"The more you rely upon the Anointed One (Jesus) and His anointing in you, the more life you will impart to others through your creations."
This is what God whispered to me this week. He is looking for people who rely fully on Him as they live, work, minister and create things for Him. I believe He wants us to move beyond the quick prayers we send up at the beginning of our projects or events ("Bless this, Lord...") and move deeper into a place of total reliance on His Holy Spirit. Listen to what He shared in my prayer time:
“The nature of your creations will be as prophetic as you yourselves allow. The more you listen, the greater impact you will have. The truer you are to Scripture, the more powerful your message will be. Nothing can stop you, if you choose to live in the RESURRECTION LIFE anointed by My Spirit.”
But how exactly do we do this? Living a resurrected life can sound "spiritually spooky" without a Biblical perspective. We know that Jesus rose from the dead, of course, and told us that we would do even greater works than He did. (John 14:12.) Hebrews 6:1 calls the resurrection of the dead "foundational," or "elementary." "Elementary? ...Greater than Jesus?" we ask. "I'm barely able to love my own family, let alone do miracles or raise the dead!"
I hear you! Here's more of what He shared with me:
"Prior to his sickness and death, Lazarus (the brother of Mary and Martha) was a friend of God: he had a relationship with Me. But he was not living the kind of life that caused others to see Jesus. His death and resurrection ignited hope in believers and fury in religious leaders. Suddenly, he became a living, life-giving demonstration of Christ's love for him. No one could look at Lazarus anymore and NOT see what Christ (the Anointed One) had done, NOT notice the change brought about by the anointing. His death was a line drawn in the sand, a demarcation point in the Spirit. The latter part of Lazarus's life brought more glory to God than the former. In the first part of his life, Lazarus received God as a gift for himself. Post-resurrection, he became a giver of life to others."
We know that our salvation and baptism represents that "demarcation point" spiritually where we cross over from death into life. That is the greatest resurrection miracle available to any believer today! However, as we look closely at the life of Lazarus, we can see that there is also something deeper available to believers who live a resurrection lifestyle.
Three times in John 11 we are told that Jesus loved Lazarus. All three are prior to Lazarus's resurrection. John 11:3 reads: "the sisters (Mary and Martha) sent to (Jesus) saying, 'Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.;"
John 11:5 affirms the truth of this: "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."
Finally, John 11:34-36 tells us: "Therefore when Jesus saw (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the Spirit and was troubled. And He said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to Him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, 'See how He loved him!'"
Despite the Lord's deep love for Lazarus and his obvious relationship with the family, there is no significant recorded impact made by Lazarus in his life prior to his resurrection. He was saved: a "believer," but not necessarily a life-changer. His epitaph might have read, "Here lies Lazarus, beloved brother of Mary and Martha. Died A.D. 32 of sickness."
Praise God, the love that Christ had for Lazarus wouldn't let him stay in the tomb! God desired for Lazarus to live a a full life, saturated with His Presence. Jesus arrived at the dead man's tomb and called him forth, bound in his grave clothes, saying "Loose him, and let him go!"
The next time we see Lazarus, everything has changed. After four days in a tomb, Lazarus is seen in John 12 sitting at the table with Jesus and Mary, being served one of Martha's delicious dinners. John tells us in verse 9: "Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus." (John 12:9-11, NKJV.)
What a difference! From the Bible's picture of the life of Lazarus, we learn what a resurrection lifestyle can look like for us. It is a death to self, to our old ways of living. It is a full reliance on God, from whom all life and energy comes. It is not just believing in Christ's love for us, but spending the time to love Him back. It is sitting at the table with Him, developing intimacy and learning His ways. It is a life of fellowship with other believers. It's doing what He's doing. It is being so closely associated with Jesus and His miracles that people gather not just to see Jesus, but to see Jesus IN US!
Living this kind of sacrificial life comes at a cost. The religious leaders who plotted to put Lazarus to death still exist today as those who "have a form of godliness but deny its power." (2 Timothy 3:5.) Don't be afraid of them! The life of Christ is meant to "loose you and let you go" free from the grave clothes of religion and tradition. (See John 11:44.)
God is challenging us to release all of our expectations to Him as He teaches us to move forward in resurrection life. He is activating those who sleep and awakening those who slumber. He desires above all things to reassure you of His friendship with you, a friendship that will call forth the hidden strengths and abilities you have in the Spirit.
As He did with Lazarus, God still seeks to bring anointed, resurrected believers to the forefront to reveal His glory to a dry and brittle world. When you begin to rely fully on Jesus and live the resurrection lifestyle, the anointing that gave you life will flow freely out of you and into all the things you do, all the lives you touch.
We don't know how or where Lazarus's life ended, but scholars say that he lived a longer life than expected, perhaps partly in exile. His bones have been claimed to be found and even fragments of them are still revered. Why? Because once, those dry bones came alive! If a tombstone were ever created, I'm guessing his epitaph might read something more like this: "Here lies Lazarus, friend of God. Raised from death by the Lord Jesus Christ in AD 32. A living witness to the power of God."
c. Deborah Perkins / HisInscriptions.com
Deborah Perkins is the founder of His Inscriptions and the author of How to Inherit Your Spiritual Promises: 5 Steps to Success and The 2016 Guide to Corporate Prayer. She lives in New England with her husband, three children, one cat and eight chickens. She blogs for Bible Gateway, Tyndale House Publishing, and BibleVerses.com. Join her daily here or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.