—The Lord wants us to work at finding His Will!
1. I WAS STUDYING ALL THOSE MAPS & PLACES & THINGS ABOUT SHIPPING LINES & TRAILER PARKS & ALL KINDS OF STUFF! I worked on it pretty hard all day, hours & hours‚ & I thought, "Lord, why can't You just show me this in a flash of revelation or something?—Why do I have to do all this hard work!?"
2. It's kind of like that guy who wanted to play the accordion who said, "The Lord's going to teach me how to play the accordion."—And he didn't even get a book or study or anything! He said‚ "The Lord's just going to make me play it." I was kind of like him, I guess. I just wanted to have a flash of revelation rather than have to go to all the hard work of studying it up—where we're going to go, what we're going to do, what's the best way & place & method & blah blah blah.
3. And I was just taking a break, bending over the washbowl to wash my face & hands, heaving a sigh of weariness & saying, "Well‚ Lord, why can't You just show me all these things without me having to work for it & study?" And immediately I got the Scripture, "Roll YE away the stone!" (Jn.11:39)—From when the Lord went to raise Lazarus from the dead, remember?
4. THE LORD NEVER SEEMS TO DO ANYTHING FOR ANYBODY THAT THEY CAN DO FOR THEMSELVES. He expects them to work at it!—And work for it. But He did the thing they couldn't do—raise Lazarus from the dead!—But He expected them to do what they could do. Isn't that amazing? (Maria: But it's so difficult & takes so much time!)
5. Even though it was hard work for them to roll away the stone, He wasn't going to do it for them.—They could do that! It was hard work & a hot country & they had to huff & puff & heave & it probably took a bunch of them to roll away that huge stone that was in front of the sepulchre. He didn't just raise His finger & roll it away for them! He said, "Roll ye away the stone!"—That's something they could do. And then He did what they couldn't do—raise Lazarus from the dead!
6. So I guess I was rolling away the stone all day yesterday trying to find where Lazarus was buried! And when the time comes, I guess the Lord will raise him up, raise up the answer to it all & do the miracle that it's going to take! It's like the Lord's saying, "Roll ye away the stone! You do what you can do & I'll do the rest that you can't do!—You can study maps & places to go & all that sort of thing, & when you get to where you can't do any more, why then I'll do the rest!" PTL! TYJ!
7. WE HAVE TO WORK AT THESE THINGS OURSELVES & WEARY OURSELVES WITH THEM. These are things we can do, & when the time comes‚ the Lord will do the miracle! We do the possible & He does the impossible! PTL! TYL! It seems like the Lord is always having us do it like that—to sort of try to reason things out & go through a process of elimination, shopping or trying, testing, probing, whatever it is, to see. And in this process you don't always find out what the Lord's Will is, but you sure find out what it ain't!
8. I sometimes found the Will of God just by going ahead & trying doors & seeking & finding, asking, until I found out at least where it wasn't, before He finally showed me where it was! Boy, I tell you, then I really appreciated it! If you work hard at it yourself & then you finally get to where you can't do it, then you appreciate the Lord's help!
(More on "Roll Ye Away the Stone," from Miami, 1962!:)
9. ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIS WORD, GOD COMMANDED MAN TO DO SOMETHING FIRST BEFORE GOD MET HIS NEED.—God told Moses to strike the rock & then He'd bring forth water. Moses could have said, "Well, Lord‚ I don't think there's any water in that rock‚ & this is kind of crazy! Besides that, Lord, I'd rather just see You do it!" But he went ahead by faith & took an old stick & hit the rock, expecting God to do the rest, & God did! (Ex.17:5-7)
10. The Lord told the priests to go down to the water of Jordan & start carrying the ark across‚ & that then He was going to stop the river at floodtide, when it was at its highest.—He was going to stop it & let'm go through on dry ground. They could have said, "That's crazy! We're going to get drowned carrying this big old heavy ark down there!—Let's just stand here & wait till God parts the water, then we'll go across." But no, He told them to go, so they went, & as their feet touched the water, the waters divided! PTL! (Joshua 3:7-17)
11. God wants to see YOU obey first! Obedience comes before the blessing, obedience comes before the reward, obedience comes before the anointing! The test is to see whether you're going to obey or not. And the minute you start obeying & working, God will do His part without fail! He will bless!—"Roll ye away the stone!" PTL!—Amen?