Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God is NOT Late!

Are you tired of "waiting" on the Lord? Does it seem that, though you've told Him you need Him, He is late coming around? Does it even feel like He's not coming? We all have experienced this at one time or another. I was reminded that despite how it may appear to our finite minds, God is never late!

In John 11 we read the account of the death and resurrection of Lazarus. It is clear from the passage that Lazarus was dearly loved by the Lord Jesus (vs. 3, 5) yet, when word came to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, Jesus did not immediately go to him. Instead, the Lord stayed where he was for two days longer though it is also obvious that Jesus was aware of the severity of Lazarus illness. In fact, the Sovereign Lord knew that Lazarus was dead (vs. 11-14). So why didn’t He drop whatever He was doing and go to His friend and heal him?

Consider the following verses…

When Jesus received the message, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it.” (John 11:4 AMP)

Jesus was already accomplishing His plan, to the glory of the Father, but the plan included a purposeful delay.

Therefore [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was. (vs. 6)

“Therefore” refers back to verse 4 and Christ’s purpose to bring the Father glory. Jesus brought greater glory to the Father by waiting 2 more days to reveal the His power.

Then after that interval He said to His disciples, “Let us go back again to Judea.” (vs. 7)

Christ acted according to His timetable.

The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews only recently were intending and trying to stone You, and are You [thinking of] going back there again?” Jesus answered… “Our friend Lazarus is at rest and sleeping; but I am going there that I may awaken him out of his sleep.” (vs. 8-9a, 11b)

Christ will not be detained. He is not afraid of the circumstances. All authority has been given Him in heaven and on earth. Whatever comes to pass must first pass through the hands of the Almighty God.

And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him. (vs. 15)

When Christ “delays” it is to help our belief. There will be a time for Him to act.

So when Jesus arrived, He found that he [Lazarus] had already been in the tomb four days. (vs. 17)

There was a prevalent belief in that day that the spirit of a dead person hovered close for 3 days. By waiting until Lazarus had been dead 4 days, he was DEAD in the minds of the people. Christ waited until the people could not dismiss His work as anything less than a miracle!

What areas or situations in your life does it seem that God is late showing up to? Is there a specific issue or part of you that feels “dead”? Like Martha in verse 21, do you feel that if God had just shown up sooner…? Is it possible that Christ is purposely delaying in order to bring greater glory? Not that we must know but what greater glory might He have in mind?

Jesus said to her (Martha), “Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone, and Jesus… shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” And out walked the man who had been dead. (vs. 40-41a, 43b-44a)

Believe Him when His Word says that He wants to do the miraculous in your life. Listen to His voice when He calls you to “come out!” He is not scared away or offended by the stench of our dead places. Rather, that’s why He came - that we would have life and that to the full! (see John 10:10) Will you trust Him and obey Him as He resurrects your life – in His ways and on His timetable?

Lord, I pray that I would not be so set in my mind and heart as to how You should work and when You should show up that I miss the fact that You are ALWAYS at work - for my good and Your greater glory! In the Name of Jesus, the Raiser of the dead, so be it!

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