It's Time to Arise
Over the years I've ministered a great deal out of Isaiah 60. In verse one we are told by the Prophet Isaiah to, " Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee."
Because it is our time to shine we have been told to arise. When one is sitting in a chair or laying in a bed and they arise, it requires them to leave their place of comfort and assume a new position. The same is true spiritually. If we are going to arise and allow our light to shine we are going to have to leave our place of comfort and assume a position that manifests the glory of God in this earth. Not only is this a powerful promise it is a great challenge because our flesh wants to stay in the place that is comfortable.
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Anything that we do for the Lord is going to require faith on our part. Faith by its very definition is something that is beyond our current ability. We are believing for something that we currently do not possess. Looking at this verse in Isaiah, faith becomes an issue when talking about arising. The place that we are to arise to is a place of increased faith. A place we've not operated before. This fear of the unknown has kept many out of this place where the glory of God can manifest.
In John 11 we find the story of Lazarus who had died. When Jesus came to raise Lazarus from the dead there were some interesting conversations that took place where we can see the faith of Jesus at work. Not only do we see the faith and confidence of Jesus, but He also tries to get Mary and Martha to step up in their faith. Lets read what happens during their conversation:
"Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. (21) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (22) But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. (23) Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. (24) Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (John 11:20-24 - KJV)
In the above passage I want you to pay attention to the areas that I have emphasized. First of all in verse 21 notice that Martha makes the statement that she knows that right now whatever Jesus were to ask of God that God would do it for Him. Jesus responds to this statement of faith by saying that Lazarus would rise up from the dead. It appears that Martha has tapped into this great faith that Jesus understood. However, for some reason in verse 24 Martha backs down from her faith by qualifying it to be in the resurrection that Lazarus would rise. What happened to her "now" statement?
To arise and shine means that whatever situation is trying to keep us where we are, we resist it and arise anyway. Martha believed that all things were possible, but when it came to actually seeing the power of God manifest she was unwilling to stay with her faith.
Unfortunately most Christians find themselves in this same situation. We all believe that with God all things are possible, but when we are faced with a difficult situation we have a hard time staying with Jesus. Instead we want to rationalize, justify, and eternalize (push off into eternity) the answer so that we don't have to face our faith. How do we break this power over our lives? No matter what our condition we follow the Word of God.
Jesus became very frustrated with those around Him because they could not believe that the power of God could raise Lazarus from the dead, but something very interesting happened when Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb. Let's read about it:
"And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. (44) And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." (John 11:43-44 - KJV)
In verse 43 Jesus called to Lazarus and said "come forth." It is easy to read a passage of scripture like this and have no problem with it because we know that Jesus can do anything. But what about the things the Lord has spoke to you through His Word that appears dead? The doctor has told you that there is no cure, or your debt seems beyond your ability, or any other promise given to you?
Now notice the portions that I have emphasized in verse 44. Lazarus who was dead came forth. If we could tie this back into Isaiah 60 we could say that Lazarus arose and the glory of the Lord manifested. So too, we must arise if we are going to see the glory of the Lord.
The interesting thing about Lazarus is that he didn't wait for someone to come into the tomb and loose him. He didn't wait for all the condition of freedom to manifest. The scriptures tells us that he came forth bound hand and foot. In fact his face was bound also meaning that he couldn't see where he was going. He just followed the Words that were spoken to Him.
If you are going to wait for everything to be perfect before you act you are never going to see the manifestation of the glory of God. Start following His Word no matter how bound you are. As you come forth and arise the glory of God will not only make the way, but also set you free.
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