Tony Evans - Stop Blocking Your Miracle
Without him, you cannot, but without you, he will not. When we travel across a bridge, it typically means that two bodies of land have been separated by a challenge. This bridge is designed to take you from where you are to where you are trying to go. The bridge that God has constructed for you to move from the natural to the supernatural is the bridge called faith. Unbelief will keep you stuck where you are. Unbelief, it's so powerful, it'll stop God's work in your life. He says, "I believe. Help my unbelief". He says, "I believe, but I'm shaky. Will you give me what I lack so I can go deep enough to believe"? So even if your faith is weak, you've got a faith helper, so get ready for your miracle as long as you cross the bridge.
What I wanna talk to you about today and what I wanna challenge you with today is to stop blocking your miracle. I'd like to suggest to us today, based on the Word of God, that a lot of us haven't seen God come through 'cause we're holding God up. We are delaying or denying his supernatural presence into our situation and into our circumstances.
Now, let me explain what I mean by something that is supernatural. God has natural laws that govern the world. The world works by natural, predictable laws, but when I talk about something supernatural, I'm talking where God trumps his own laws. It is where God overrules himself. He has set the laws in place, but a miracle is when God overrules a law he set in place in order to accomplish something he wants to do. When you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you entered the realm of the supernatural which means that you have access to that which operates outside of the natural. The problem is that we're so tied to the natural, we often miss, resist, or deny the supernatural.
Our story is a very familiar one in John, Saint John chapter 11. It is the story of the resurrection of Lazarus. I've mentioned that on a number of occasions, but today I wanna take you on a little deeper journey into this story. Now, to summarize (the whole chapter is about this one story) to summarize, Martha and Mary have called on Jesus to heal their brother Lazarus, who's sick. Jesus has said, "His sickness is not unto death", and Jesus delays going to help their sick brother get better. During the interim of Jesus's delay, Lazarus dies. Jesus shows up too late. He dies after saying he wasn't gonna die after they had called on him.
We have two frustrated sisters. Martha, the verbal one, says, "Jesus, if you would've been here, our brother would not have died". Where were you when we needed you? And if the truth were told, there are many here today who have been disappointed by the Lord. The Lord didn't do what you clearly understood he said he was gonna do. When you thought he was gonna be in a hurry, he's taking his time. When you thought he answered your prayer, the answer was the opposite. In fact, if the truth be told, some of us believe God actually made stuff worse by his negligence and by his delay, and even by his denial, if the truth were told.
That's our story, and we're gonna pick it up in verse 38: "So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it". Jesus was being deeply disturbed by the pain and the anguish, the emotion of what he was dealing with in the life of Martha and Mary. In fact, in verse 35, the shortest verse in the Bible, it says, "Jesus wept". So Jesus cried at the pain. He shared the pain of Martha and Mary. But let me tell ya something about Jesus's emotions. While Jesus sympathizes with our infirmities, Hebrews chapter 4, so he comes to the tomb, and when he gets there, he issues a command, verse 39: "Jesus said, 'Remove the stone". There is a stone, a large boulder over the cave, where Lazarus's body is buried, and Jesus says, "Remove the stone". He ushers a command that involved action.
"Martha mouth", 'cause she's the talkative one, says to Jesus, "Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to him, 'Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days'". Jesus heard her do what he hears us do when we either do not like or do not understand his instruction. We argue back with him with human logic. That may be absolutely correct. Your facts may be impeccable. You are absolutely correct, Martha. Dead four days, he does stink.
Jesus responds, and "Jesus said to her, 'Did not I say to you'", let me stop right there. "Can't you hear? Are you not paying attention? Did not I say to you? Your ear is not workin'"? "Let me 'splain somethin', Lucy". Jesus never wastes words. He never says anything 'cause he feels like talkin' right now. When he says something, he wants you to pay exact attention to his wording. Nothing will block the supernatural movement of God in your life like your logic, your edumacation. Some of us have educated ourselves out of the supernatural. We're just too smart for God, too intelligent for heaven, too brilliant for the kingdom of God, and so we live with our logic, and so we live only in the natural.
"Didn't I say to you? Can't you hear, girl"? What did you say to her, Jesus? "Didn't I say to you that, if you believe, you will see the glory of God? Didn't I say to you, if you believe, you would see"? In the supernatural, if you believe, you would see. What would you see? The glory of God. What is the glory of God? It's God on display. The glory of God is God revealing himself as God in your circumstance. The glory of God is when God advertises himself. The glory of God is when God puts himself or his attributes on a billboard so you can see God at work, but you will not see it in the physical until you believe it in the spiritual.
You and I are blocking our miracles when human logic, that, even if it's correct, trumps what God said. You have just done what Matthew 13, says, "He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief". So you will be limited, I will be limited, we collectively will be limited to the natural when we do not move the stone; that is, when we do not act on what God has said whether we understand it, can figure it out, like it or not. And that is what often happens with Christians, limiting us to the natural, because we can't figure out how God's gonna do this. We can't figure out where this is gonna come from.
So "Didn't I say to you that you would see with your own eyes the glory of God? But you won't see the supernatural till you believe, and you believe by doin' what I told you to do". God is saying, "I'll wait. I'll wait until you decide to believe. I'll wait till you decide that you're not gonna just throw facts my way like I don't know what I'm talkin' about. I created the world, and you gonna describe to me biology"?
Let me tell you something about the will of God. God has a revealed will, that's what he says in the Bible, and he has a secret will. Deuteronomy 29:29, says that "The secret things belong to God". He hasn't revealed them. Now, here it is. You cannot get to God's secret will if you've ignored his revealed will. In other words, if he says, "Move the stone", or whatever it is in your situation he tells you to do, but you have to see what he's gonna do before you move the stone, you'll never see what he's gonna do 'cause he'll keep secret his secret will until he sees you believe his revealed will.
So if you don't do what you know he said, he won't show you what he's up to in secret in the supernatural realm. And you can't figure it out ahead of time 'cause he's the unfigureoutable God. His ways are not your ways. His thoughts are not your thoughts, Isaiah 55, so you can't figure out "Well, what is he gonna do? How is he gonna do this? Before I move the stone, let me try to figure it out". That's an Excedrin PM headache.
Now, watch this. Verse 41: "So they removed the stone". "So they removed the stone". See, some of y'all missed that. "So they removed the stone". How did that stone get moved? Well, she called a small group. Notice, Jesus was talkin' to her, but she didn't move the stone. They moved the stone. Why did they move the stone even though he's talkin' to her? 'Cause the stone was too heavy for a woman to move. She needed somebody to help her move it 'cause it was too heavy for a woman to move.
What am I tryin' to say? What I'm tryin' to say is some issues are too big for you to handle by yourself. Some stones, problems, difficulties, are too tough. You've done it too long. You've been in it too deep. It controls you, owns you. You're addicted to it. It's a stronghold 'cause, if you could've move it by yourself, it would've been moved by now. So there were people who were brought alongside to help her move something she could not move herself. Too deep. That's why you need community. That's why you need people around you to help you move stones you can't move because God won't move until the stone is moved. So if you cannot move the stone, get some people who care about you enough, who are crying with you enough, who love you enough to put their hands on your stone that you gotta move. Everyone in here should either be getting help to move a stone or be helpin' somebody else to move a stone 'cause, if you're helpin' somebody else, that means you got some folk who can help you. That's what church is supposed to be, and so they help her move the stone.
Now, it's gonna get deeper now. Some of us are asking God, "When"? God is sayin', "Then". "How long"? "Then". "Where are you, God"? "Waitin' on 'then.' I'm waiting on you to do what I told you to do so that I can do what I'm gonna do". And we are now introduced to a doctrine in the Bible, and we see the doctrine practiced right here. It's called the doctrine of divine intercession. The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 7, verse 25, that Jesus is our intercessor. The Bible says in Romans 8:27, the Holy Spirit is our intercessor according to the will of God. So it has to be God's will, of course. God just doesn't do everything we want because we want it, but there are a lot of things in God's will he's waiting to do after he's seen faith in action.
So he says, "Then Jesus", said, "raised up his eyes, and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me'". So let's look at what happened here. "I thank you, Father, that you've already heard", and we've already talked about this. In other words, "When they sent word to me about the need of a miracle, you and me, Daddy, had a meeting, and in our meeting, when we discussed this, we agreed that, when we saw faith, we were gonna do a supernatural work. You and I have already had this meeting. But even though you and I have had the meeting in the spiritual realm, they're not gonna see what we agreed on in the physical realm until the bridge of faith is built so that my intercession for them becomes you bringing to pass what has already been agreed on".
So why is that important for you to know? That your supernatural miracle, whatever is in God's will to do, has already been agreed on in the spiritual realm. That means you do not have to beg God to do something that is in his will to do. Here, it's not you waiting on God if he's agreed to it. It's him waitin' on you to move the stone so he can let you see what was already previously agreed on. It's called the intercession of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, bringing into the physical realm what has previously been agreed on in the spiritual realm, once faith has been exercised, even if it has to overrule logic, and correct logic. This is the intercession of God.
What a great truth that God stand like a defense attorney between the client and the jury to plead your case about somethin' that's already been agreed on in the spiritual realm. That's why the Bible says he's already been to the end, and then he backs up to the beginning. So he already knows where this thing is goin', but faith activates it in your experience. The Father never turns down the Son. So the key is gettin' Jesus to ask for what you askin' for 'cause you may feel like God has turned down you, but he never turns down Jesus, "'Cause you do always answer me", but if what you talkin' isn't what Jesus is talkin', Father not listenin'. Oh, by the way, that's why John 10, says, "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father. If you acknowledge me before men, I will talk to my Daddy about you".
We are in a stinky situation 'cause he's been dead four days, and he stinks. We're in a trapped situation 'cause he's been locked down behind a stone that a whole group of people have to move. Are you trapped? Is the only hope for this thing a resurrection? You qualify for the supernatural. "When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth'".
Mm, notice the specificity of the cry. Not "Y'all, come forth", 'cause then everybody from the graveyard would've got up. What he requested was the specific answer to the specific request. Not a general answer that applies to everyone. When you need a miracle, you ain't talkin' about everybody. You talkin' about "It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standin' in the need a prayer". You need him to call, "Yo, Lazarus", not just some vague answer. Oh, by the way, that's how you know it's God, when he calls it by your name, "Lazarus", so a specific answer to a specific need in a specific situation predicated on a specific request. "Lazarus, come forth".
Now watch this, watch this, watch. I don't want you to miss this. Getting ready to close it out here, but don't miss this 'cause it says, "The man who had died came forth, bound with hand and feet with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, and let him go'". Okay, watch this now. It says he came forth, but he didn't come forth walking. He came forth shuffling 'cause he was still tied up. Said he was tied up around his legs, around his hand, around his head. He was still wrapped in death cloth.
So watch this now. He was alive, but he was not liberated 'cause he was still tied up. Now, he had a miracle. The miracle was what was dead is now alive. So he comes walkin' out 'cause he's tied up, but guess what Jesus did? He called a small group. He said, "I want y'all to untie his legs, and I want you to unhook his arms. I want y'all to unwrap his head because I want the other folk to participate in my miracle". God just doesn't wanna do miracles that exclude you. He wants to do miracles that include you. You are part of the miracle. He did enough to get it goin'. He says, "I want y'all to finish it off so that you can see how I can use people in the lives of circumstances to do what they can do. I'll get him alive. Y'all can at least unwrap the boy". You and I are participants. That's why 2 Corinthians chapter 6, says, "We are workers together with him". He will do what we can't do. He wants us to do what we can do so that we become partners in the supernatural miracle-working process. And it closes by saying, "And many believed on him".
So let me tell ya somethin'. God doesn't do miracles just to show off. He doesn't do the supernatural to flex his muscles. He does the supernatural so that his name will be known. Many believed on him. That's the problem with a lot of folk comin' to church, lookin' for a blessin'. They're lookin' for "What God's gonna do for me. I want a new house, new car, new clothes, new this, new... do somethin' for me. Bless me. I want my blessin'. I want my blessin'".
And then, after God does something, he gets no notification, no glorification. You're not witnessing. You're not talkin' about him. You're not givin' him the credit. You're not responding and giving. You're not doing anything. You're just talkin' about your blessin'. He doesn't just bless you for you. He blesses you for his name, his glory, your impact, your testimony, your ministry. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so". When you get your supernatural, you better open up your mouth, and you better declare the greatness of your God 'cause only your God can go into your grave and raise you up and give you life. You better give him the glory due his name.
A miracle is where God trumps the natural law to accomplish something that is in his will, but we can block our miracles. We can block God overriding what nature says or what circumstances dictate ought to be happening. We can block that by our disobedience and by our faithlessness. God is still a miracle-working God. He still can trump the natural order of things. The Scripture says over and over again, "Nothing is impossible with God". But God does also make clear to us that, if we refuse to put faith before sight, if we have to see it before we believe it, then the miracle we are asking for, needing and desiring, may just never occur.
God wants to know that we believe what he says even though our physical eyes do not yet see it. It is absolutely critical that, if you need a miracle, if I need a miracle, we believe in a miracle-working God. But how will you know that you have positioned yourself for your miracle? Very simply, are you doing what he asked you to do that you do know, so you can see what he wants you to see that you don't know but that you need? Prove that you really want a miracle by your feet, not just by your feelings; by your movement, not just by your mouth; by your life, not just your lips. Move in faith what he has revealed because, when you obey his revealed will, you'll see his secret will unveiled.