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Take Away The Stone!

Take Away The Stone!

John 11:38-40 (NIV) Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

He said in a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come out!” and he did. All the rotting flesh with the smell of death suddenly was filled with the warmth of life. Jesus told the disciples to remove the grave clothes from the man that walked out of the tomb.

In this story we gather that Martha has been praying, weeping, longing for Jesus to come and 'heal' her brother, but in the end he dies, and it would seem in the natural that all hope is gone. If Jesus had only come when he was still showing signs of life, then surely He could have wrought a miracle. Maybe if He had come when Lazarus had only been dead a few hours, while the warmth of life still clung to him, He could still have revived him. But now he is wrapped in grave clothes, with the stink of death clinging to him. He is buried in the tomb, and it would seem, gone forever. Martha is still weeping, but only for what is lost, there is surely no tears of hope mingling with her sorrow.

Jesus says four eternally astounding words; "Take away the stone!"

These words jumped off the page to me this morning, and I want to show you what God spoke to me.

It is rather easy to have faith that someone you are praying for will be 'saved' when spiritual life is still evident in some small way. Some of you have children or loved ones that you can still see that little spark of faith in, so you are spurred on to pray and trust and believe God is able to save them! But what of the parent who sees only spiritual decay and ruin in thier childs life? When it seems every choice they make, every place they go, and everything they do, indicates to you they are utterly lost, and four days, four months, perhaps four years pass, and its looks utterly hopeless! You don`t see Christ on the horizon of thier lives, in fact He is nowheres to be seen at all. They have died a spiritual death, and Jesus has`nt come in spite of all your prayers.

Brothers and sisters, who was Jesus speaking to when He said "take away the stone?"

It was`nt a command to God, but to those standing there weeping, or firguratively to Martha herself. There is a stone that would hinder what Christ wants to do for you. It is the stone of unbelief that weights down your prayers, and hinders the hand of God to 'bring to life' those you are earnestly seeking Him for. You see Martha, and those with her, had faith in Jesus. They said 'this man could have kept Lazarus from dying,' but thier faith could`nt look beyond the evidence.

The stone they needed to remove, was not so much a mound of rock, for Jesus could have had angels roll it away, as indicated at His own resurrection. He could of as well himself removed the stone. Spiritually speaking, the stone was one of unbelief, carved with the words "but Lord...?" and it had to be taken away, before the miracle came, and it is very important to note, He told the ones needing the miracle to remove it.

Martha`s 'prayer' had changed by time Jesus finally answered her, and she no longer believed Jesus either could or would grant her request.
She said "it is too late now" Is it....?

You have been praying what seems like a long time for a loved one, and it seems things have only got worse. What used to be only dabbling in sin, has opened a floodgate in thier lives, and they seem consumed by every evil that will wrap its death grip around a human heart. And your prayers change, because all you see now are grave clothes, and no sign of hope.

Let me ask you another question. Is our timing, Gods timing? He tells us it is not. It is no more difficult for God to perform a miracle four days after you think all hope is gone, than four days before all hope is gone! We are not told why did Jesus let Lazarus be bound in grave clothes before He called his name. Why does Jesus let some become so bound in sin, before He sets them free, He alone knows, but we can trust He has a purpose.

If you praying and trusting God for a miracle, God will perform it! Neither should you think you must plead with your loved one to listen, there is only one voice they need to hear, and only one we need to be talking to about thier condition. Christ came to Lazarus...and so He comes to your loved one, and it is Christ who speaks the eternal life saving words "Come forth!"

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Today Christ is speaking, take away the stone of unbelief from your hearts. He will undoubtedly not come 'when' you expect Him to, and rarely will answer in the 'way' you expect Him to, but we have His promise that if we call, He will answer!

Isa 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

He is able!
Well put! Simply....BELIEVE!!! The Holy Spirit has been putting this word...BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE...on me now for months and this is yet another confirmation! Thank you, Coconut!

Not only is He able, he is willing as well! His Word reminds us....

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22

I am absolutely loving this verse lately but the one right before it totally confirms what you are saying, sister....

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. Matthew 21:21

WOO-HOO!!!! BELIEVE!!! Such an awesome Word straight from the Lord Himself! YES!!!

Thank You Lord! We praise Your Holy Name and we thank You for the Truths found in Your Word! AMEN!
Wow. I am so glad you posted this. God has said that He will take care of my loved one, and I am constantly reminded that He needs no help from me. No pleading, begging, crying, mouring, etc. will "make" God do what He has promised in my time and not His own. I am finally able to let go of the wheel, the one I have had by both hands, both feet, all ten toes and teeth (odd picture in your mind right now right? lol). And it looks just that silly to God. As if He says, "Child, why do you do this? Didn't I tell you I would take care of this?" I am finally able to let go and let God.

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