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False Expectations

"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." John 12:9 People flock to anything sensational. It was nearing the time of Passover, and many of the Jews came to Bethany looking for Jesus where he was staying, but the main reason they flocked to him was so that they could see Lazarus who had been raised from the dead four days after having been put in the grave. And this is the attitude many have, wanting to see the unusual or the miraculous, or the supernatural. If you have a man anointed to preach the Gospel, some will come. But if there's a man who is empowered to do supernatural signs, the crowds will flock to him. They would much rather see something supernatural, than to hear the Word of God which alone can nourish the soul. Very early in my walk with the Lord, there was a man who had the ministry of deliverance and he was coming to conduct a conference in a city nearby. Having recognized my need in this area, I was rejoicing in anticipation of the great change his ministry would make in my life. One day as I sat before the Lord in my prayer time, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "go up to your bedroom and close the door, I want to speak to you." Uh-oh! I got up immediately and went to my room and closed the door. I sat on the bed and said, "speak, Lord." He did. He said, "WHO did you say was going to set you free???" He made that scene dramatic enough that I would NEVER forget it. It was that important. Needless to say, my heart fell down to my feet. With his words, the Lord gave me understanding of exactly what he meant, and this was to be a principle that I would remember for the rest of my life. My eyes had been on the man with a ministry, rather than on the Lord himself. The Lord showed me that in my walk with him, I was never to go chasing after a person with a ministry, but that I was to bring my every need to him and to him alone. As it turned out, I went to the conference and did not receive deliverance there. But that conference turned out to be the event from which the entire foundation was laid for the rest of my walk with the Lord. For me it was truly life-changing and I received much there - because my heart had been made right before God before I got there. I was seeking NOTHING ...and God provided everything. Did I miss out on the deliverance I was so hoping to receive? Yes and no. What I came to realize was that before the Lord was going to set me free, he had to prepare me. This was at the beginning of my walk with him and I was nowhere near ready for deliverance, my foundation had to be made sure. He began a major reconstruction of my life that needed to take place before I could be set free. And in time, the deliverances did come, when I was ready to maintain them. The walk of faith if done correctly is a tremendously joyful thing, because one's faith grows by leaps and bounds as one puts aside all demands and allows the Lord total freedom to work in one's heart. It must entail dropping one's pride and self-will, the two great spiritual killers. The Lord has to break a person's inborn self-will and strip him of his pride. I learned that the most important thing in one's walk with the Lord is total surrender. It's a humility that releases the power of God in supernatural ways, unimpeded by soulish interference. There are other reasons of course, for a long wait for hoped-for answer to prayers. But if you've been waiting a long time, evaluate the attitude of your heart. Let the Lord show you what's holding you back, and let him bring you to repentance. Surrender all to him, and he will give all to you!

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