Believer or unbeliever, we have more in common than you think. And here it is,
You are your worst enemy.
Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let's begin.
Let's read God's word today. John 5:2-9
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Typically, when I'm sitting through the community singing portion of worship on a Sunday, a few things are on my mind. And typically, that depends on how my week has been. And here recently, I've had to deal with a little stagnation. It's felt like the feeling when you've been hungry all day and all of a sudden you don't feel hungry anymore? It's that part of your fast where your stomach is giving you the business and the growls for like 30 minutes straight, and after awhile it just stops. Yes, that's how I've been feeling. This truth that I need to eat, but not wanting to walk into the kitchen to prepare anything.
What is that?
So anyways, this particular Sunday, I was singing in church and having a hard time getting in tune with anything, and the Holy Spirit asks me, "Son, what's wrong?" Then I go through our routine of telling Him that I've been a lazy bum and haven't pursued you in like two weeks, and I'm sure you've had so many things that you've wanted to show me or reveal to me since I got lazy, and I'll never catch up to You, and I'm so undeserving of this relationship, I'm bringing nothing to the table in this relationship. You know, the rant many of us do to God. And then the Holy Spirit reminds me that what I just described was the Gospel and exactly why I'm in relationship with Him. I immediately begin crying and the passage of scripture at the beginning of this blog comes to my mind.
Do you want to be healed?
Basically, this was my thought at that time. Claude, you are currently present with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has all power in His hands, able to redeem, heal, and restore You right now. So, forget the past and respond right now, do you want to be healed? Do you want to be better? Do you want things to change?
And I felt like the guy in the text. Let's put ourselves in his shoes. For 38 years he has been coming to this pool to receive healing and has yet to successfully find it. So you know, there was heavy doubt in his head every year he showed up. Let's jump into his head.
"I've been coming to this pool for 38 years. The same thing happens, the angel comes and stirs the water, I'm too slow to jump in, and some younger and faster person jumps in before me. It's the same thing every year. I try, and it fails. Every single year."
And here's Jesus, walking up to him, asking him the most obvious question. Do you want to be healed?
But the guy doesn't even answer him with a yes or no! He just starts giving Jesus complaints and excuses. Well sir, I'm too slow and weak and blah blah blah, and Jesus doesn't even wait for him to answer, He just tells the man get up, take up your bed, and walk.
And don't we do the same thing?
The revelation I had in church, was this, "Son, if you want to be healed, get up. Get up. Listen, you've had faith in other things that you thought would work and they failed you, well you're going to fall sometimes. But get up. I'm in front you. Which means redemption is available. Restoration is available. Healing is available. But you have to get up to see it. You're healed already, but you have to get up. You have to get up and get off your mat which is crippling you in your condition."
The symbolism of this would be this, friends, you have to make the effort to get healed. And that effort is not putting more faith in what you think will work or your many vices, but putting the faith in what is proven to work for you, and that's Jesus. I don't know what you're dealing with right now, I don't know what you need to get up and have faith in Jesus that you can actually stand up straight, but you need to do it. Because this guy didn't know he was healed until he responded to Jesus, or I'll say it this way---until he got up.
Here's some practical things. Let's focus a little more on the things that we want to see changed. Hey, if you're overweight, get up and start working out. If you're lonely, get up and pursue friendships, get plugged into a church. If you're broken, get up and seek healing. But hear me on this part, realize that these things are obtainable because of the offer of Jesus that's in front of us. Pursue these things through Jesus. Don't become legalistic. Pursue them through your pursuit of Jesus. If you're an unbeliever to the faith, maybe that's your first "get up" step. Jesus is in front of you, offering you deep intimacy and deep healing of all your wounds that was self inflicted because of your sin. You're not a sinner because you sin, you sin because you're a sinner. Big difference. And that difference is why you need Jesus to begin any of this. You have to have a righteousness that supersedes your own. There is NO other way around it. Jesus must be where you find your salvation, it is the only thing that has satisfied God's wrath for your sin. So believer and unbeliever...
Jesus is telling you to pick up your bed. Pick up your excuses and reasons you shouldn't or don't want to, and walk.
And your worst enemy-- you can call him/her (ME) or Satan-- will tell you that you're okay. That you can get over it by yourself. That you can deal with it. You don't need people. It's not that big of a deal. I can never lose the weight. I'm too far gone to find healing. Time will fix it. I can never forgive them.
Jesus is bigger than that. His power is way bigger than that. His grace is way more than that.