God’s Assistance: Lazurus

We are start­ing a new series called God’s Assistance at Flatland.flatland-2 Today’s ser­mon was on the res­ur­rec­tion of Lazurus as seen in John 11 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer sup­port­ed. Please use your access key, the test­ing key ‘TEST
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
. It is a sto­ry with a lot of twists in it, Jesus doing the unex­pect­ed at every turn. When asked to come heal, he ignores the request. When shown the grave of his friend, he weeps dis­play­ing his love for a friend that he sure­ly could have healed. He asks the grave­stone to be removed when it would cer­tain­ly stink to go in since Lazurus had been dead for 4 days. And then, he tops it all by call­ing Lazurus back from the dead. God wants to assist us, but His assis­tance may come in ways we total­ly do not expect!

And now, my ser­mon notes as tak­en on my iPhone.

God’s assis­tance starts with a friend­ship. God wants to be our friend. God us nice. Friendship is not endur­ing anoth­er. Friendship is grow­ing togeth­er.

We must come to God on His terms but we can come as we are. Expect to change. Surrender to God. Commit to the jour­ney. Put God first and only God. When we pray God lis­tens.

God’s assis­tance comes at God’s tim­ing. We oft feel “Where in the world are you?”

God knows our needs bet­ter than we do. God will answer our prayers accord­ing to His will and not accord­ing to ours. We can not order a Whopper at McDonalds. Father knows best.

Pray for faith, patience, wis­dom. Pray with ques­tions more than telling God the answers and expect him to do it. And then lis­ten.

Gods assis­tance is to accom­plish God’s pur­pose. We should seek out His pur­pose.

It is a trag­ic mis­take to think that God does not want to assist us. It is even more trag­ic to not ask God for assis­tance. And trag­ic most of all is ask­ing for God’s assis­tance and not accept­ing it as He answers us instead of the way we want Him to answer.

We all fall in to all three camps at times. We find our selves in a sit­u­a­tion that we don’t “both­er” God with because it is too pet­ty and God it too big to both­er. As pas­tor Jeff point­ed out in Sunday’s ser­mon, God is our friend and a nice friend at that. He cares about every thing in our lives. To not reach out to Him because it is of no impor­tance is to place lit­tle impor­tance on God’s love for us.

There are oth­er times when we just fail to ask God for His assis­tance. This is just a bone head­ed move on our part, a “I should have had a V-8” time. We jump in, try to solve an issue on our own with­out first seek­ing God. It isn’t because we think it is too small for God to care about, it is because we think too high­ly of our own abil­i­ties. And sure, there are times when we can do things on our own. But God’s assis­tance could have made it so much eas­i­er, more enjoy­able, and with greater suc­cess.

Finally, we make a real bone head­ed mis­take by ask­ing God for His assis­tance and then not tak­ing it or accept­ing His answer as our own. We tell God what we want, expect Him to do it as if He was our ser­vant, and then get mad, bel­liger­ent or sulky when we don’t get it the way we want it. This is tragedy in its high­est form. God wants to assist us, He knows best how to assist us, and He offers us that assis­tance all the time. Yet we are a stub­born peo­ple, refus­ing that help, instead rely­ing on our own abil­i­ties even when we go through the motions of ask­ing God for help.

I feel like I often make stu­pid mis­takes in the way I ask God for His assis­tance (or not ask when I should). I desire great­ly to fol­low God’s will, to do as pas­tor Jeff said, to ask God more ques­tions, demand a lot less, lis­ten for His answer and accept it. I believe that God does want us to per­sist in our prayers and at times will delay — or what seems to be a delay — pro­vid­ing us an answer that our faith may be built up, that our will may become that which God desires, that our pur­pose is God’s pur­pose. As I sub­mit to God, then He will bring forth life where there is now just a stinky black hole. May Your will be done in my life.

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