A big stone blocked the entrance to the tomb of Lazarus. And before Christ raised him from the dead, He said, “Take away the stone.” There’s a lesson here. God will restore what you’ve lost—when you’re willing to remove the hindrances that stand in the way. What was behind that stone? A corpse, and it was stinking! John writes: “If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1Jn 3:21 NKJV). Your confidence in approaching God comes from knowing you’ve dealt with the stuff that separates you from Him—and it requires courage. But you’ll never experience new life until you’re willing to do it. God can give you back what life has taken. He can restore what you’ve lost, but only if you’re willing to face the truth.
King David caused a big stink: adultery and murder. Now your issues may not smell that bad, but before God can answer your prayer you must acknowledge them. A more contrite and consecrated David wrote: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer” (Ps 66:18-19 NKJV). This is why when you counsel an addict it’s not just about what they’re addicted to, but about what they’re trying to cover up with their addiction. It may take months or even years of therapy, but change begins only when you’re willing to “take away the stone” and allow God to deal with what’s behind it.
Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 @ 6:39 AM CDT