Not Our Way, but His

November 26, 2013

Not Our Way, but His

John 11:1-5
Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

We all have preconceived notions about how we think things should work out in our lives especially in regards to our prayer requests and petitions before the Lord. In this story is a great example of how Jesus doesn’t operate the way rational and conventional thinking would dictate that He should have. It wasn’t even consistent with how He normally operated. Here we see three siblings who were the closer friends of Jesus and whom it says He, “loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” The sense and the meaning of the word “loved” here means that he had goodwill toward them, that they were preferred of Him and that He would wish well to them with regard to their welfare. Now if He felt that way about them why does it go on to say that when He heard about Lazarus’ sickness He continued on where He was at for two more days rather than immediately rushing back to take care of Lazarus. Now by human standards we may have judged these actions to be highly insensitive, uncaring and unloving. Certainly Mary and Martha may have struggled with such thoughts and feelings, especially after Lazarus ends up dying.
When you and I consider some of the things we have been praying for and the petitions we have made before the Lord; have we ever had the feeling that He was just ignoring us or that He didn’t really care? No matter how hard we prayed and petitioned the throne of God, no matter how much faith we tried to have to believe, it didn’t turn out the way we thought it should have. In fact sometimes we may feel that the more we pray or walk in the will of God the harder things get. Why? Doesn’t God love us? Doesn’t He care what we are going through?
Jesus loved Lazarus and His sisters, just like He loves you. He cared about them very much and perhaps it was as hard for Jesus to restrain Himself from immediately addressing their situation as it was for the sisters. The point that is being made here is that there are times when God is working a greater thing than what is evident to us on the surface. There are those times when we look back at a situation that we wanted God to immediately deal with and He didn’t and we begin to get a revelation why. Because God worked the way He did, so much more was worked through the situation than ever could have been, had it been immediately resolved. God is invested into us for the long haul. We see the immediate, the needs here and now, but He sees the answers and resolutions through the eyes of eternity and His higher purpose and good. Because our viewpoints are from two totally different realms and perspectives, is it any wonder that God doesn’t often operate the way we think He should? We can always rest in the promise we have in Romans 8:28,
“And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, even to them that are called according to His purpose.”
You see with Lazarus, his sickness was not about death, which to us seems to be the ultimate finality, it was about the “glory of God”. Christ needed to be revealed in an even greater aspect than a healer. It was time for certain ones, especially his more intimate friends, to get a revelation of Him as the “Resurrection and the Life”, not just in the last day at Christ’s coming, but here and now. By the time Jesus reached Lazarus he had been dead and in the tomb for four days. The natural mind tells us that is a pretty hopeless situation.
Some of us find ourselves in, or perhaps are going through some of those seemingly hopeless situations where by all natural appearances God didn’t come through. What we forget and find hard to grasp is that sometimes God allows us to come to the end of something in order to bring us into a new beginning. There may be those times when it is more than just a “God fix it”, it has to die to bring us into a greater dimension of life.
If you have a situation that looks hopeless then give it totally into the hands of the God of hope. When Martha came to Jesus, she said, “if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. And even now I know that whatsoever You ask of God, God will give You.” Maybe God hasn’t shown up because something or someone has to die. In the economy of God, it is death that often gives place to new and a greater dimension of life. Jesus then told Martha, “Your brother will rise again… I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes on me shall never die. Do you believe this?” We then know that Jesus did go to the tomb and called Lazarus forth and his life was raised up.
Some of you are sitting in the ashes of despair and despondency thinking God has given up on you. No, He loves you too much to allow you to continue as you are. There is the day of your breakthrough when He will speak the Word and call you forth in the newness of life in Him. There will be a resurrection day in your life if you hold steadfast and believe. This is a day to come forth in the newness and the power of His resurrection life.

Blessings,
kent

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Chosen

August 30, 2012

Ephesians 1:11
In him (Christ) we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Chosen


Your life is not an accident or mistake.  It is not designed to wander aimlessly if you are in Christ.  In Christ, you were chosen, you were commissioned, purposed and destined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.  That may not look like any thing the we have imagined, but as you walk in faith and obedience to whose you are, you can trust that He has our steps ordered.
We are no longer our own.  We were bought with the price of His blood.  It is no longer us who has right to live, but rather Christ in us.  He identified us with Him and Him with us as He died upon that cross.  When He died, we died.  When that man who became sin for us was buried; we were buried.  When He arose in resurrection life, the same Spirit that rose Christ from that grave dwells in and raised us up also in a recreated newness of life no longer after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  We received His LIFE, His DNA, His indwelling Spirit.  When He arose, we ascended in Him, because where the head goes the body follows.  Ephesians 1:18-23 Paul imparts this revelation to us, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
We have a power in us like the working of His (God’s) mighty strength, the same strength that raised Christ up and seated Him far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every title that can be given, not only in this age, but the ages to come.
Guess who is right there in Him who God has placed all things under His feet.  Does that not speak to the body, which we are?  “He is the head over His church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Excuse me, but didn’t Paul just say that we, Christ’s church, His body is the FULLNESS OF HIM who fills everything in every way?
Paul goes in Ephesians 2 to talk about what we formerly were, but says in verses 4-7, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
God wants us to get a hold of something today.  If you want to press in to know and be all that Christ has called you to know and be then you need to know “Who you are, Where you are and What you are for.” Identity, position and purpose.  These are the three principles God gave me when I asked Him how we can operate out of the third heaven.
Most of us have a very understated revelation of who we are in Christ.  God didn’t just chose you out of a drawing from a hat, you we were born for this day, this time and this season.  You were born to be an even fuller expression in the age to come, but don’t allow that to negate the impact your life is to have today, in this season.  There is nothing or no one that can limit you, but God Himself.  You are in Christ.  You are seated with Him in heavenly places.  You were chosen by Him and for Him, to be the expression of Him.
B e the violent person who presses in and takes the kingdom by force; exercising faith, confidence and the mind of the Spirit to possess and exercise all that Father has for us.  You are a world changer, a destiny maker; all things are beneath your feet, because you are in Christ.  Now, let us be the expression of who we are.

Blessings,
kent

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