“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany.” Jn 11:1 NKJV
From the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we learn certain lessons. The first lesson is about reason. You cannot have radical faith until you’ve exhausted all reasonable solutions. Mary and Martha didn’t send for Jesus until they’d done everything they could do for Lazarus. Be reasonable; if you can do it for yourself, God won’t do it for you. For example, unless you are willing to change your diet and start eating right, how can you go to God with confidence for healing? Unless you are willing to put the needs of your spouse above your own, what’s the point in praying for a happy marriage? James writes: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas 2:18 NKJV). The second lesson is about relationship. Some folks only turn to God when they have a crisis. Prayer is a foreign concept to them until they have a car wreck, or their marriage falls apart, or they lose their job. Then, incredibly, they say, “God, why did You let this happen?” It’s hard to go to someone when you’re in trouble, if you’ve spent no time building a relationship with them. Jesus often spent time at the home of Mary and Martha, eating at their table. They were givers, not takers. “It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick” (Jn 11:2 NKJV). When you love the Lord to that extent, you can go to Him in faith knowing your needs will be met.
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