Martha believed in the power at the disposal of Jesus Christ. She believed that Jesus could have healed her brother, Lazarus, if only Jesus had been present when Lazarus was dying (John 11:21). She also believed that Jesus had a unique relationship with God and that whatever Jesus asked of God, God would do. But Martha needed a closer personal intimacy with Jesus; her program of belief was entirely focused on future fulfillment. When Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise again, she replied, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (v. 24). Jesus wanted her belief to be rooted in the present moment; he wanted her faith to be a personal possession, and he asked a question that led her to a new understanding: “Do you believe?”

Is there something similar in the Lord’s current dealings with you? Is Jesus educating you into personal intimacy with him? Let him drive his questions home: “Do you believe? What is your ordeal of doubt?” Have you, like Martha, come to some overwhelming moment in your circumstances, a moment when your program of belief is about to become personal belief? This can never take place until a personal need arises out of a personal problem.

To believe is to commit. If I have a program of belief, I commit myself to a certain set of ideas or principles and abandon all that is not related to them. In personal belief, I commit myself morally to confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and refuse to compromise. I commit myself spiritually to the Lord, and determine that, in this particular thing, I will be dominated by him.

When I stand face-to-face with Jesus Christ and he says to me, “Do you believe?” I find that faith is as natural as breathing, and I am amazed that I didn’t trust him before.

Wisdom from Oswald

We are not to preach the doing of good things; good deeds are not to be preached, they are to be performed.
So Send I You