Friday, 10 July 2015

Do You really want to be made Whole?

One of the interesting things about the God we serve is that He never forces us to receive anything good from Him. He respects our free will so much that He holds back even when He really longs to wrap His arms of love around us.

An example is in Matthew 23:37 where Jesus overcome with emotion at the impending doom of Jerusalem cried out,

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

Jesus is the saviour, but He only offers salvation to those who want Him to save them. Not only that, He wants joyful, trusting obedience from those who need it.  I can imagine Him saying, “Are you willing to do everything I tell you to make you whole? Do you trust me that I have your best interest at heart?"

"Are you confusing me with a tyrannical leader who has abused your trust in the past? Don’t you see that I would rather die than see you get hurt? Don’t you see the nail prints in my hands and feet? How much proof of my love do you need? Why do you still hold back and suffer as a result of your disobedience? It hurts me to see you suffer!”

And so today, I ask you just like Jesus asked the man lying by the Pool of Bethesda, “Do you want to be made well?” If you read that story in John 5:1-15, you will discover that the man had been in that paralyzed condition for a long time, thirty eight years. Jesus knew how long it was, but he asked him that profound question, “Are you really sure you want to be made well”

The man obviously didn’t know Jesus and proceeded to give him the reason why he had not been made whole: no one had helped him. He didn’t know that right before him stood Jesus, the Healer, the Helper and Restorer.

And in His wonderful, powerful yet gentle way, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Take up your bed and walk.”

It must have seemed rather silly to tell a paralyzed man to do this. But faith does look silly sometimes; because it is not based on physical evidence but trust that the One who says “do this” will equip you with the required skills and strength to do it.

So the man did what he was told. He attempted to take up his bed and walk. I am sure his colleagues thought he was crazy, but he obeyed. He must have made some mistakes at the beginning, but he persisted. And then before you knew it, he was walking, and dancing, running and jumping!

All of us like this man have areas in our life where we have been crippled or paralyzed: insecurities, fear, anger, habitual sins, childhood abuse, rejection/abandonment by a loved one, domestic abuse, etc  These things may have become part our identity and we may have coped with them for many years. But it is time to move on. Yes you may have been a Christian for many years, but there may be that sin/mindset that has kept you entangled. This baggage is impeding your life and stifling relationships with yourself, with others and with God. It is time to do the needful and stop focusing on why you are not healed, and instead focus on the Person in front of you: Jesus!

How does Jesus get your attention? One way is by drawing attention to the problem. Perhaps lately you have found yourself really struggling, things are not what they used to be anymore. 

Your coping strategies are failing and you know things are not quite right. Perhaps this is the Lord telling you to let go of those life-sucking habits/mindsets you have carried for a while now. Perhaps he is trying to get you to come into a relationship with Himself rather than mindless religion?

And yes you have tried many times in the past to get rid of it, but NOW is the time to go further, not rely on others, but rather partner with God. Do whatever He asks of you. Discipline yourself to do everything and go where He leads you: just the two of you. And He just might bring someone along to encourage you or materials to read, but it has to be you determining in your mind to go all out for it and persist until you are made whole. 

You might need to humble yourself to find an accountability partner, or go for counselling, or start quiet time with God, engage in fasting, etc. These things are important because you will never enjoy life without the Giver of Life, living inside of you and being your King/your master, your director. Release being in charge of your life because you are not doing such a good job of it are you? Let God be God, discipline yourself to give God the rightful place.

So what’s holding you back? Do you really want to be made whole? If yes, be sure that He rejoices over you and when you make mistakes, His voice will encourage you and His love will gently lead you back to the right path. You can trust Him, He will never abuse your trust.

Don't forget, each of us is broken, you are not alone, and don't feel ashamed.
May God bless and strengthen you, amen.

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Image2 courtesy:


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