Loose Him and Let Him Go: The Lesson of Life’s Winter

Winter

“Loose Him and Let Him Go”

An insight into the story of Lazarus, and how it applies to us in difficult circumstances as Acts 29 believers.  Circumstances where we might be tempted to forget the truth that, “…With God, nothing shall be impossible,” (That’s another blog post for another day.)   In any case, the Lord shared this with me earlier this year, and I felt impressed that someone might need it today.    For background text,  read John 11 (which tells of Lazarus’ illness, death, and raising back to life by Jesus, since all my Brit’s remind me “Not everybody knows the story,”) and you may draw some parallels in your own life, or in the life of others you know… 

We tend to bind dead situations. 

Places. 

People. 

Sometimes they are so dead it’s hard for us to imagine them alive. 

We often, like Martha, imagine that if Jesus could do it, He would have done it before. 

He would have touched my situation before it was too late.

Before it was hopeless. 

Before my children walked away from the Lord. 

Before my marriage was in trouble.

Before my financial or work dilemma was out of control. 

Before friends chose to follow another religion. 

Before my depression, my illness, my isolation got so deep. 

I mean, the timing was PERFECT before…

But my thoughts are never as perfect as His…

He was the one who said “He will make everything beautiful in HIS time…”

Even the deadest, most barren of places…

The Winter season teaches us this principle…  no matter HOW much snow, eventually, Spring must come…  whether that’s Feb 1st in FL, or May 16th in Denmark or in Michigan, or North Dakota the season can’t last forever.   Even if it felt like that last Winter here in UK! 

The Daily ritual of life teaches us this, for “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”   (Psalm 19:2-3)  and the message they speak is one of renewal and hope, no matter how dark the night, “You cannot hold back the dawn,” (Japanese Proverb,) and each sunrise is a reminder that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy? joy comes in the morning,”  (Psalm 30:5 AM Version) 

“You cannot hold back the dawn,” 

IF THOU WILT my brother will live again, 

We start limiting God…  “Maybe in heaven you can fix this,” forgetting our earliest prayer of “on earth as it is in heaven,”

We try to figure out ways He can maybe make it just ok… 

Not great.   Not like it was.   Like it used to be.  

After all, we with our own hands bound this body up…   

We mixed the frankincense, the myrrh, the deep ointments of mourning. 

We told all of our friends, it’s to late. 

God won’t show up.

I called and He didn’t answer. 

We sealed up our hopes and dream in the rock, never expecting to see them again…

When ALONG comes JESUS

Walking, not running, to get there…

Like, why now God? 

Sometimes in loss, we tend to bind, physically and emotionally the dead things.

If he’d just relaxed more, if he’d taken care of his health, I’d not be weeping (for these women, Mary and Martha, their brother was their provider, their importance and identity as well, their protection, so amplify the depth of that loss in your mind.) 

We bind it up.  All the hurts, the failures, the disappointment…

Because it’s too late.  

It doesn’t matter now. 

Sometimes we do that with the calling God placed upon our lives. 

Sometimes we do that with our relationship with Him

Some of us have done that with situations in our personal life… 

Sometimes I am the person, standing at the door of the tomb, knowing Jesus is there, but hesitating when He says, 

“Roll the stone away,” 

But God, this STINKS!

But God, this is IMPOSSIBLE! 

But God, you are too LATE!

We laugh at them, like, “Uhh, Jesus is standing right there,” but we do the same thing all the time. 

He speaks then, as He is speaking now into somebody’s life, “LAZARUS, COME FORTH”

When God speaks, things change. 

Immediately. 

Lazarus means “GOD IS MY HELP.” 

And we have bound him up, 

We have said it’s too late for help, and bound him up…

That’s why Jesus speaks to us, after God’s help starts moving. 

“LOOSE HIM AND LET HIM GO”

We have to loose Him to do the impossible in our lives. 

To contradict the disappointment of the past with the power of the present. 

To take off the bitterness, the bondage we’ve left on the help of God.

The sweet perfume of our lamenting, or complaining and realise,

That JESUS is HERE.

HE is ON TIME.

AND HIS HELP IS WALKING TOWARDS ME.

IT’S TIME for US to LOOSE HIM and LET HIM GO.

Loose him in your marriages. 

In your kids.

In your home. 

Because sometimes we spend so much time looking at the problem, we fail to realise the truth of what God can do…

It IS our choice…

God WILL do the miraculous, but He allows us to be a part of it so we Remember. 

There’s nothing too hard for God.

Nothing too decayed that He can’t restore. 

Even the body of Christ…

Even my personal life. 

So go ahead and begin to unbind the help of God in your life.

Begin to unbind the carnal Vessel so new Life can flow and move. 

God is speaking to YOUR situation right now. 

He’s speaking creative words, just like He did in Genesis, in the beginning of your walk, in the beginning of the earth, He speaks Life now…   

In His time that dream, that vision WILL come to pass.

In HIs time that promise you thought had passed you by WILL come to pass.

In HIS time that revival you thought would never come WILL flow 

So pray to God…

Pray together for and with the people you love…

Because the dichotomy, the division between the bondage of a deadman and a living man inside has to be taken away.

Between my doubt and giving up and the FACT that Jesus is here to help me, HAS to be taken away…  

But I need my brothers and sisters to help me… 

Loose him and let Him go.

Dawn

 

Note:

I pray this blesses and strengthens someone who feels like they’ve been waiting a long time for an answer.   God is always on time, and He never forgets His own.  Be encouraged.  

Remember, Jesus tells us in Hebrews 4:16, to  …come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

I leave you with one more promise, Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”  (Psalm 91:14-16)

Praying Peace

pray peace

In the midst of incredible things that have been happening recently in the United Kingdom,  we grieve with the City and people of Manchester today.

If there ever was a time we as a Generation needed to rise up in prayer, it is now.

Our world is shifting gears and we need to respond to the voices of hatred and intimidation with the words of God and the cry of the Spirit.

My heart is challenged to be softened to the hurt and pain around us, and sensitive to the voice of my Father in how to love them, share truth with them and comfort them in seasons of sorrow.

In moments of atrocity as we have recently seen in our lands, what will bring the greatest change is not politics, it is not social justice, but the hand of God.

Our human actions may not always physically prevent these horrors from happening, but our humanity crying out to a Sovereign God will have an unprecedented effect.

The Word of God tells us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and in my finite understanding, although we most certainly need to pray for Jerusalem, it was also their HOME.

And we need to pray for our homes.

We need to pray for a secure dwelling for future generations. That is again, both spiritual and physical places of dwelling.

God help us if we enjoy the blessings and peace of the House of God but leave it in Spiritual disrepair. God help us if we grow so lax and self-centred that we do not look out for the safety of the little people who are following in our footsteps of life. God help us if we neglect our connection to the vine and everything about Him that makes us fruitful.

God help us if everything that has been invested in us through the generations and through great toil, sacrifice and tears should fail to be passed on to the next generation.

We should be polishing our spiritual armour, we desperately need to rebuild our spiritual walls, we should be cultivating an atmosphere where the supernatural can occur at any moment when the compassion of Christ sees the need. We should be praying beyond borders, and barriers, and limitations to pass down a legacy of faith that will be greater than anything we can imagine.

We would thing it madness if we did not physically do everything we can do to ensure the physical safety of the young and vulnerable, but so many times as believers it is so easy to say, “They’ll be fine,” “It’ll be ok,” “They’ll get over it,” instead of praying against the dark forces that seek to devour the most exposed.

I feel to challenge you to pray the prayer of Faith over your family, over your local assembly, over your nation. Pray peace into communities rocked by tragedy and eaten up by apathy.

It will not do for us to play the blame game, they could have done this, we could have done that, but as one of my mentors, Bro Mark Gadd, reminded us today, “tragedy and loss of life urge us that we give of our best to the work of God.”
We may not all have hours to weep before the altar, but we do have an opportunity to open our lips to the King of Heavens and pray peace.

Let’s do it.

And watch what happens.

Freedom and Bread

Hannah en mi Casa‘They are both important, [freedom and bread]. It’s like asking someone to choose between bread and water. You need food, but you cannot live on that alone. You need freedom; it’s what distinguishes us from other things on this earth. Freedom helps us to materialize great innovations, to dream, to create. It’s all part of human life. You cannot take one from another.’  Emin Milli  quoted by Amy Makinnon in the Glasgow Guardian http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2012/06/23/where-next-for-azerbaijan/

The words struck my heart as I read: how many people do I know who are living off spiritual bread, sitting in our pews bound by affliction and pain, disease and torment, searching for just one more morsel to keep them alive spiritually, failing to realise the power that is resident within them to make them free? How many times have I struggled in my walk and ministry to survive through the deserts of life, never understanding the keys of God’s word in my hands could open a door to life abundant? It was right there. All I had to do was take it. All you have to do is accept it, run with abandon to the Master who already won your victory, He already made you free.

We sit in spiritual prisons of unbelief, unforgiveness, fear and trembling, always wondering if the chains that hinder our worship are as evident to those around us as they are to you and me. We watch others walking in liberty, envious of their freedom to worship, relate and grow, all the while desperately seeking to convince ourselves that maybe they have a prison too. As our spirits within us travel the disinterested pathways of defeat, the light of hope begins to flicker, and we become accustomed to the chains, our eyes cease to look for escape. We begin to believe the lies that we were meant for this, that we don’t deserve to be free, that it is our fault, and no one cares anyway. In this prison, so often invisible to those around us, we feel the joy we longed for dying; the dreams we searched for seem are abandoned and we live only for a morsel of bread. Just enough to keep me alive. Just enough to give us some small comfort, a sense of security in the grey walls of mediocrity, of obscurity as the voices of those we loved grows fainter in our memories every day. We live for bread. We have no dreams. We have no individuality. We are not important. We do not remember what it means to have a future. We live for bread.

We have forgotten the words of the Master who said Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28) We forget the power we once held as sons and daughters of the Most High until the moment that the crimson stream of liberty touches our stony hearts with this message from on high, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1) You see, my problem is not only my prison. You can take my walls away, but until you heal my heart I will live the same. I will not know what it means to be free until the Master touches me. Only His hand can heal me, only His touch has the power to remove the bitterness that threatens to destroy me, only His presence can cause me to feel the winds of freedom in all I am, for …where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (II Corinthians 3:17) In His presence I will begin once more to discover what it means to hope, to dream, to walk with purpose and dignity, knowing that I am not a mistake, knowing that I have been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, knowing the past does not own me anymore.

I will embrace the words of the Master with all that is within me, I will reach to the hands that hold those keys to find the power that is given from Him to forgive the past. To forget the hurt. To leave behind the pain, the passion, the shattering reality of yesterday, and learn a new way, find a new future in Him. I will begin, not entirely now, not all at once, but with each passing day to understand what it means to be truly free. I will lift up my head in His presence and dance once more with abandon. I will have joy, I will have a future, I will let go, not because of me, but because He taught me.
He taught me that to carry the past behind you destroys the future, He taught me that the words that stole my heart were never real, He taught me that what someone else says does not define who I am in His eyes, and He is taking me to a place so far beyond the pain I walk through now. He did give me a future and a hope. He is helping me to forgive and change. He is teaching me that I do not need my walls, and chains, my anger and resentment, my incredible pain anymore. He is teaching me to be free. He is teaching me more and more what it means to be chosen, what it means to be beloved, and He will continue to teach me as I walk through these doors holding my own keys. He does not release me to live in the past, He releases me to tell others that there is one who holds the keys, there is one who loves you, and you do not have to be the strongest or the best to get His attention, you just have to answer one question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” My answer is yes. I do not live for bread alone, …but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4)

Because they are both important.

Freedom and bread.

Gritos Desesperados

Cuando nos levanto nos voces al Señor Jesucristo, esperamos una responder directamente de sus labios. Por que Dios nos ama, por que nosotros es su hijos, y hijas, por que nosotros es precioso a El. Pero muchas veces cuando Dios clama a nosotros, nuestros corazones se han endurecen. ¿Por qué debo escuchar? ¿Por qué me debe importar? ¿Por qué debería ser importante para mí? Me tienes otra cosas hacer.

Cada momento, Dios está llamando a ustedes desde su sangre, desde su amor, desde su ofrenda, y no nos damos cuenta de que él es el Rey que ha formado el universo, que ha formado tu y me, que nos llama, “Ven a mí.” “Venga a mí y beba del agua vida, venga a mí y recibir una nueva vida. Recibir mí amor. Recibir poder. Recibir paz. Recibir el verdad, me permite transformar tu vida por mí gloria, Yo tengo el poder.”

Cada momenta la mundo es mas importante a nos, “Una momento, Señor, en dos minutos somos aquí.” Mientras estamos comprando, soñar, caminar, respirar, nunca pensamos de su voz. Por lo general, Dios mueve las montañas en nuestras vidas sólo para llamar nuestra atención, y una vez más nos habla, “Ven a mi, me conocen, pruebemé, me buscan. Ahora es el tiempo. Tengo tesoros por usted. Tengo reinos para que usted pueda conquistar con mi verdad. Tengo una cosecha de almas cuando escuche mi voz. Ven. Ven. Ven.

¿Que pase cuando nos respondes a su llamado? ¿Que pase a nuestras generacíon, nuestras casas, nuestras relacíones? Pruébalo. Mira.

Remember Jericho

ImageA generation untried, untested, unfamiliar with the art of war faces insurmountable walls, filled with fierce warriors and untold wealth, yet they obtain the victory, for they serve an unstoppable God.  There was, and is, no limitation to His power, and no army too small for Him to propel to success.

Often we look at Biblical stories expecting to find one “hero” or some radical warrior changing the tide of history, yet in this case it was simply a “people who knew their God,” who were made strong to do great exploits.

Who was the hero of Jericho? Bold Rahab, defying her people to shelter the spies?  Newly installed leader and faithful altar lingerer Joshua, who heard the angelic promise of triumph?  Elders and priests ignored the waves of Jordan to cross into their heritage? Or was it the praises of the people who walked in obedience day after weary day?

Maybe the answer is found by careful exploration of the assignment, or in the tactical manoeuvring of the general in chief?  Why is it we sear into our minds the results, but in our own lives expect instantaneous victories time after time?  Are we willing to pay the price for victory?  Are we willing to be stirred up with an almighty sense of discontent in our status quo?  Are we willing to push back the voice of the intimidator and step into the promises of God?  Are we desperate enough for revival that we will let nothing divide our focus from reaching the lost?  Am I willing to walk in obedience, day after weary day?

There is a Japanese proverb which states, “You cannot hold back the dawn,” Psalm 30 puts it this way, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning,” Revelation 12:11 states that we will overcome, by the blood of the lamb and our testimony, and one of my favourite quotes says simply, “The cross means it’s already done.”

Open your ears to the cry of the harvest, its ready, and tune your spirit to the heartbeat of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, was buried for three days, and rose again so you and I could have newness of life, and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

Look into the eyes of children scarred by abuse and ask yourself, “Why am I afraid to speak life?”  Touch the hungry, hurting and dying all around you and ask yourself if you are willing to wait at the Masters feet until you receive power from on high to lighten their darkness?

Take a glimpse of heaven, and the joyful singing there, and re-evaluate the sacrifice of serving a King so splendid and full of mercy.

Remember Jericho.

Their numbers were small, they faced opposition within and without, they had never seen battle, and they didn’t know what their army was supposed to look like. They continued to walk in obedience as their adversary jeered them and hurled insults at their people; they kept their focus, they knew their God.  He is my defence.

As the dust flew up around them, I’m sure their flesh tried to subdue them with doubts and questions of God ability, and God ability to use them, yet they continued to praise and worship Him not for what He had done but for what they expected Him to do.

Missionary Ray Nicholls once stated “I believe my faith more than I believe my feelings, more than I believe my seeing, my tasting, my hearing, or my smelling.  My faith is what is true, my faith is the reality.”

Seven days they marched around those walls, and seven times on the seventh day they walked again the way of obedience, the way of humility.  Often it has been said that when it feels like nothing is happening, that is when God is doing the most.

Scholars estimate that the walls of Jericho were over 6 Feet wide and 25 feet tall, yet archaeological research upholds they fell directly down.

There is power in obedience.  There is power in faith.  There is power in humility.  There is power in unity.  There is power in worship.  There is power in praise.  There is power in the Name of Jesus.

But I wonder, would the victory have been as great if the test had not been as severe?  Jericho catapulted the children of Israel into a mighty force to be reckoned with.  It catalysed the faith of a generation when they realised the armies of God reinforced their warfare.  It was a landmark of the power of God and the transformation of a nation, which leads me to one more question:  how far away are you from your Jericho and how many steps will you take to see walls fall down?

Remember, the cross means it’s already done.

Remember Jericho.

08/06/12