Afraid of the Stench!
“Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
“Martha… said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
I was in denial. Every time I would go into prayer I would purposely avoid and ignore that “area” not wanting to deal with “it” or to have “it” exposed. Why? Partly because I was afraid of the stench of death that would result from the exposure. But that was not all I was afraid of; like Martha I was even more fearful of what would happen after the exposure. Believing there was no remedy, no healing, no transforming power, to redeem or resurrect this dead thing I thought it better just to keep it covered. Not realizing that the longer I kept it covered and hidden the more rotten and corrupted it became.
However my resistance stopped when like Martha I heard the Lord say…
“Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
It was then that I realized I had believed a lie! I thought that exposure meant I would be punished with abandonment and left to figure out my own remedy. Just me and the stench of my rotting flesh.
But that is not how our God operates!
Anytime the Lord tells us to “take away the stone” it is never intended to humiliate us or leave us stuck in the stench of our own rotting flesh. It is always intended to bring life and liberty, freeing us from our grave clothes.
For me this occurred about ten years ago with a particular attitude I despised and felt ashamed of. This truth was powerfully liberating! In faith I was able to push away the stone and allow the resurrection life of Jesus Christ to apprehend this corrupting intruder.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life! Anything occupying our life that is dead and corrupted He simply asks us to “take away the stone”, bringing it fully into the light of His love and grace. Once it is exposed to Him, He then will command death to flee and life to come forth. Nothing can remain dead in His presence. There is absolutely nothing to fear in “taking away the stone”!
“He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Father, may the light of Your glorious presence continue to bring life and liberty to every part of my life! May Your perfect love cast out any fear of keeping anything hidden and held back from Your redeeming power. Thank You for resurrection life that is mine through Jesus Christ! Amen!
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