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DEALING WITH DIVINE SILENCE
Intro: Ill. Soldier captured by the Japanese. All died but him and God moved at precisely the correct time. Folk, we need the Lord to help us through this life. Our method for calling on Him during times of need is through the practice of prayer. When we pray, we bring the power of the Lord our bear in our situation. But, have you ever prayed and felt that you needed immediate help and God didnít answer when and how you wanted Him too? We all have! In those times, it is good to know how to react to Divine Silence. Thatís what happened to Mary and Martha, they felt that they needed the Lord to do something right then. His response was to wait. He waited so that something greater might take place. Letís look at this beautiful passage and learn from the Word how to deal with Divine Silence.
I. v.1-3 THE REQUEST
A. A Situation - Phil. 4:6
B. Serious - Any need is serious to the one who has it - Ill. Matt. 7:7-8
C. Seeking - Godís desire is that we call on Him - Jer. 3:3; 1 Pet. 5:7; Luke 18:1)
D. They did everything that they were supposed to do!
II. v.4-17 THE REPLY
A. v.14 A Reply Of Wisdom - Ill. God knows - Heb. 4:13; Ps. 11:4; 33:13
B. v.6 A Reply Of Waiting - (Ill. He did not have to be there to heal - Ill. Centurianís servant - Matt. 8:5-13) God moves when the time is right! He does not operate on our schedule - Isa. 55:8-9
C. v.4 A Reply Of Working - Ill. It brought more glory to God for Lazarus to die than if he had been healed! (Ill. The pain it brought to Mary and Martha!) (Rom. 8:28) Ill. Godís plans are always right and always best!
III. v.18-33 THE REACTION
A. V.20-21, 24 One Of Defeat - Their pleas had been unanswered and they were defeated, discouraged and distressed. (Ill. hard to wait on God, but worth the wait Isa. 40:31!)
B. v.22-27 One Of Devotion - Even when things donít go as we plan or want them to, we must get to the place where we can still exalt Jesus and believe God! Here we see: 1.) v.22 Faith 2.) v.23-24 Hope 3.) v.27 Worship God will bless this attitude in our lives! - Ill. David - 2 Sam. 12:14-23
C. Most Christians lose it right here! They get mad at God when He doesnít do as they say, and they quit on Him. When this happens, people always miss the greatest of his miracles! (Ill. God will never fail! Our duty is to wait on Him and believe until the answer comes!)
IV. v.34-44 THE RESURRECTION
A. It Was Unexpected - Lazarus was dead and everyone expected him to stay that way, v.39. We must not attempt to corral God, He always works in way that we have never dreamed of. 1 Cor. 2:9; Eph. 3:20.) Ill. Jesus waited so that their impression of Him would not be limited to healing alone, but that they would grow. After the resurrection, they knew a Jesus they would have never known otherwise! (Ill. The Disciples and the Storm - John 6)
B. It Was Unprecedented - Ill. This was an entirely new thing! God hasnít run out of options, He is able to handle your problem! (Ill. Matt. 28:18)
C. It Was Unparellel - (Ill. It had never been done before.) (Ill. Why He waited, Lazarus was dead, he smelled dead. Only God could have done what Jesus did! Sometimes God will wait until God is the only explaination. (Ill. The Red Sea - Ex. 14:13)
Conc: What is it that you need today? God had it! Take that first step and tell Him. If youíve already told Him then wait on Him. Donít give up! He will move in His own time!