In this first series of devotions, we’ve been studying what it really means to be “in Christ.” In our first devotion, we learned that we are saved by grace. There’s nothing we can do. There’s no heroic act, or set of good behaviors, or anything else in our power. Grace, unmerited favor from God, is the way to salvation. In our second devotion, we learned that our walk with Jesus is a relationship, and like any relationship, you grow it or it fades. In our third devotion, we reviewed how the Holy Spirit uses conviction — notice of what we need to do — in our lives. And further, that to stay in-tune, we must ‘seek Him’ daily. In our fourth devotion, we discussed that the maturity of our walk with Christ is dependent on our willingness to put our faith in Christ alone; that He is ‘the author and finisher of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2).
In our fifth devotion, we dealt with satan’s first tool against us: Fear. We discovered that our best defense is our daily walk with Jesus Christ, and listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our life. In our sixth devotion, we learned about living with ‘no condemnation’ in our lives. Not as a reason to do what we want, but to know we remain in Christ’s love even through our failures. In the seventh devotion, we saw the story of Jesus raising Lazarus. The situation was set up in high-emotion, and multiple miracles occurred. Lazarus went from death to life. Martha and Mary went from doubt in Jesus to full faith; and ‘Many’ believed and were saved. In this final devotion of the series, we will look at the miracle of being ‘in Christ’.
There was a time when I was in Africa participating in an evangelical service for the people there. We got to the end of the service and the leadership called me forward to help pray for the needs of the people coming forward. One person who came forward was a lady, in her mid-30s, who had a withered arm. One normal arm. One arm was small, skinny, and deformed. I hate to use that word, but it was a useless limb. When I saw her, my doubt kicked in. I believe in a powerful, awesome God who can do anything, but when I saw her, I thought to myself, honestly, “I don’t know about this.” That’s what I thought. And then they called me over to help pray for her. I didn’t know if I had the faithfulness.
I will never forget this moment. She was standing there. We’re praying, and all of a sudden her arm starts to stretch out. I was told later that this was the first time she’d ever stretched out her arm since she was a kid. Then, right before my eyes, her withered arm matched her good arm. She could bend it and move it. My eyes saw it. My heartfelt it. My brain comprehended it. But I was astounded. At that moment, she was changed but so was I. My doubt, like Martha’s in the story of Lazarus, was gone. My heart was sealed for Jesus. This woman had to live 30 years without the miracle for God to have that moment.
So wherever you’re at, whatever it is that you’re facing; you may be saying, “It’s too late. I’m too old. There’s too much damage. This is never gonna work out.” God gave you a promise. First, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” When our answer is like Martha’s, “Yes, Lord.” Then you are ready for “Remove the stone.” What you think is not possible, becomes possible. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus talking to His disciples said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
If God truly is “the resurrection and the life,” [John 11:25] then sometimes things need to be completely dead before they can be resurrected. Whatever it is that you’re facing in your life right now, maybe God is getting ready to do a resurrection in your life. And maybe He’s getting ready to change the doubting person next to you who wants to believe but can’t quite get out of doubt.
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie.” When God says I’m gonna do it, it is done. It’s all about his perfect will about his perfect timing. All we need to do is work to live in Christ and to faithfully pray that God’s Will be done. So if you’re going through a discouraging moment — my husband, my wife, my brothers, my sisters, my children, my business, my finances — whatever situation you’re facing, and no matter how bad it gets, being ‘in Christ’ is a miracle, and with Jesus in your life, all miracles are possible, because with God nothing is impossible.
My final prayer for you in this series, ‘In Christ,’ is this: Heavenly Father, I just love you. God, I thank you, I praise Your holy name for this day. I thank you for everything that you’re doing and everything that you’ve done in our lives, and I pray right now Lord, that you would have your way within each one of us. I pray, God, that you be glorified in our hearts, in our lives. God, I don’t know what everybody’s going through. I don’t know what situations, they’re facing. But I do know that you’re with them always. Speak to their hearts and show them you are “the resurrection and the life”…, that there’s “no condemnation”… And Lord God that they are “a new creation.” For every single person ‘in Christ, that you will move powerfully. Amen.