Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Take Away the Stone

John 11:39
"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."

There are some issues we don't want to deal with because they stink. The longer we delay the more they smell. when we fail to address issues in our lives we will experience the decay of delay. Sometimes it's easier to just bury our feelings instead of raising the issue but at some point if you want to see God work on your issue you have to roll the stone away.

Jesus' friend Lazarus had died and had been laying in his grave four days. Jesus came to raise him from the dead; but it seemed it was too late. There are some things that appear to have sit too long for us to raise but if Jesus is present we don't have to be afraid of the odor.

We cant leave unresolved issues in our marriage stagnant in our relationships, mired in our ministry, or buried in our business. When we have issues we have to speak to the issue and take away the stone. In Jesus day, whenever they buried someone, they put them in a cave and rolled a stone over the entrance. There was no embalming fluid instead the body would decompose at a fast rate because of the desert climate. For Jesus to ask them to roll the stone away was a shock to the already grieving family because the body would have been offensive to the senses after laying there for four days. No matter how long your issue has been laying there if Jesus is there he can cause what should be offensive to have new life.

I like what Samuel Chand says in his book, Breaking your Churches Cultural Code, "we need to have HOT conversations, Honest, Open, and Transparent." His thesis is that if we really want to know what's going on in our organizations we have to roll the stone away and have HOT conversations in Love.

The way we have HOT conversation is that we have to:

1. Take Away the Stone. Don't be afraid to face your mess even if it looks like it's dead.

2. Call him out. Speak truth in Love to whatever appears to be dead. Some people appear dead when all they need is for you to speak life back into them.

3. Loose him and let him Go. Lazarus came out stumbling because he was wrapped in grave clothes. Jesus told them to take the grave clothes off and let him go. Resentment and unforgiveness are grave clothes. In order for you to move past your issues you have to release others through forgiveness.

Dear God,

Help me to face what I've been trying to keep buried. I'm afraid of the stink but I love them too much to let them lay there, especially when I have Jesus standing here with the power of resurrection. Give me discernment to know what needs to die and what needs to be raised. Show me what stone to roll away today so I can speak life and not death.

In Jesus Name,

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