove the stone to the grave. Oh get ready because is getting ready to open the door to your deliverance. Somebody have been trying to open there own door or asking others to open the door for you, but they could not. But now Jesus steps to your grave and demands that the door be opened. You have been locked up in that grave of sorrows, grave of heartache, grave of despair, grave of heartache and pain, long enough. Jesus is opening up the door to your deliverance.
Even after all of that Martha still did not believe. She still is dealing in the natural. She tells Jesus hold up, you may not want to do that because he may be stinking now. Some folk will not believe because they are to busy looking at it in the natural. It does not matter what it looks like in the natural or from what I can see. My faith but look beyond what my eyes can see and into what I believe Jesus can do.
So, Jesus prays and calls him forth. Get ready because Jesus is calling you out of your turmoil, calling you out of your grief. Calling you out of your heart ache and pain. Calling you out of your storm. Now the door is open, Lazarus comes out, but he is still bound.
Let me suggest that even when we come out of our grave, we can still be bound by our grave cloths. There are a lot of people that are alive in Christ but still bound by the graves cloths of the world. That’s why many in the church struggle with sin. They can not work because there hands are bound. They can not walk because there feet are bound. They can not witness because there mouth is bound. That’s why some women go back to abusive relationships because even though they were set free, they were still bound.
But today, you are being set free from whatever or whoever has you bound. Jesus says Lazarus come forth. Call your name and say come forth. Get out that grave, shake off those grave cloths. And after you shake it off, just give God the praise. Praise him for opening the door for your deliverance. Praise him for calling you out of your grave. Praise him for loosing you from that habit. Loosing you from that problem. Loosing you from that storm.