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Four days late

Faith & Inspiration

My biggest challenge in life is putting the Word of God above the word of man. This is alternately as blatant and as subtle as it can be. On the blatant side would be the example of God telling me to love my enemy, but I decide, in the heat of the moment, that it would work out much better for me to hate the person. On the subtle side are all the vagaries of theologies that weave elaborate explanations to finesse a gulf between the plain teachings of Scripture and the anecdotal claims of the world.

But believing the Word of God above the word of man always comes down to putting more weight on his promises than on data derived from the senses. Hence, "Faith . . . is the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:11). Jesus gives one case study that is an argument-stopper for anyone who wants to continue to engage in the thankless game of suspending faith commitment in God's Word until all the facts are in:

Once there was a man who got sick, and they told Jesus about it so that he could come and heal the guy (John 11). Jesus didn't come on time (the Bible says he tarried deliberately). Now if you were a citizen of Bethany, already on the fence about whether the famous itinerant preacher-healer would be able to heal Lazarus, if you were already reserving full trust until you've seen more proofs, your position of skepticism would be ratified when you thereupon learned that Lazarus was indeed dead. The Rabbi had come too late.

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I myself often give up too soon on Jesus showing up. A woman came to me whose husband had left her a month earlier, and I was already counseling her from a post-marital mindset. But other people in her life, who expect bigger things of God than I do, were praying for the young man's return---and he did.

The moral of the story is that if you want to give up on Jesus after careful weighing of the evidences, you may find yourself doing it just ahead of his appearing with rescue. That's no fun. If you set him a time limit, even what you consider a very generous one, you may find to your embarrassment what Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha found---that even when the body is cold and stinketh, he can do miracles. Even when Jesus is four days late, he's always on time.

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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