Col. 1:9-12: For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We see from scripture that we do not qualify ourselves to share in the inheritance of God’s people, but God the Father does. He is the one who rescued us and qualified us. However, although we have been qualified by God, we see in this scripture that Paul does not stop praying that God would fill us with the knowledge of His will so that we might please Him, bear fruit, and be strengthened.
In John 11:1-44 we read the story of Lazarus. It is a story of such encouragement on so many levels:
For His Glory
Verse 4: Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Let us remember that whatever we go through, God will work it in us and through us for His glory.
His time, not ours
Verse 6: So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days… How many you have felt desperate and that if God does not come through now…. But Jesus waited two more days. Just imagine your brother is dying with little time left and Jesus decides to wait another two days, during which your brother actually dies. It might have felt that their request had not really been heard or the urgency of the situation fully understood. But one of the reasons for this is that when Lazarus was raised from the dead and came forward everyone knew this was God. He was glorified. It can be hard when we are in that season of waiting on God, but know that He has heard our prayers and His answer will bring Him glory.
The fragrance of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Verse 39: “Take away the stone,” he said.“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” While they were referring to Lazarus’ natural body, it seems to me that when we are not in a good place with God, we loose the ‘fragrance of the Kingdom of Heaven’. We can find ourselves in that place of such desperation that it seems we cannot find the strength to break through. But let us look at Verse 43-44: When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” No man was involved in raising Lazarus from the dead, but the interesting thing is they had to take off the grave clothes. When Jesus calls us, we have been given everything we need to live a Christ-like life, which exudes the fragrance of the Kingdom, but we have to learn to walk in obedience. He is the One who restores us and take us from one degree of glory to the next. So wherever we are, we heed the call of God. He will do the healing, He will bring the freedom, He will restore, He will revive, He will give us all we need… HE will qualify us. Why? Because He is God. He knows every hair on our head, He knows our every thought, He knows the ‘stink’ in our lives but he chooses to have compassion and bring us out. He is a God of grace and mercy, the One who qualifies us that we may worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and give glory to His name.