S (Scripture) – John 11:43-44 “When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.'”
O (Observation) – Lord Jesus, when You call us out of spiritual death, and tell us to “come forth” to spiritual life with You, that is an amazing thing. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” What’s interesting to see here about Lazarus is that he was still bound with grave clothes when he walked out of the tomb, even though he was now alive. He still needed to take them off and walk in the newness of life, free from the items that bound him in death. Likewise, even though a new Christian may be alive for the very first time after trusting You and receiving the Holy Spirit, it is necessary (by Your grace) to shed those remnants that continue to bind. Lazarus did not walk out of the tomb in a new outfit – he took off the old, and then put on the new – it is a process, but one that thankfully begins and ends with Your grace.
A (Application) – When we see other believers walking in bondage to past hurts, unable to let go of brokenness, bitterness, and resentment, or even just continuing to believe the lies of the enemy and this world, we can pray for them, and ultimately come alongside them, in order to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord, and understanding the truth about who they are in Him. Maturity is a process, not an event. Recognize that just because someone has professed to be a Christian does not automatically mean that they are walking in the freedom that God has for them. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).” Our role is to help others understand the freedom that is already available to them.
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for freedom. Thank You for Your desire for us to not only come fully alive in You, but to walk without the hindrances of our past bogging us down. You invite us to take the backpack of stones that we have been carrying our entire lives and just drop it at the foot of Your cross. Oh, the feeling of walking for the very first time without that weight! What a glorious truth that so many of our Christian brothers and sisters still have yet to claim for themselves. Help me to live a life of perfect freedom in You, and help others do the same.