Removing the stones that hinder.
Isn’t God good! I went out to dinner with a friend last Saturday night and we talked the entire time about what God had been doing in our lives and the recent decisions we had made for our Savior. The Lord had been dealing with both of us on similar issues so it was great to encourage each other with what we had learned so far! Something that my friend said to me was this: “You know, to quote: “It’s not about choosing between the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’. It’s about choosing between the ‘good’ and the ‘best’!” I heard that quoted to me time and time again when I went to Bible college – but I never paid any attention to it – I was too busy doing my own thing. But I get it now.
I enjoy listening to sermons throughout the day while I’m working. Today I decided to listen to a message by Dr. Phil Kidd titled, “What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Do What You Think He Ought To Do?” – and it was good. It hit on some of the very things my friend and I had discussed just a few days ago. I’d like to share a part of the message with you. The text of Dr. Kidd’s message was John 11 – the story of how Lazarus died because Jesus lingered in a nearby town instead of rushing to his aid. Mary and Martha had buried their brother Lazarus in the tomb and rolled a stone over it. When Jesus arrived at the tomb He told them, “Take ye away the stone.” (vs.39) Jesus wanted the stone removed before He was going to perform a miracle in Lazarus’ life. Dr. Kidd equivilated that stone to things that hinder Christians. God wants to do a work in our life; He wants to answer our prayers – but He can’t if there are things in our lives that are hindering us and the work Christ wants to do. That’s where this portion of the sermon comes in:
See, some things God wants you to get out of your life is not easy to remove. But if you’re really serious about Him answering your request, you’re gonna have to remove stuff that might be a little hard. And Jesus is moving, and He’s come to them, and He said “I’ve come to answer your request but there’s an obstacle between me and Lazarus, and I’m not moving it – you’re gonna have to move it.”
I want to ask you something. Are you serious enough about God answering your request that you would be willing to remove anything out of your life that’s hindering Him from answering your request?
See, here’s where we’re at, Ladies and Gentlemen: we want GOD to move, but WE don’t want to move! See, what’s hindering revival is not that GOD doesn’t want to move; what’s hindering revival is that WE don’t want to move. “Lord, come down!” …but we don’t want to go up! We don’t want to get right! We don’t want to get close!
You got something in your heart and life that needs answered? You’re gonna have to do an inventory; God’s gonna deal with you; there’s gonna be something between you and God. And God’s not about to move on your behalf until you’re willing to say, “This is not easy; this may hurt and it may drain me, but I’m so sincere about this request I’m moving EVERY hindrance out of my life that would stop God from answering my prayer.”
Let me tell you how touchy the Lord is about answering prayer. The Bible said if you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear your prayer. …Are you willing to remove everything in your heart and life that’s not right?
What if the Lord deals with you about something that you love and you got attached to? By the way, a rock’s not sin, it was just a hindrance. Jesus didn’t say, “Get that sin out of my way!” Look, there are some things you might be doing that may not even be sinful, but it’s hindering you. And if it’s hindering you, that makes it sinful and you got to be willing to roll that out of the way so that God can do what He needs to do in your heart and life. Would you be willing to do that tonight?
I’m not asking God to move; I’m asking YOU to move. Remove the stone that’s hindering you.
~ Dr. Phil Kidd
“What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Do What You Think He Ought To Do?”