While praying about this message, I had a vision of a man completely immersed in a pond of dark mud. The mud was thick like gumbo clay, and it clung to him. It seemed alive, and each time he tried to escape from it, it pulled him back down like a suction cup. It was a helpless situation, for there was no possible way for him to get free. He struggled and sank deeper until he was under the surface. Then I saw the arm of the Lord reach down, take his hand, and begin pulling him free from the mud.
This is a picture of resurrection, what was lost and dead being revived to live again. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well this:
(John 11:25–26 NKJV) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
The Lord Jesus Christ has the power to turn death into eternal life. It's not just in eternity, but right here and right now. He has the delivering power to set us free from anything that binds us. If we only believe, nothing will be impossible for us. The Apostle Paul said this:
(Philippians 3:10 NKJV) "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death"
The Greek word used for power here is "dynamis." It's where we get the English word dynamite. What can move a mountain? Dynamis can. Consider these verses:
(Mark 11:22–24 NKJV) So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
Then why don't we see more miracles? The disciples were once stumped when they met a demon of epilepsy in a young man they couldn't cast out. They had cast out many unclean spirits before, but this one was resistant. They tried for a while, then brought him to Jesus, who quickly made it flee. Then they asked Jesus why they couldn't cast it out:
(Matthew 17:19–21 NKJV) Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Jesus had kickstarted His ministry with a 40-day fast, and sometimes He spent all night in prayer. That will give you an edge when dealing with demonic forces. Jesus didn't fast and pray for the boy right then. He had done it beforehand and was already prepared for it. Yet, He told His disciples that it was because of their unbelief, as well as their lack of prayer and fasting.
There is the unstoppable resurrection power that can be had today, but too often, we try and hold the Lord's hand while keeping one foot in the mud He's trying to deliver us from. That little bit of secret sin causes our consciousness to doubt in prayer. And once our unbelief sets in, we get nothing:
(James 1:6–7 NKJV) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
The Apostle Paul wrote this:
(Ephesians 2:4–5 NKJV) "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" ...
When we are dead in trespasses and sin, He makes us come alive. The Lord resurrects our spirit when we surrender our lives to Him. Do you know that you meet dead people every day walking the street, wandering through the shopping malls, like a scene from "Warm bodies?" Jesus said this:
(Matthew 8:21–22 NKJV) Then another of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
The Lord doesn't see life and death as we do. Here He was speaking of people who were spiritually dead, though not yet physically. They wander through this life cold and lifeless while still breathing.
When we give our lives to Him, He will resurrect our spirit and pull us free from the mud. Yet, as the prodigal son chose to leave his father's house and spend all his money on "riotous living," so can we. We can miss our mud and return to it:
(2 Peter 2:20–22 NKJV) For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
Choose to live free. It's our nature when we lose our way to turn around and return to the familiar. After Jesus was crucified, the Apostle Peter said, "I am going fishing." And the others said, "We will go with you." When they lost sight of the Lord, they planned to return to the past, the mud hole. Don't.
You can pray this with me if you like:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for another wonderful day. Please draw my heart to You, give me a clear vision, and speak to me in a way I understand. Help me overcome unbelief in my life and completely break free from the mud. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org