30th May, 2016
WHEN HE COMES - 8
"The mystery of the resurrection life!"
Let us learn to do what each time-pace is meant to accomplish. Let us walk within the light of His presence. Genuine ministry is only in this matter: walking with Him; staying where He stays; going behind Him either into Judea or into Bethany... facing what He faces at a particular time.
Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world, But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
John 11:9-10 NKJV
What a matter we must note in our labours in the ministry. If any man walks in the day, he does not stumble... he does not make mistakes... he does not hit his head against a wall. Every 'day' of a man's ministry comes with a bright light for what to do. It is not working miracles or doing wonders that is very significant here; it is walking in the light of 'your' day!
If Jesus had rushed to Lazarus' bed side, earlier than the divine time, He would have stumbled... He would heal Lazarus from his sickness but that healing would at best be a stumbling. How many times our so called 'breakthroughs' have actually been our stumbling in ministry. We have so stumbled that we could not bring the utmost and the ultimate glory to the SON, through our labours.
How we need to learn this firmly from our LORD as we face the days ahead in our service to the LORD and to His friend “Lazarus”.... LORD, deliver us from this 'stumbling', which is so easy for us to fall into. Teach us to know your purpose, your timing and Your strategy henceforth.
Do you wonder at His delay to grant you the miracle for which you have prayed? Do you query His love and care, as He remains silent over your case? Are you ebbing away in the fervency of your faith because of this conflict? How can I be sure He still loves me while I struggle all alone in this valley of the shadow of death? Has He forgotten me for the devil to devour? Question upon Questions! There must have been several similar questions on Lazarus' mind before he finally bowed out unto death. Martha could have doubted His love for her and thought on whether she had offended Him and He decided to square up by neglecting her cry for her brother Lazarus. Sympathizers may have unwittingly concluded that “this friend of yours is not a friend in need and hence not a friend indeed.” Yet, His delay was not a denial. It was for the Son of man to be glorified among men.
It was not to kill you. The long barrenness in your marriage or in your ministry despite that you have raised urgent alarm to heaven is not a denial. It is to bring forth the ultimate and the utmost glory of God in your life. Hannah cried and wept for years. She watched her rival Peninnah deliver babies like a pig. She endured the sarcastic comments and the disloyalty of her husband until the Lord remembered her. Her son, Samuel was the only son of Elkanah known and reckoned by name in all the several generations ever since. He was the one, ordained and established a prophet and priest in Israel. This “sickness” is not unto death; it is for the glory of God! Though He tarries, wait for Him... He that shall come, shall come. Job almost became a skeleton. He seemed to have lost all, even friends and believers misunderstood his stand with God... “God could not have kept mute and watched His beloved waste away like this”, they must have said among themselves. Joseph languished in the prison for thirteen years, while the Word of the LORD tried him in preparation for the place of utmost fulfillment and glory. (Ps. 105:17-22)
Yet at the appointed time, God came! He came for him. Overnight Joseph was placed on the second chariot of Pharaoh in Egypt. His former master and owner - Portiphar - became his chief protocol- running ahead of him shouting “Bow the knee! Bow the knee!”
Resurrection only comes at the tomb of death! Could He be waiting until all of your self-life; self-energy; self-wisdom; self-effort, self-strategy, self- acclaim; self- activity; self-advertisement and all that is of the flesh dies, so He can use you to bring glory to God among men? For Lazarus to sit and become a reason for men to gather to the Lord, he must die! The Lord must wait for death to have its full work, so that life can be made manifest in us...
Alway bearing about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.
2Cor. 4:10-12 KJV
This is the mystery of the resurrection life:
Except the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone...
John 12:24 KJV
Death is the basis of every ministry that will bring glory to God through any man! Death to your personal ambition; death to your personal opinion and to public opinion; death to fame; death to females and death to finance! Death to personal promotion; death to the platform and death to performance. Death to your rights; and death to your claims, so that He can raise you an object of His glory and a vessel of honour in His kingdom....
All who bore Him significantly among men have come forth from the tomb of death. Except you have been put away by men, God cannot put you up on His platform. This kind of death must work within your cells before He can call you forth into the glamour of divine service. All who hope to become vessels of glory and bring joy and revival to their community and to their generations must come down to this Jordan of death! It is the cup and the baptism all candidates for a glorious service must take. If he still tarries in your own case, look out for the aspect of your self-life that is refusing this baptism.