Rise

right here right now

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” (John 11:23-24)

Read: Jeremiah 8:4 – 11:23

Relate: Martha was clearly not on the same page as Jesus. I wonder how often we do this. Jesus was talking about right now. Martha was thinking about some esoteric later point. Jesus was talking, “I’m about to head over to the tomb and call for him, and your dead brother is about to get up and walk out dead no longer.” But Martha was responding, “Eventually, at some distant future, there will come a time when everyone will be judged, and my brother will rise again along with the rest of us. Because he believed in You the outcome for him will be good on that day.” She wasn’t completely wrong and Jesus didn’t technically contradict her, but they clearly were not on the same page.

Misunderstanding Christ is a lot safer, isn’t it? It does make faith easier, doesn’t it? The Kingdom of God is both now and not yet, but all too often we seem to focus on the not yet. At least I do. As I sit here and write this, it is one of those bad allergy days. I’ve had a steady runny nose that benadryl doesn’t seem to want to touch. One day I will rise again from the grave and have a new body and there will be no more runny noses. It is much easier for me to believe that than to actually my bow head and ask God to take away my runny nose right here, right now. It’s much safer to just say this runny nose is just a part of the “cross I have to bear” than to take a step of faith and ask God to get rid of it. There’s no disappointment of Him maybe saying no. There’s no fear of expectations dashed.

React: Obviously, runny noses and dead brothers fall into two vastly different categories. My annoyance and her genuine suffering can’t even begin to be compared. However, the principle is the same. When God says, “I can do it” we say, “That’s right. Amen.” When God says, “I will do it right here, right now” we balk. It is much easier to have faith when it doesn’t have to be proven. But then, if it isn’t tested, is it really faith? Am I really willing to believe that all God’s promises to me are for me in the here and now? When He says, “come forth” am I really willing to strip off these grave clothes and start walking it out? Am I really willing to rise… right here, right now?

Respond: 

God, I am tired of living a safe life. I am tired of sitting back in my comfort zone believing that at some point in the vague future You will do great things. I want to see them right here, right now. Help me to stop praying vague, safe prayers. Give me the courage to get specific and the faith that not only can You answer them but that You will. Help me to stop hoping to see a move of God at some point in the future. The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing right here, right now. Help me to get out of the boat and believe You for this moment in time. Help me to rise.

 

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9 thoughts on “Rise

  1. Amen BJ, this is the kind of word we should all be preaching and living.
    His power to us all in doing that, and may He give His approval for directing others to Him in faith!

  2. Pingback: John 11:40 (Believing is Seeing) |

  3. Interesting post. If you REALLY wanted to have your runny nose healed you would cast off the doubts that it would be healed. Such trivial things we hesitate to ask God for we feel its a test or something or problem not big enough to warrant His attention. If you believe your nose is healed it is by Gods word as the Almighty Healer. Sometimes I think we just let a little bit out there to see if He nibbles at it like a lure on a fishing line. If God grabs the bait then we believe. If we still hold onto our illness and not let go of it we must also check our motives. Abba Father, God does not want us to suffer or be sick, that was taken care of with Jesus. He wants to Love and nuture us if we accept Him into our heart. Thanks again, Blessings.

    • Lack of faith is why Paul’s eyesight was horrible, right? And he knew Timothy didn’t have enough faith which is why he recommended the young preacher take a little wine for his frequent illnesses, right? Yes, God wants us to be healthy and well. He is more concerned with our spiritual well being and often uses sickness to draw us closer to Him. We do need to have the courage to have bold prayers when we make our requests to Him. But they *are* requests and He does have the capacity to say no. The problem with a “believe it and its done” theology is that it often takes our faith off of God and on to our faith. Are we better? No? Then we must not have enough faith.
      Garbage.
      Sometimes God says no. We need to have the courage to make bold requests but still ultimately recognizing that He is sovereign, even over our own bodies.

  4. Hmmm. That’s confirmed. We often like to hold on to faith as far as it will not be tested right now. The problem comes when it has to be tested right now. That’s one thing the Holy Spirit has helped me with overtime. Hate to see it when people use it as a base of religion. Great piece brother.

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