Reading the story of the death of Lazarus (John 11), I pondered over Martha’s comment ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world’ (John 11:27). I wondered where this declaration of who Jesus was would fit on a timeline with Peter’s comparable statement (Matthew 16:7, Mark 8:29).
I started investigating, then realised it wasn’t important for my walk with the Lord, or what He’s called me to do. What was important was that they each clearly understood who Jesus was!
I re-read the chapter and reached our Lord’s declaration ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ (John 11:25). Truth resonated within me. Jesus is my resurrection and my life right now, not just in the future when He ‘is coming into the world’.
I‘ve been resurrected and I’m alive now. I don’t have to wait to be raptured from this dark sinful world when Jesus comes again. I don’t mean I was just revitalised, or re-worked, in the sense that the media may describe a plan, policy, derelict area or building being resurrected. I was dead … and now … I’m ALIVE!
When Lazarus shuffled out of the tomb Jesus said, ‘Unbind him, and let him go’ (John 11:44). We can assume Lazarus then lived life for the Lord to the full, because later on the authorities sought to kill him (John 12:9-11). But at first he needed others to unbind him.
I know that Jesus called out to me, and I shuffled out of the dark tomb of death, and into new eternal life in Him. Praise Him! But as I contemplated this truth, Jesus revealed that, although I’d joyfully responded to Him, I hadn’t fully removed the grave clothes.
I’d shaken off enough of them to see Him and His glory, but sufficient remained to keep me bound to past sin, pain and desperation. My walk with Him was a shuffle, as I strived to ‘keep up’, with all these bindings and baggage that remained. As a result, some fruit of the Spirit in my life couldn’t ripen.
On a Healing Retreat, and the Modular School, with God’s grace, the most obvious grave clothes had been removed. But, either some remained, or I picked some back up again, out of habit, or for false comfort.
I could have spent a lot of time trying to understand it but it wouldn’t have been any real benefit to my walk with the Lord. I would have been distracted from His purpose; from what He wanted to say to me at that time. The important thing was a few more, scrappy, threads left from the grave clothes were then removed.
If, like me, you too sometimes shuffle, when you know you should stride forward with the Lord, ask Him to reveal any scraps of grave clothes that hinder your progress.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me out of death to resurrection and life in You. Lord, I don’t want my walk with You to be hindered in any way. I don’t want to shuffle anymore. Reveal anything in my life that binds me in any way, however small, and help me to remove it. I want to be ‘let go’, so I can stride forth with You, into the plans and purpose You have for me. Amen.
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