There is an account of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead in the Bible. It is found in the book of John, chapter 11. In this account, scripture records that before miraculously raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus weeps, groans, and was troubled in spirit.
John 11:33- When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled
John 11:35- Jesus wept.
John 11:38a- Jesus therefore again groaning in himself...
Jesus' groan as defined in Strong's lexicon comes from a verb which means to snort with anger. It means to straightly charge, murmur against. The groaning has a sense of chagrin, which indicates annoyance and exasperation at having failed or being humiliated. Jesus was also troubled, which emphasizes he was agitated, had inward commotion, disturbed and disquieted. Add the fact that this situation also caused him to weep and you get a picture that Jesus was having an intense emotional reaction to what was surrounding him.
What was surrounding him? Unbelief. And lots of it. I could be wrong; but my personal sense of this account was that all the unbelief surrounding him was deeply hurtful and distressing to Jesus.
In this account, close friends and a familiar crowd were telling him, "if only you had been here..." and "Come and see the place where Lazarus is buried Lord..." People were murmuring, "Couldn't he have kept Lazarus from dying?" They were weeping, mourning, blaming, giving lip service, and taunting.
I can't help but wonder if He thought something along the lines of, "How ironic, they are inviting me to 'Come and see' when this was my first invitation to them. They want me to come and see Lazarus is dead; yet for years I've continually invited them to come and see I am the resurrection and the life."
Yes, I am taking creative license, but it's what I think he was feeling. Indeed, one of the very first things Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry was, "Come, and you will see (John 1:33)."
Everything Jesus said and did from beginning to the end of his walk on earth was an invitation to "come and see". Come and see a new life saving path to God; come and see through the signs and wonders that I am from above and have been sent to you by my Heavenly Father; come and see who God really is by getting to know Me; come and have intimate fellowship and friendship with God; come and see that all power has been given to Me by the Father; come and see that through belief in Me, even after life on earth, you will not die; but live forever. Come and see that I am giving my life so that you can live.
How bittersweet of them to return all He had revealed about himself using those same words of "Come and see", yet with a distinct tone of unbelief. Read the whole account and see if you can sense his internal distress building- John 11:1-44.
What Jesus Christ said to Martha when he arrived into town to raise Lazarus, is still the same thing He is saying and asking today-
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Thank God, He does not leave us in our unbelief. Thank God, Jesus Christ is patient and gracious and continues to bid us... "Come".
He did not walk away from those He loved despite their unbelief. Yes He was upset; but He didn't forsake them. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Many believed when they saw Lazarus come out of the grave with his hands and feet bound.
In your prayer time, my challenge to you would be to meditate on God's emotions in John 11. Take your attention off of your emotion and circumstances and connect with the groans and distress of God. It is not for the purpose of condemnation, but for the purpose of making a deeper emotional connection to Jesus. Connect with his disappointment and the lengths He had gone in order to reveal His power, authority, and redemptive love. Connect with that fact He did not go to the cross surrounded by a mass of converts, it was a lonely and distressing walk. Beyond the obvious physical torture, this walk also caused Him emotional sorrow to the point of death- Mark 14:34.
Can you relate? Has He allowed a circumstance in your life where you have emotionally invested in someone, something, only to be rejected or betrayed? Have you given a effort, time, attention, commitment, words, and actions only to be rejected? If so, you have a circumstance in which to relate even more closely with the Savior of the world.
In your prayer time may you have fresh revelation of our God who loves intensely, passionately, vulnerably, bravely, openly. Our God weeps. Our God groans. Our God continues to forcefully lay hold of you in continual intercession. When you don't know what to pray, the Spirit of Jesus promises to pray for you- Romans 8:26-27. By faith, ask Him to pray for you.
In your prayer time, be like Jesus. Be vulnerable, be open, be brave. Tell Jesus where you are struggling. Ask Him, He loves you and will help you. Give him your unbelief and ask for healing in your soul.
Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
Hello. Hope your soul is well as this 2016 Presidential election has come to a close. Since Wednesday, we've probably all read or heard or witnessed emotional reactions to the surprise outcome. God however is not surprised one bit.
Psalm 47:2- For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great king over all the earth.
Psalm 47:8-9- God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne... for the kings of the earth belong to God.
The kings (rulers of nations) do belong to God. Jesus is firmly established as great king over all the earth (Daniel 7:13-14). He is Sovereign. The only one who has ever been resurrected and lifted to Heaven to be seated above all powers, principals and authorities, reigning and ruling forever!.
Notice what direction the son of man is coming from in Daniel 7. It seems this human is coming from the earth and approaches the Ancient of Days. Notice in Psalm 47 where God is proclaimed as ruler and king over all the earth, that verse 5 says this king is God who has "gone up with a shout", the LORD with a sound of a trumpet. Because of his selfless sacrifice to bear the judgment of God for us, Christ has defeated all powers that have any ability to harm those of us who trust in Him.
That fact does not calm enough souls. Its clear many did not have peace before the election and many do not have peace after the election. Jesus would say, "Come to me..."
You know Psalm 23 says "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters..."
Did you know that sheep need to be MADE to lie down by their shepherd? This is why that verse is worded that way. Did you know there are 4 areas the Good Shepherd will actively be at work so his sheep will lie down? One of them is that God's flock must be free of circumstantial fears or threats. Sheep are easily spooked. If they sense any predator nearby, a sheep will not lie down and rest.
A good number of people (believers and non-believers) are currently spooked that Trump was elected president. This is an example of a circumstantial fear taking control. Many perceive his leadership is like that of a predator that will destroy their lives and this country. A new president is a circumstance that affects those who live in this nation. I'm not going to conclude whether people's fears are rational or irrational. The point is that they exist. What do you do with them?
A soul in unrest is a soul astray. God says we (human race) are all like sheep who have gone astray.
Whether rational or irrational fears, the LORD CAN "make" people lie down. Yes He CAN DO this even when real threats exist, He knows we can not rest unless we are under His leadership, care, and protection.
How does God make one lie down? First we must be one of His sheep, in his flock, i.e. not astray. Second, we must listen and follow His voice. Jesus says his sheep hear his voice, that He knows his sheep, and that they follow Him, John 10:27. We will listen and obey if we surrender to his guidance and trust in His care. When we believe no thing and no person has any real power to harm us, we will lie down and rest.
Psalm 118:6- The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
In the Psalm 23 meditation, I take people through the 4 areas (circumstantial, relational, provisional, and mental) that prevent people from resting in God's care. In a prayerful stance, I encourage people (with God's help) to search their hearts and discover what is preventing them from resting. Time is given to talk to God, process, reflect, and wait for God's presence to minister. God is faithful to bring up and address the areas causing our souls unrest. As people are led through the 4 areas in prayer, God has given a great amount of wisdom, insight, strategy, and comfort. He has helped people hone in on root issues related to their fears and ways forward for healing under His care.
On Saturday morning, I will be leading a group through the Psalm 23 meditation. Whether man or woman, child, youth, adult, or senior, God knows we have fears that only He can still. King David, a man after God's own heart, leader of God's nation humbled himself, identifying himself as a sheep under God's care. (This is one prayer to pray for our president elect.) May we obey God and pray for our leaders, 1 Timothy 2:1-2..
If your group might be interested in experiencing the Psalm 23 meditation, please visit the page called "Invite me in". Fill out the form so I can follow up with you. Your group will experience many blessings as the Holy Spirit leads people to find soul rest.
Finally, if this ministry is a blessing to you, consider a one time donation. God has blessed, provided, and surprised me with this type of encouragement on a very timely basis. It continues to be a walk of faith to trust and minister as led by Him. I feel in the next season He is leading me with some ideas on how to witness to the lost in prayer as well as have resources for Christians. I'm starting to have meetings with a few leaders about this type of outreach. More on that in the coming weeks.
Also, I have recently found out a family member whom I love very much; and have not had time with in years, will be staying with me the first week of December. This means I will be adjusting the date for the last Worship-Intercession session scheduled for December 7th. I need to confirm room assignment so can't announce a new date yet. I will also send out an email to those who I was aware were planning on coming on December 7th.
Be blessed to rest as a sheep under the Good Shepherd's loving, protective, and powerful presence! No harm shall come to you, his goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!
Well I have been hit hard this week with an unbelievable head cold. Blinking and breathing through my mouth sums up my "state of brain". So in asking the LORD what to post in a simple, quicker way, He said "Psalm 4". Therefore, I am posting Psalm 4. I see His heart in it for this time, with the presidential elections happening next Tuesday. It contains the question of the election, "Who will bring us prosperity?"
"Who will bring us prosperity?" is in verse 6 of Psalm 4. God knows many are asking this question yet reasoning through delusions and simultaneously seeking after false gods, verse 4. In the top 10 list of what is most important to the American voter, offering sacrifices of the righteous and trusting in the LORD is nowhere to be seen, verse 5 of Psalm 4. Our number one issue is economic prosperity and our 2nd is anxiety over terrorism. American people want stomachs filled and to be safe. Visit here to see the list- http://www.people-press.org/2016/07/07/4-top-voting-issues-in-2016-election/
King David, a man after God's own heart and author of Psalm 4, prefers his heart be filled with joy. He knows the LORD gives joy in the heart that exceeds joy in secular prosperity, verse 7. "It is better," said one, "to feel God's favor one hour in our repenting souls than to sit whole ages under the warmest sunshine that this world affordeth." Spurgeon says, "Christ in the heart is better than corn in the barn or wine in the vat." Do you prefer His joy?
As a Christ follower, you aren't running for president, but you've been elected, 1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 3:12. You are part of the ELECT, Mark 13:22, 2 Timothy 2:10, Titus 1:1. Make every effort to confirm your election and calling, 2 Peter 1:10. Prioritize intimacy with your Holy King. The prosperity and safety he generously pours out is unmatched, verse 7-8.
Search your heart and be silent, let Him respond, verse 4. For aid in diving deeper into the psalm, consider listening to Psalm 4 in song, found at the end of this post. The psalm was put to song by "The Psalms Project." The more ways you hear God's Word, read it, ponder its application to your life, and speak it out, the more you are meditating on God's truth to experience the "heart" joy He promises. Enjoy lingering with God in prayer! (Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and tell your heart to "awake" to God as you begin in prayer.)
1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
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Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"