41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
There comes a time when you believe in Jesus that you wake up from being dead and then finally become alive. You experience not just a prayer, not just really nice people, not just a new family, new friends, or a dunk in a horse trough. You have an actual feeling and encounter The Lord of Lords and the God of Gods. He consumes your heart completely and has made you completely new. Like Lazarus, we oftentimes can die, obtain a new spirit, and then have to change out of old garments.
The changing of garments symbolizes a transition. We transition similarly to Lazarus. Taking off the clothes that symbolize death and put on new clothes that symbolize life.
^^ Don’t think that I am talking about someone else. The Lord is using a story like this to life and look at yourself and see who you are. ^^
Do you have clothes of a dead man that you’re hanging onto?
When you became alive in Christ…Did you take off those clothes and hide them in your spiritual closet?
Do the things you are taking identity in NOW take president over the newness of life that God has given you?
Another parallel that demonstrates a rebirth is when the Israelites go into the land of Egypt (Gen. 37, Gen. 41-47, Ex. 1) because of a man named Joseph gets sold into slavery. He becomes a slave, then gets falsely accused and becomes a prisoner, finally being elevated to the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt. Joseph is being brought into hardship, remains steadfast and faithful to the Lord while undergoing hardship, trials, persecution. Just when you think his life gets bad, it gets worse, then horrible. He went from being his father Jacob’s favored son, about to obtain all his fathers promises and possessions; to a man that was deceived, sold away, and then a prisoner.
Joseph parallel’s his life to a man that is faithful to God even when his circumstances seemed so difficult and next to impossible. God shows to be faithful to Joseph; He did not neglect God’s character, still honored and giving glory to God, lastly obeying God even to the point of imprisonment.
Jesus placed Joseph in rough and tough circumstances to make him into the man that He was destined to become so that His glory would be shown. Though Joseph’s circumstances were not desirable or enjoyable. He found contentment with God even in the midst of chaos. Joseph knew God is faithful and steadfast in His love for Joseph.
That dreams and visions Joseph had was enough for him to do whatever was needed regardless of where he was placed.
Joseph was going to achieve the dreams that God spoke to him, in God’s timing, and in God’s way. Joseph was entrusted with very little, and then less, yet his heart remains faithful. God entrusts him with a position in the world which would demonstrate God’s love, perseverance, and strength that would be no way attainable by human means or logic. God increases Joseph’s faith through trials and testing.
Years go by and Joseph still remains in Egypt. 60 people came into Egypt and The Lord allowed them to multiply into a mighty nation of Israel. The Israelites needed to fulfill the promises of God through His servant Abraham. The Lord set his people free from the land of Egypt and broke the chains of physical and spiritual freedom to give them a nation of their own.
See when the Lord gives you trials, hardship, even death. He provides a resurrection, He sets you free. You become a new person, with a new spirit, even though you are in a different culture. There is something shocking going on now inside of you. You may look, feel, and possibly think like the same person who just spiritually surrendered their life to Jesus Christ. When you put all of your hope, all of your faith, all of your strength into Him, He does the work. You can now come to Him as a child. The struggle now is to make Him your TOP PRIORITY, insofar as you begin to change and become a new creation in Christ.
You were once a walking dead man, Christ made the dead and dry bones rise, and gave you newness of life in Christ Jesus.
Trust when you read this that you CANNOT have a resurrection life continuing to wear your “Grave clothes.”
Jesus demands a response. He desires you to act rightly before Him because He is Holy as you ought to be like Him. A disciple of a Rabbi does everything rightly that the Rabbi does. As we follow Jesus, we begin to do the same that Jesus does.
Jesus tells you to take those “dead man’s clothes off!” So throw away the spiritual dead clothes, because you are alive. Your resurrection becomes your testimony, now you are living proof that Jesus Christ reigns and his mercies are new each and every single day. You cannot strive to do all these other tasks in your new body if you remain in your old clothes.
20 If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
2 Peter 2:20-22
You MUST throw away the old garments so that you can live in the new life that Jesus has granted you.
Are their spiritual clothes that you own that you are unwilling to hang up?
Is everything in your closet from The Lord, or are you clinging onto the old clothes of your dead self?
Do these “old clothes” determine who you are?
Are you someone that searches for your life’s meaning by what kind of slave you are?
Does work, family, friends, addiction, hobb(y,ies), favorite sport(s), denomination church you attend, groups you gather in, determine the value that you have for yourself?
All of these questions manage and determine the posture of your heart. There is only one spirit and teaching from Jesus that echoes through the heart of a resurrected “new-garment-wearing” believer – deny yourself and pick up your cross DAILY.
The Lord is going to fill your with surmountable obstacles that may leave you feeling worn out, torn up, broken, and needing help.
Know that this in itself is a good thing.
17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
You were born to overcome your dead identity.
A Heroic Awakening
The adversity we face allows us to stop moving in the “spiritual current” propelling us toward death. Faith allows us to be confident in throwing away the grave clothes are wearing. Burn the old ones we hide away in our spiritual closet. The garments we get rid of are meant to build up our inner man, strengthen our faith, and clearing out the closet for the blessings that Jesus is gifting us.
Deciding to throw away the old clothes transforms our wardrobe, which make room for new promises from God to our inner man. When you read the word of God, you see several PROMISES (“new clothes”) throughout the Old Testament. Jesus gives you some new ones too. This is who you are. Not dead in your transgressions, but now ALIVE in Christ, having new garments and partaking in new events.
The intention of this awakening is for you to be more than a conqueror in Jesus and overcoming fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, and ultimately death.
“I knew a wise man once..
he said, ‘death smiles at us all…
all a man can do is… smile back.'”
Who we need to be, is steadfast and faithful to God under pressure. That in itself awakens an unshakeable foundation of faith. Because God will not forsake, nor leave us. We have every part of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in this life. He gives us strength to push through trial, testing, even if all others have ran away.
Look at the way Jesus reveals the truth to the disciples about who they are before resurrection and after the resurrection.
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
We see Jesus prophesying about what will happen when He gives up His life; those who follow will be shocked and will leave. Peter, desiring to fight on the same team as God ~ desires nothing less than to stick with Jesus until the end.
We all sometimes can be like Peter looking for that heroic call. We can think it, dream it, and even try it. In the end without the resurrection, we deny Jesus and the power of the cross. We are walking with grave clothes. We try to operate like our “old self.”
Now most of us reading this article, understand what Peter does afterward, but to bring out the word we look back into Mark 14:66 below.
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
See God knows exactly what we are going to struggle with, we may emphatically think that we do not struggle with something – when really we do. The struggle, difficulty, hardship we face is to see ourselves in the mirror and know exactly who we are and accept the truth for who we are. Only then can we cling to the cross and become the man God wants us to be.
We do not need to focus our attention toward how bad we are doing, how much we’re failing, or even the fact that we are denying Jesus the glory He deserves.
Like Peter -we just need to be honest about WHO we are at this very moment. Even if that person is afraid, scared, or weak. Because whatever we are, when we surrender everything to Christ. He can make us strong, not us in our own strength… but the strength of Christ dwelling inside us.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
In the moment, we don’t know what may happen to us prior to our life in our heroic resurrection. We may find ourselves afraid that if we put new clothes on and be WHO Jesus says we are, something really bad might happen to us.
Rest assured that Christ remains the same. He remains steadfast, strong, willing, and most powerful Alpha male of all time. He knows what is best for us even if it hurts or makes us go through hardship.
Our dead man’s clothes, hard hearts, and stubborn necks force us away from the heart of God. But if we remain in Jesus, continue in His ways instead of our own, we will gain the power of the resurrection now.
No gimmicks. No presentations. True Freedom. Today.
End of Story.
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
There is one thing we need, Jesus Christ. In Him we have the power to overcome death, and a deadman’s slave-like mentality. We can walk into the promises of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, being grafted in by the work that Jesus Christ did at the cross.
See some of you already have the Holy Spirit, some of you think you have the Holy Spirit, some of you do not. See when we walk in the fullness of the cross we can draw upon the power of the The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit grants us power from on high. Filling our hearts, lungs, and minds with boldness, strength, compassion, humility, and most importantly love.
Peter…the man that denied Jesus at the cross, was a different man in the world. Through the work of Jesus at the cross was transformed into the world-beating, Satan-conquering, courageous-warrior known as Peter. The one that Christ built His church through (John 21:15-25). The same man that rejected Jesus, rebelled against some of Jesus’ teachings and chopped off some dude’s ear because he was trying to save Jesus.
Peter knew about first hand about acting foolishly without understanding and being afraid to consistently walk in faith.
Through Jesus, Peter was taught how to have outstanding faith as to walk on water, heal the sick, trust in the unseen, found out how to be bold with self-control, channel his strength at the appropriate time to demonstrate God’s character with the fire that comes from on high. He became a Holy Spirit-filled believer that continued to morph the church of Acts. Peter explains the process that all of us go through as maturing Christians in their faith from personal experience.
Peter was left a legacy from Jesus to follow the Holy Spirit, teach His qualities that Jesus instilled in him to other men (Eph. 4:11-23) just as Moses did with the sons of Aaron (Ex. 18:13-26), entrusting faithful men to continue the work and help the entire body of Christ.
Faith. Moral Excellence. Knowledge. Self-Control. Steadfastness.
Godliness. Brotherly Affection. Unconditional-Love (same as God’s Love).
And below Peter instructs us what these qualities will do for us in our walk.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:8-11 (emphasis added of underlining )
Jesus will making our faces shine like Moses (Ex. 34:29-35) and create on us an angelic face like that of Stephen (Acts 6:15). When we are filled with His Spirit we turn from an average person to a warrior, mighty one, strong hunter, champion, mighty king as the Lord is (Strong’s H1368). We take all that strength and put that crown that The Lord gives us at HIS feet. Giving Him complete control of His bride and allowing us to become just like Him through the Holy Spirit.
So whether you’re walking in a dead identity or fully intact with Jesus right now. This prayer has blessed me, and I know it will you too.
Jesus I thank you and love you with all my heart. Help me to never go back to my grave clothes. I pray that you have stirred in me all the heroic traits that you’ve given me before the beginning of time. In you – with the power of your cross, you give me power over this world, the nations, because they crumble into pieces at your feet. Lord thank you because you make me into a strong warrior, you break down Babylon with your mighty war hammer (Jer. 50:25, Jer. 51:15-30), you raise me up to sit with you on your heavenly throne. You are my strength, my fortress, my shield. In you I will continue to find peace. Your joy is my strength. Apart from you I can do nothing. So Lord I thank you personally for sharing with me this teaching and allowing it to bless my heart and honor my faith as I overcome the dead identity you have destroyed in me. Lord I will be blessed by the new heart you have given me and I receive it with thanksgiving. Teach me what your will is for my life. I love you and thank you. In Jesus mighty and powerful name. Amen.
Love you all,
AB aka. Coach Pineapple