I pray this finds you well and prospering in the Lord. Last week we looked at the issue of boundaries. How to maintain healthy ones can be a challenge but it is well worth pursuing. His plan for you is for an abundant life. Staying focused on Him requires the maintenance of mighty hedges of protection on all levels. Again, always check your heart (it is always a heart issue) to make sure you are operating from a place of blessing and not cursing another.
In reading the parable of the paralytic man at the pool of Bethesda this week, a particular point stood out. Take a moment to read John 5:1-9. This man had been suffering with ‘an infirmity’ for thirty-eight years. There are countless other sick who are also ‘waiting for the moving of the water’ by an angel. The story tells us that when the water is stirred the first person to step in will be healed. There is a ‘certain’ time that the angel appears. There is also a ‘certain’ man waiting…the man who has been waiting thirty-eight years.
“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’” (v6) The man had been ‘in that condition’ for thirty-eight years. I could not help but wonder if while ‘in that condition’ had he allowed that condition to be in him? Often, when we live with an infirmity or a long standing challenging circumstance we inadvertently let that same issue get so deep in us that it becomes a part of us. It becomes our focus and can become our obsession. A ‘condition’ can become a stronghold that keeps us from going forward.
The man told Jesus that while he was coming to the pool “…another steps down before me.” (v7) In the same verse he tells Jesus that there isn’t anyone to put him in the water implying that he is crippled by his condition. When we take our focus off Him and ruminate on our condition it can cripple us. We then fail to rise above the issue and press forward in spite of it.
Jesus tells the man, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (v8) Verse 9 tells us that the man is ‘immediately’ healed. He does take up his bed and walks. He is immediately healed in the encounter with Jesus after being infirm for thirty-eight years. He removes the mat of his condition and walks on whole in his life.
I have heard it preached that this ‘certain’ man was filled with self-pity, had lost his vision and had a chip on his shoulder. You get the picture. I see quite a different scenario. He continued to press in to be at the pool and attempt to get to the stirred water to be healed. In his own words there was “…no man to put me into the pool…” (v7) It is not until this ‘certain man’ has a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, The Healer, that he is healed. He continued to seek healing and at his own ‘certain time’ he was made whole.
This story is encouraging for all who endure long standing conditions or circumstances. There is a ‘certain time’ for you. The Lord knows who you are, where you are and what your needs are at every moment of your life. He will not forget you or forsake you. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Don’t expect others to “…put you into the pool….”(v7) That can only lead to discouragement and a diversion from relationship with the One who can make you whole on every level. Our challenge is to keep our hearts clean and filled with the love of Christ toward others as we rise above our condition and press on in the fullness of His destiny.
Join us this week as we ‘pray the states’ toward the 2012 Presidential election. We are praying for each state in the order of admission to the Union. Please cover Indiana admitted to the Union December 11, 1816, in prayer. Pray for wisdom and discernment for the political leaders, pastors and church leaders, the people residing in Indiana and for all in our Nation. Each state is important in forming our United States of America. We commit to pray for a different state each week so we not only provide prayer cover but also to make us aware that our country is bigger than the space we personally occupy in it. These are our United States. Let us pray that we will arise united ‘for such a time as this!’ Please repost and share.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Keep our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our frontline on the battlefield, let us be their frontline in the spirit. May God richly bless you this week and help you stay focused on Him and His plan for you. Amen and amen!