"Living like Lazarus"

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”
Ephesians 1:19-23 NLT

The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. Yep, let’s read that again. In fact, would you be willing to read that out loud as a declaration? "The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me." A powerful declaration that easily gets trampled on by our fading faith, our religious spirit and by a weak relationship with the Father. I mean, just consider it. Being raised from the dead? Can you imagine if someone in your town was raised from the dead. LIke, they literally were on the table at the morgue and suddenly came to life? Just think about the headlines…FATHER OF 3 RAISED FROM THE DEAD AFTER DYING AND WAITING FOR FUNERAL PREP. 

 

 

Can you imagine the Undertaker’s face? This is starting to sound like a good movie here. They call it the Lazarus Syndrome, also known as autoresuscitation after failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It’s the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts to resuscitate. It has for real happened and so noted in medical literature at least 38 times since 1982. The name of the condition comes from the Lazarus who, in the New Testament of The Bible, was raised from the dead by Jesus.


38 times…  people who were dead, according to modern medical standards, and then suddenly their heart was beating again. Empty lungs were again filled with air. And, like Lazarus, they were given another chance to live, to love, to hope. 

Did you know that we, too, have been raised back to life? Maybe we didn’t really die physically, but we died spiritually. Sin came in like a brutal weapon and took us out. From addictions to bad thought patterns, we were sort of left to die on that table in the morgue. And, the “undertaker” of our soul was preparing us to live an existance, an eternity without God. But that’s where Christ comes in- the apostle Paul promises us here in Ephesians the same power that raised Christ from the DEAD LIVES in US. Christ overcomes death and the grave…and so do we. 

We often underestimate Christ’s power in our lives because we don’t see it at work the way we want to see it revealed in our own story. We want to see Christ do the miracles the same way we see it in the lives of others. We forget God has a specific way he wants to use his power to help us. That requires faith. That requires trust. That requires a willingness to work with the Spirit of God in your life rather than waiting for him to do all the work. He’s already done it! The cross and the resurrection prove He was at work and still is. So allow that power to unfold itself in your life everyday when you fight that sin habit, speak love instead of hate, forgive even when someone doesn’t forgive you, smile when you want to frown, stay in the race when you want to quit. That power is at work everyday, every hour, every second. We just have to recognize it and call it what it is…amazing, supernatural, unexplainable, tangible. And, even when we fail, it still is at work in the midst of our weakness helping us overcome our doubt and unbelief. 

Paul says God is “far above all things.” There isn't anything he can’t overcome. Our flesh may not always feel it but that is where faith comes in. Faith reaches into what we can’t see and gives us strength and vision to overcome. And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, we have overcome. We take a step in the right direction, even if it’s a small one and the Lazarus Syndrome begins its work right smack dab in the middle of our spiritual lives… yes! (And you can dab on that!!!) 

So live like you’ve been raised from the dead…everyday. Because you have. Once you were dead in your sin but now you are a LIVING TESTIMONY of Christ’s power. 

Go ahead, take a deep breath. Fill those lungs. It’s good to be alive…

Prayer: Lord, help me to live like I believe this declaration in Ephesians 1. I am ALIVE in YOU. My heart is not DEAD anymore. Help me to recognize this no matter how small the steps may seem. I declare… “Christ, live in me!”