John 11:1-4, 38-45
Randy Jacoby, pastor
First Baptist Church, Folkston
“It’s not about you.”
With this declaration, Rick Warren opened his 2002 bestseller “The Purpose Driven Life.” He went on to unpack the reality that if you want to find your purpose in life, you need to look to God.
Contrary to Warren’s words, many in the culture today, including Christian culture, act as if it should be all about us. “I want my best life, now.” “I want to be strategically and efficiently utilized.” “I want to make sure I am doing something significant.”
These questions can be considered, but they must never become ultimate. When we focus primarily on us, we are often disappointed. In addition, our view is distorted, because God is about His glory.
The account of Lazarus’s resurrection is perplexing. As events unfolded, the Lord’s ways in John 11 did not seem best, efficient, merciful, strategic, fair, or kind. The facts of the case seem indicting.
- A family that loved Jesus deeply had a need that the Lord was able to immediately address and solve.
- In faith, this family informed Jesus of the need and pleaded with Him to intervene.
- Even though Jesus knew of the need and was able to answer the request, He did not stop the event the family feared.
- Jesus waited days simply to show up.
Looking only from this perspective, we could make a case that Jesus was unfaithful, unconcerned, indifferent, callous, and neglectful. Doesn’t sound like Jesus, Does it?
In the end, the Lord’s actions were proven to be best, efficient, and merciful. Beyond that, His ways proved to be strategic and transformational. They proved to be glorious!
- Jesus answered. He simply answered differently than his friends had asked.
- His ultimate answer was better than his friends could have imagined.
- His answer allowed the residents of the entire area to see the greatness of Jesus. They would have never seen the Lord’s power over death and the grave under different circumstances.
This is the problem. When we understand or ask from a me focus, we overlook greater works God may be crafting. The Lord’s priority is to reveal His Glory throughout the world and throughout the heavenly realms. Our limitations do not allow us to see like He sees.
Do not miss another incredible reality in this encounter. While Jesus’s priority may have been to reveal His glory, He also wept over his friend’s death and the hardship his friends endured. He took care of their needs, while also carrying out a more eternally significant plan. He knew that by exalting Himself and His power over the grave, many souls would ultimately see and find the Savior. The Lord missed nothing.
Remember the resurrection of Lazarus when the Lord does not respond to your prayers in the way you requested. God’s priority for His glory may lead to your inconvenience, frustration, even your suffering.
By Christ’s empowering grace, embrace the waiting, watching, and refining.
Endure with faith. Honor and trust Him. Pray.
Do not pray only for yourself. Pray that Christ will be seen as the great King you have discovered Him to be. Pray that somewhere, someone will find the Savior in the middle of all the plans of God simultaneously unfolding before you.
It’s not all about you.