Know that Jesus is with us always, and the reality of His existence comes in our deep awareness of this truth. When we switch our attention and affection, acknowledging, recognizing and welcoming His presence, we open ourselves into divine encounters that only He ordains and orchestrates. The power of His presence opens us up to see His moves and His ways, to think His thoughts, to feel His touch and to hear His voice, answering our prayers in the very way He desires.
I was reading the passage about Lazarus being sick. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” (John 11:3) When Jesus heard it, He said, “The purpose of his illness is not death, but for the glory of God, I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this situation.” (John 11:4)
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” (John 11:5-6)
Hmmmm … interesting response from our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus. He was in no hurry at all. He knew beforehand what He was about to do. After all He is our Omniscient God, the all-knowing one and time is in His hands.
When Lazarus died, Jesus and His disciples headed towards Judea. Upon arrival, Martha met Him first. And a little later, she called for Mary, saying, “HE IS HERE AND HE WANTS TO SEE YOU” (John 11:28 TLB). These words stood out before my eyes.
When we come knocking at heaven’s door with our prayers, surely HE hears us. Not only does He hear us, but He already has His best interest in answering our prayers. When Jesus heard about Lazarus being sick, He already had a greater and more glorious way of responding to their call that Lazarus will not be healed from his sickness. Instead, he will experience death and that Jesus will raise him up from the dead that will demonstrate Who He is being the Resurrection and the Life. (John 11:25)
Jesus is all about making Himself known to us, coming to see us and meeting WHATEVER need we have. He is the GREAT I AM and when we go through challenges in life is when He has the perfect opportunity to show Himself strong to us. These are the times when He becomes so real to us. His presence becomes so tangible, comforting us, strengthening us, guiding us, keeping our heads above the water, shielding our thoughts and minds by reminding us who we are in Him and how loved we are by Him. These “He is here and He wants to see us” moments are divine encounters that changes us and changes the way we perceive our challenges.
Sometimes we think that when the answers to our prayers don’t come when we expect them, we have the tendency to think it’s the end of it. Seemingly delayed answers indeed don’t mean He is not responding. He just have other ways and means in mind. Could it be then that when it takes time for us to see His answer, it is gaining interest? It may be a bizarre thought to think but in the case of Lazarus, him being resurrected gave MORE GLORY to Jesus than him being healed of sickness. That is an upgrade of glorifying Him.
We are to remind ourselves that Jesus isn’t limited to our idea of time let alone His ways. He is outside of time. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. His purposes are awesomely beyond what we can think, dare or imagine but it is for His greater glory that He comes and answers our prayers in ways and means only He knows. Our testimonies are not just to make us look good, but they are to glorify Him and make Him known.
Every tree is known by its fruit. A good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. (Luke 6:43) Therefore our lives are to demonstrate His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy, His love and His grace.
The commodity that He gave us to tap into His realm of the “impossible made possible” is our hope, our faith and our trust in Him that He is able and willing to do it.
“But DIDN’T I TELL YOU that you will see a wonderful miracle from God IF YOU BELIEVE?” (John 11:40)
Both Mary and Martha believed that if Jesus came right away, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. See both their reactions when they saw Jesus.
“Martha said to Jesus, “Sir, IF you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”” (John 11:22)
“When Mary arrived where Jesus was, she fell down at His feet, saying, “Sir, IF you had been here, my brother would still be alive.” (John 11:32)
Jesus’ presence mattered to the three of them. They both believed that if Jesus arrived on time, Lazarus wouldn’t have tasted death. They have witnessed how Jesus healed ALL who came to Him. But our God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. His Sovereignty cannot be measured by our limited human minds. He is our Almighty Father, our Most High God, the Lord of all Who calls the shots. He is Life that is not intimidated by death of a loved one nor time is a hindrance to His power.
When the enemy comes to throw trials and challenges in our lives, it is for His glory to be seen. No wonder His word says to COUNT IT ALL JOY when we face trials of various kinds. (James 1:2) It is in us overcoming and being victorious that gives Him glory.
“When the enemy shall come in, LIKE A FLOOD THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) One write up stated, When the enemy shall come in, like a river the Spirit of God will make him flee.” When God raises a standard, what He is doing is, PROCLAIMING WHO HE IS in that specific challenge. With Lazarus, He was proclaiming that HE is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. Oh how the power of resurrection collided with his dead body and caused it to rise that dislodged, displaced, and disarmed the power of death at Jesus’ words, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43) The miracle that He did stood for Who He is, what He stands for and what He does.
“Standard” as defined in Webster’s dictionary is – “any figure or object, flag or banner used as a symbol of a leader, people or military unit, a rule or basis for comparison for measurement or judgment,”
It is time for us to ARISE, raise and wave the banner of Who Jesus is in our lives. We SHINE for the LIGHT HAS COME and the GLORY OF THE LORD IS RISEN UPON US.
“When the Light has come and the Glory is risen (Isaiah 60:1)” gives me a powerful revelation that HE IS HERE with us. When the Light of His glory shines forth, no amount of darkness can stand. It needs to flee! It has to flee! Light always shallows up darkness. NO FOE can come against the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in us. Indeed, greater is He Who is IN us than he that is in this world. (1John 4:4)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You, for Your presence in our lives. It is in Your presence where we find fullness of joy in spite of what we go through, knowing that You are our strong tower where we can run and be safe. Thank You Jesus, for raising up a standard for us against the fiery darts of the enemy. You have overcome the world, therefore we are graced to overcome the world with You. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being the river that washes away anything in our lives that does not bring You pleasure. Our hearts are surrendered and yielded to Your Lordship where freedom is found. Amen!