In the Midst of the Crowd – 2 February 2017

0
159

You may have heard the story of Lazarus in scripture and how much Jesus loved him. He was the brother of Mary and Martha who were friends of Jesus, and He had spent time in their home. One day, Lazarus became ill and Jesus wasn’t around. Mary and Martha knew that Jesus could do a miracle, so they sent word to Him. However, before Jesus arrived, Lazarus had died. In fact, he’d been dead four days by the time Jesus got there. As you can imagine, the sisters were mourning, and Martha said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!”
Jesus said to Martha: “Only believe.”
A crowd followed Jesus to the tomb where Lazarus was laid. He told them to roll away the stone, but the people questioned Him, saying, “It’s been four days! He stinks!” But, they rolled away the stone anyway.
Then in John 11:42, it says that Jesus lifted His eyes and said: “Father, I know that You always hear Me, but I’m saying this for the crowd that’s around Me so that they can believe, too.”
See, He acknowledged God with His words, not for His own sake, but for the sake of the doubting crowd around Him.
Have you ever felt crowded out by doubt? Have you felt your circumstances crowding you? Have you felt like some things in your heart have crowded out your faith? Jesus is setting the example in this story to declare our faith in God, not just for our own sake, but for the crowd around us. When Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, life came forth! When you call on God, life will come out of the dark, dormant places!
Today, don’t let the forces of darkness crowd you out. Don’t let fear crowd you out. Don’t let doubt crowd you out, and don’t let unforgiveness crowd you out. Instead, speak life, speak faith, speak God’s Word and declare your trust is in Him. Pray and say, “God, I know You hear me, but I want this doubt to hear me; I want the forces of darkness to hear me; I want these circumstances to hear me, I believe in YOU! I am trusting in YOU!” Call on God in the midst of the crowd and watch His life come forth!
Victoria Osteen
www.joelosteen.com