Dealing with Death

The thief cometh not, but for to steal,  and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10  

            There are only two kinds of people on earth.  And I do not mean men and women.  They are either Alive people or Dead people.  You can be dead before you are dead.  If you are Alive you know it.  If you are  Dead you know it.  The devil is the mer­chant of death.  Jesus is the Giver of life.      

            The ultimate purpose and mission of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy; we find this out in John 10:10.  The devil deals in death and destruction.  Jesus gives LIFE and brings RESTORATION.   All problems and at­tacks are designed by Satan to steal your goods, take your life, and destroy you and anything and everything you have.   The devil wants death and destruc­tion to overtake you. 

On the contrary, Jesus wants Life and Restoration to overtake you.   How did Jesus deal with death?  The Bible says He conquered death, hell and the grave.  Because He did, they are still conquered.  If we can see and understand how Jesus dealt with death, we can deal with it the same way.   

“Death” comes in many forms.  It is more than dying a natural death and becoming a corpse.  Death can come into a marriage.  Death can come into a business.  Death can come in the form of sickness and disease.  Death can come into a family, a relationship or any situation in the human experience. 

As we consider how Jesus dealt with death, we can learn some valuable lessons that can bring a resurrection into any “death” experience we may be facing. 

Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with the death of His friend Lazarus.

Every Death Attack is an Opportunity  

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. John 11:4  

            Jesus “heard” the bad report that His friend Lazarus had died.  We know that faith comes by hearing but doubt also comes by hearing.  Unbelief can be birthed and nourished  by hearing bad news.  Distress can come by hearing a bad report.   Fear can be initiated by hearing negative things.   What are you hearing?  Whatever you are hearing will either build your faith are add to your unbelief.  Jesus determined not to be moved or influenced  by what He heard. 

            Then, Jesus declared with His mouth what the situation was going to be.  He took the opportunity to prophesy what was going to be because he knew the will of God in the matter.   Jesus “heard” and then He “said.”  What He heard did not alter what He said.  He re­fused to give in to the sense realm by be­lieving the opinions of men. 

            “It’s not over.  It’s not final.  It’s not what it’s going to be.  God is working.  I am waiting.  I am believing.  I am speak­ing.  I am prophesying.  What I say agrees with God and because of this, the devil (and all his works) will have to move aside.”  This kind of thinking and speaking comes out of a mind that is renewed by the Word and a faith that is founded on the Word.

            Jesus saw sickness is an opportunity.  He even saw death as an opportunity.  In the believer’s life, every impossibility is an opportunity.  Your fiery trial is an opportunity for you to exercise your faith,  to get into the Word and find out what God says.  It is an opportu­nity to turn tragedy into testimony. 

When you see your “death” situation in this light, you will be encouraged to say the same thing Jesus said: “This thing is not unto death…. it is not the end….it is an opportunity for God to show Himself strong in my behalf and to give me a powerful testimony of His Faithfulness.”

            We are all faced with “Lazarus” at­tacks.  What we do and how we act in the midst of such situations will demonstrate just how deep we are in God.   We can say what others are saying.  We can agree with what the facts are.  We can accept the “inevitable” or we can prophesy to the situation.  God has called us into His Kingdom and given us the power to cre­ate with our words the things that are in the will of God.    

            Your fiery trial… your graveyard tribulation… your Red Sea and your furnace heated seven times over… your den of lions and your Goliath…  all these are opportunities for God to get glory and for you to experience a miracle.  Jesus knew that impossibilities are oppor­tunities for God to show Himself strong in behalf of those who would DARE to BELIEVE!

When under pressure:  Don’t Change your Plans 

When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.   John 11:6   

            The devil wants you to change di­rections… especially if you are in the will of God.  If you are on the way to where God wants you, then Satan and all the forces of darkness are aligned to make you change your direction and alter your plans. 

Remember how the devil tried to stop Jesus on the Sea of Galilee with the great storm before He made it to the other side?   Here, as He considered the Lazarus situation, Jesus was in the flow of God and was not willing to change His direction just because He re­ceived some bad news.  Jesus stayed.  Sometimes it is hard to stay.  Staying can be standing still.  When we hear of pressing needs and powerful at­tacks, we are tempted to run ahead of God.  Remember… the Battle is the Lord’s but the victory is ours. 

            Satan is the author of all bad news.  Bad news is demonic.  Bad news is a fiery dart of the enemy.  Bad news is Satan’s at­tempt to get you to change your plans and alter your direction.  When you are the receiver of bad news, keep your eyes on your objective… do not allow discour­agement, worry, fear or distractions to make you change your plans in your walk of faith. 

            Job was a man who was a servant of the Most High God.  He had some bad news brought to him… over and over again.  On the very heels of one messen­ger, another would come until it seemed that Job could not stand any more.  And yet “in all of this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly…”  It was the devil attempting to change the course of Jobs life.  Learn from the Life of Jesus…. do not allow demonic pressure to change your faith position. 

            How many times have we wanted Jesus to “hurry up?”  Our need presses us to prompt Jesus to hurry to our rescue.  However, God has a time.  He has a schedule.  And His time is the always the RIGHT TIME.  During tough times, we need to remember that things are happen­ing in the realm of the spirit we can­not see. 

God is working.  The devil is fighting.  We are waiting.  And while we wait, He is working in our behalf.  If He is not hurrying, He has a reason.  Jesus needed to remain where He was in order for God to get the glory for the mira­cle of Lazarus’ resurrection. 

            Remember, when you are in the will of God, you do not have to change your plans when Satan attacks and emer­gencies arise.   Hold steady.  Do not panic.  Stay on your course.  Do not change your plans because of de­monic emergencies. 

Nothing is FINAL when Jesus is Present

Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.  John 11:14  

            Nothing can be more final than death.  Death means it’s over.  Death means it’s done.   When you are dead…. you are dead!  It’s over!  It’s finished!  It’s done!  UNLESS Jesus is there!  Listen:

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.   1Cor. 15:26  

            So many times our attitude is like that of Thomas:  “Let us also go, that we may die with him…”   (John 11:16). Thomas was reflecting the normal attitude of most people when they are facing a death situation;  “Oh, well, it’s over.  No need to keep on.  It’s finished.”   However, nothing is FIXED or “set in concrete” in the world system.   Not even death!  Jesus is the Great Changer.   He changes things.  When it seems totally fi­nal and nothing more can be done… when death looms and defeat is at hand and all hope is gone… Nothing is FINAL when Jesus is present.  If He can raise Lazarus from the dead, He is more than able to resurrect your dead hopes and dreams and aspirations.       

            Both Mary and Martha fell into the trap of the “If Syndrome.”

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  John 11:21  

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him,  Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  John 11:32  

            You cannot afford to live in the land of IF.  “If I had just done this… ”  “If I had just said this…”  “If I had tried harder…”  “If ” moves you into the place of legalism and performance-based faith.   IF is not Grace.  IF is works.  IF will short circuit the will of God.  It does not matter who or what you are, what you have done, or what your need may be… all you need is JESUS.  He will erase all your “Ifs”  and  deliver you from your negative thinking. 

Don’t Yield to Religious Thinking

Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.   John 11:24  

            Every time you are faced with an impossibility, Religion will attempt to rise up and “explain” the situation.  Religion attempts to make the Word of God agree with the death situation you are experi­encing instead of making the death situa­tion agree with the Word of God.   Religion is dead doctrine.  Religion is self-righteous pride and arrogance.  Religion is form and tradition and legalistic law.  Religion is a heavy burden.  Religion works with the devil to keep you in death.  Religion is deception.  Christianity is not Religion… it is LIFE.    Read Matthew 23 to see what Jesus said about Religion.

            Religion will help the devil kill you and destroy you.  Pious platitudes that look way into the future for pie in the sky by and by will not help you in the NOW.  Most of what Religion taught us about God had nothing to do with the present.  It was either history or Heaven.  God is a God of the NOW.  And Jesus is a Jesus of TODAY.   

Don’t Be Moved by the Opinions of Men

And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?  John 11:37  

            What people think and say has nothing to do with what the Word says unless they are thinking with a renewed mind.   All the opinions of men will not heal the sick or raise the dead.  What you say and what you think is worthless unless your WORDS and your THOUGHTS agree with the WORD OF GOD.  

Most who are so quick to give advice and counsel know little or nothing of the power of God.  The ones looking on the death scene Jesus faced, saw the grave and the grieving family and began to murmur.  Skeptics always murmur.  Doubters and unbelievers are always looking for REASONS.  God is not a rea­soning God and He does not operate REASONABLY…  He is a FAITH GOD and He operates in the SUPERNATURAL.  

Attempt the Impossible

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.  John 11:39  

            Jesus “went too far.”  He crossed over the line.  He “lost it.”  When you begin to roll away gravestones from impossible situations, the devil and all his helpers will accuse you of going too far.  “You can’t be serious.”  “You really don’t mean that.”  “Do you realize what you are doing?”  “What will people say?”  “What will my relatives think?”    

 If you never attempt the impossible you will never get a miracle.  When you refuse to roll away the stone, you accept defeat and limit God and stop all miracles from happening.  What stone will you roll away today?  What stinking corpse of impossibility will you drag out, uncover and present to God?

 You will never  get a resurrection if you refuse to roll away the stone.  This is your initial act of faith and it is this very act that moves heaven in your behalf.

Pray Right

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  John 11:41  

            Notice how Jesus prayed.  He refused to pray in doubt and unbe­lief.  “If it be Thy will” praying will never get a miracle or experience a resurrec­tion.  If you know the Word you know the Will!    If you do not know how to pray the Word, you better never roll away the stone. 

Jesus knew (1) What God’s will was,  (2) How to pray in agreement with God’s will, and  (3) How to pray in great faith.  He was sure of His position in God.  He knew who He was and what God had promised to do for Him.  He did not beg.  He did not plead.  He did not an­guish.  He thanked God.  

Speak Faith Boldly

And when he thus had spo­ken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.   John 11:43  

            I get great comfort from this verse.  If Jesus “cried with a loud voice” I guess it’s OK for me to preach with a loud voice.   He boldly and specifi­cally spoke out and called for a miracle.  He “got what He said!”  Remember Mark 11:23?   

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall HAVE WHATSOEVER HE SAITH…   

It’s time for you to roll away the stone and speak (loudly) to your situation! 

Get Free

And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave­clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. John 11:44   

            Loose yourself.  Cast off those grave clothes.  Walk out of your tomb.  Get free and stay free.  Do not get entangled again with the yoke of bondage that kept you bound.  Tear off the grave clothes and let new life come forth.  Refuse to stay in the graveyard dressed like the dead, looking like the dead and smelling like the dead.    Get Up.  Get Out. Get Free.  Stay Free.

            This is how Jesus dealt with death.  Since the Word says
“as He is so we in this world…” we can deal with our death situations just like Jesus did with His. 

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.   1Jo 4:17  

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