In my devotional book today, author Joanna Weaver points out how we are often bound in the graveclothes of our flesh, just like Lazarus was in John 11. Even though we have been set free from the power of sin, we often choose to remain in its bondage, rendering our service to God ineffective.
“In a sense, the graveclothes that hindered Lazarus describe well the graveclothes that hinder us as Christians:
- His feet were bound, affecting his walk with God.
- His hands were bound, limiting his work for God.
- His face was covered, clouding his watchfulness.
- His mouth was covered, muffling his witness.”
Weaver points out also that sometimes we are so comfortable in our familiar graveclothes, that it seems to radical to allow the Lord to help us unwind them so we can be set free. I hope that living in my graveclothes does not characterize my life. Yet I know that so many times, I become all too comfortable even with what I rationalize as “little” sins. And so I find excuses to just continue on, not willing to let the Lord strip off the binding sin so I can reach my full potential for Him.
I miss a day here, then a couple days there, in my Bible reading and quiet time with God. Soon it seems natural to start my day running without pausing to spend time with Him. Without listening to His voice and seeking His will for my daily activities. The longer I continue in this pattern, the easier it is for me to ignore Him each day.
I find excuses not to talk to that person about the Lord or to turn the conversation toward spiritual things. Much easier to just slip a tract and hope they might read it. But then I stop giving the tracts, and soon I do not even see the people around me as hell-bound sinners for whom Christ died. I have become comfortable in not sharing the Gospel.
These are just a couple of areas where I have noticed that I too often prefer my graveclothes to the raiment of walking in the Spirit. The Lord offers us the solution to this apathy.
Revelation 3:17-22 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.