This blog follows on from part one published a few days ago. We were allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us through the incident known as the raising of Lazarus recorded in John 11.
There are times when Gods silences when we have prayed correctly and faithfully that in reality are an answer. God’s silences are his answer to our prayer requests. On reading and ruminating from this chapter this revelation will be meat and drink to our soul.
What leaped out to me as I was meditating on this incident is the fact that John is at pains to stress that Jesus loved this family. Jesus and his disciples often stayed in the sister’s house when they were in Judea. He loved them so much that he was not afraid to express this emotion openly and publically. This love was a deeply intimate affection from both the sisters and Jesus towards each other.
We know that God loves us; for we have been taught from our mothers knee this truth, but when our prayer go un answered we forget this love from God towards us. Because of this love it follows that if we ask for bread in our prayers Jesus will not give us a stone. The goodness of God flows from this love. God has our best interests in sight: why would a loving father ‘jilt’ his own children?
The notion that God does not answer faithful ‘godly’ prayers is the voice of the enemy.
Did Jesus answer the request from Mary and Martha? Yes and they received so much more than they expected. Jesus knew that both Mary and Martha were capable of receiving a greater revelation than the healing of their brother. Therefore he delayed in coming to their aid. Maybe the silences of God are because he is entrusting you with a greater revelation of himself?
It is my contention that Gods silences are a preparation for the faithful praying saint to be brought up higher with a greater revelation of Himself. If all we demand and expect from God is a blessing to lift our spiritual egos, spiritual growth is far from us as we continue on the milk of the word.
I believe we need to push past the barriers that we have erected in our mind regarding so called unanswered prayer. In verse 4 Jesus explains to the disciples that by delaying two days, such a delay would result in the glorification of Gods Son. As long as we have the mistaken idea that prayer is for our benefit we will remain on the milk of the word.
Verse 12 shows the disciples’ mis understanding of the ways of Christ. As long as we think in the ‘natural’ we will miss the deeper revelation that God wishes to bring us into. Even with the explanation from Jesus to lead the disciples into a greeter revelation of his ways and methods, Thomas (also known as Didymus) could only think of the danger to himself by going back to Judea.
Prayer that his centered on ourselves, I believe, struggles to reach the ears of Jesus our intercessor. Thinking of our discomfort, pain misery, and our worries is not the state to approach Gods throne. No our soul needs to be quieted to bring our spirit into harmony with Gods Son and the Holy Spirit will, once we praise and worship the King of Kings bring us into the presence of our Father.
God will use His Silences to bring us into a position of rest in Him.
Beware of the voice of the devil as shown in verse 37 that implies that God is not capable of dealing with your requests. Doubt is the enemy of faith in the ability of God to do more than we dream of and expect. During the long silences we need to watch and prayer that we do not fall into temptation which was the theme of my second blog. Yes, prayer can be a struggle to keep our head above the water of unbelief. Put on the armour of God and in so doing stand in the Cross of Christ, resisting the roaring lion until he flees from you in the name of Jesus.
Could the answer that resulted in Jesus delaying his journey to Mary and Martha entered into the sisters heart? A raised brother that glorified God and an understanding of the ways of the Father, which have blessed his saints down through the ages. The silences of God are an answer because he knows that our hearts are ready to receive a greater revelation from him. Therefore persevere in faith and hope.
If God gives the exact answer that you are expecting: can this mean that you are not ready for a greater work of God in your life? That he is not yet able to trust you with the deeper things of God? When Jesus said, that greater things we will do because he goes to the father; to me this is the greater meaning of prayer, the grace of his silence, resulting in a greater manifestation of his Glory upon us.
The world calls Gods silences un answered prayer but the Holy Spirit calls it a sign of God’s love towards us.