nraveled - Are We There Yet #4
Scripture: John 11:4
Spiritual Growth Challenge: Meditate and write down attributesof your Heavenly Father.
Spiritual Growth - The Word, Worship, Prayer, Living Generously
Nowa certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and hersister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lordwith ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus wasill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, hewhom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it hesaid, “This illness does not lead to death. It isfor the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
4When Jesus got the message, he said, “Thissickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’sglory by glorifying God’s Son.” (MessageTranslation)
This is a series entitled “Unraveled” we will let God developsomething out of us. In doing so, we will rise above our circumstances,conditions, and questions that plague our Christian life many times.
I don’t want you to think of your life as an “Instance" butbegin to think of it as an "Occasion." An "Occasion" takesplanning, time to develop and ends up being a lot more beneficial than to justa few people.
Instance: It is an occurrencethat takes place that people witness.
Occasion:Is planned, Deliberate, Not casual, Takes time, Has process, People areaffected.
Weall have tendencies of a Control Freak and an Emotional Basket Case. Therefore,the very definition of “Occasion” creates an issue in our life. The issue makesus continually ask “Are We There Yet?”
Theonly thing we want to from an issue is for it to be over.
Remember,an Occasion “Is planned, Has a process and Takes time.”
Thedefinition of "Occasion" has caused many people to put things in a"Tomb" that they should have given a "Pillow."
We have talked about control freaks and emotional basketcases, today we want to address the dismayed and doubting. Just like the lasttwo weeks we all have been dismayed and have doubts on the way to thedestination.
8 Thedisciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking tostone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesusanswered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyonewalks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But ifanyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 Aftersaying these things, he said to them, “Our friendLazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallenasleep, he will recover.”13 Now Jesus had spoken of hisdeath, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 ThenJesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died,15 andfor your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But letus go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called theTwin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may diewith him.”
Thomaswas so concerned with his own life that he found no purpose in the journey.
Thomasknew that if he went back with Jesus, death was at hand.
Finda purpose in the journey... not the purpose of the journey.
You'llnever see the purpose of the journey when you are in the middle of it. If youtry to, you will falsely blame God for things that He never put on you. But,if on the journey you find a purpose in the journey, you areproving the Occasion, not the Instance.
For most of our life, we are not atthe beginning, but we're not at the destination either. Instead, we are in themiddle.
Itis in the middle where is where chaos happens.
It is in themiddle is where the adversity happens.
It is in themiddle where the testing of our perseverance, our courage, and our Faithoccurs.
Most of your life isn't startingsomething or finishing something; it is figuring out how to stay on course inthe chaos.
When we are in the middle, willwe trust him with Occasion even though we are still in the process?
Faith isn't for the arrival atthe destination; Faith is to get you to the destination.
Being miserable in the middle does not make yourmiracle come quicker! - Bad Attitude/Misery/Anger
21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord,if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet,saying to him,“ Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Boththe Control Freak and the Emotional Basket Case had the same attitude.
Your attitude is always expressed inwhat is said.
What you speak with your mouth.
What you speak with body language.
Whenyou're miserable, it doesn't make the miracle come quicker; it only compoundsthe intensity of the mess.
It doesn’t make your family situation better.
It doesn’t make your work situation better.
It doesn’t make your not being married situation better.
It doesn’t make your married situation better.
Being miserable only compounds the mess.
"Weare not immune because we have a microphone; we all go through stuff. But howwe go through stuff determines whether or not you get a microphone."
Whatif the purpose of it, is for God to show you who is in it. What if it is forall the people standing around you.
41Sothey took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father,I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, butI said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believethat you sent me.”
You’llonly step into maturity when you step past the misery.
Maturityis expensive!!! It cannot be imparted like a gift. Sometimes there is not ashortcut.
Maturityhas manifested when you don’t mind if your journey is prolonged.
God is going to bring your journeyto pass.
God is going to use you to touchmore than you.
On my journey, if God can use me to encourage acommunity and change a region rather than just growing the church I pastor,maybe I need to look and see who is on my journey.
Maturity is taking myeyes off me (my journey) and looking to see who my journey is affecting.
What if thepurpose of the Occasion wasn’t a miracle; what if it was maturity!
Whatif this week isn’t about you? What if this part of the journey is about who youare going to affect?