Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen- Hebrews 11:1(TPT)
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”- Matthew 17:20
It is our faith that will reveal the glory of God in us (John 11:40)
The book of John chapter 11 verses 1-44 tells us of the event of Lazarus when he was sick and then died. It highlights the story that took place where Jesus Christ showed himself as the restorer by restoring Lazarus back to life. The chapter also tells us that Jesus is the only one that can set us from our graves.
When Jesus heard about Lazarus’s sickness, He sent out word that terminated the death that would have permanently taken Lazarus “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that the son may be glorified through it“-John 11:4. There are some issues in our lives that are still there and have been there for a long time and the only reason why they are there is for an appointed time for God to take the glory and honour. For him to be praised! Have you ever wondered, maybe why you are going through what you are going through is for God to get all the glory? Maybe you are here for such a time like this for God’s glory to be revealed in you!
We see in John 11 verse 6, a true demonstration of what we at times see as delayed being God’s appointed time. Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick but he stayed two more days. Why? Because it was an appointed time set for Jesus to take the glory. And for some of us, Lazarus’s two days delay may have been two years or even 20 years but know that at times He delays is so that He can showcase his mighty power in us. Remember that our time clock is completely different to that of God. And a testimony that does not come from God, must come from the devil. When God delays something from happening, that doesn’t always mean that He has denied you of it.
Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead “our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up” ( John 11: 11-12). Jesus could have healed him without having to come to him but the Lord shows up for those He loves and cares about (He knew His presence was essential for this event). The Lord wants to show up for you too. He wants to show up for you to show that He sees you, He’s concerned about you and He truly cares about you.
Don’t misinterpret the things that just fell asleep in your life as though they are dead. Don’t try and pray to life what didn’t die in the first place. For there will be an appointed time that the Lord will wake them all up. But many times, the Lord wants us to come into intimacy and fellowship and walk with him wholeheartedly so that He can influence our lives in a massive way that we have never experienced before. Intimacy brings revelations and deeper fellowship with God.
In verses 20-22 of John, chapter 11 Mary and Martha both believed that if Jesus had been there sooner Lazarus wouldn’t have died, forgetting that the presence of the one who holds life and death in His hands was in front of them! This verse makes you wonder how can Mary and Martha have the faith to believe that if Jesus was there, Lazarus wouldn’t have died but they didn’t have faith to believe that He can bring him back to life.
Sometimes, it can be easy to pray and have faith for things that seem to be going downhill or going from bad to worst but at times it’s really hard to have faith for something that we’ve concluded dead, broken, damaged etc because we’ve accepted that that is it and there can be no other way for this to come back to life. Forgetting that the same power that we believed in during the times when things are going a bit bad or going from bad to worse, is the same power that is actively working in our lives when things seem completely hopeless. God never changes irrespective of how our minds may change about his power and about him. His is consistent regardless.
Do you believe in only what God tells you or do you also believe in his presence? If you were to meet God will you be like Martha and Mary and tell God if only you were here earlier or sooner, this wouldn’t have happened or would you embrace the fact that He is now here. Will you be the next generation that changes Martha and Mary’s words from “if you had been here” to “thank you Jesus for being here, I’ve been expecting you… my life seems to be dead but now that you are here, I am confident that you will fully wake me up from my sleep”
John chapter 11 verses 39-44 highlight the events of the rising of Lazarus from his tomb. What an encounter Lazarus had with Jesus! – Lazarus received his miracle.
An encounter also comes when your heart loves the one who will be at the encounter- Jesus.
Through the Holy Spirit, many of us today can have an encounter with Jesus. It’s available to those who believe in Christ and those who are ready to wholeheartedly follow and seek after the Lord. A relationship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit bring deep revelations and encounters. We are in the last days where the Spirit of the Lord is calling us into intimacy with him, into a deeper friendship.
It was because of association that Lazarus was healed- Mary was the one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair (John 11:2 & John 12:3). It was the intimacy and connection Mary had with Jesus that moved Jesus to come to set Lazarus free completely from his grave.
Prayer based on John 11:1- 44
- Lord visit my tomb (John 11:38)
- Let the cry of my heart move you, my Lord (John 11:33-35)
- Lord stop by my city and visit my tomb. Lord take away the stone and come in.
- I don’t care how long I’ve been there or the smell that may be coming from my situation or circumstances, I believe therefore I will see the glory of God in my situation (John 11:38-40).
- Jesus, I invite you into my tomb. Let the stone be rolled away.
- Jesus call me out in a loud voice! I’m ready to come out! I’m ready to wake up from my deep sleep. That’s not your plan for my life, your plan is for me to have life and have it in full (John 10:10)
There will be a final process that follows when you have had an encounter with Jesus, you must leave the cloth of the old and dead you behind and let them go and you now need to walk in the new calling God has called & delivered you into (John 11:44)