In my personal life through my journey as a Christian and even before I became a Christian, the hardest thing for me to do was to look at my situation and circumstances and ADMIT that maybe I had something to do with things that didn’t work out my way or why I was in the mess I was in.
It’s through the Lord that we start to develop character. We have to look really deep within ourselves and see what it is exactly that we are doing or not doing. It’s really hard to do because it can cause pain and it’s even harder to know you have to change it. Looking into your life gives you only 2 choices; change it or not! If you chose not then you can’t really make any excuses if things don’t go your way because that was a conscious decision you made, If you do chose to change it than you are on your way to a very hard road but worth the work in the end.
1st stop; Excuses
The Healing at the Pool
1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lay—the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7″Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
What I love so much about this story is that while Jesus asked the man if he really wanted to get well he ignored the question and went right into making excuses. Jesus didn’t even indulge the man by getting down on the floor with him and crying with him, or consoling him. Jesus exact words “GET UP” and don’t leave your mess behind either.
Maybe one of the reasons this man never got healed was because he never ask for help. If others were going into the pool before him and for 38 years he was lying there, the only conclusion I could come up with is that he either didn’t ask for help or didn’t accept anyone’s help to get into the pool. Maybe he knew that if he got well, he would have no more excuses and the work would begin because he is no longer crippled.
The first stop is to look at your life, really examine it and ask yourself….
• AM I MAKING EXCUSES?
• IF I HAD NO CHOICE COULD I REALLY DO THIS?
Being crippled could mean so many things. If your use to being depressed than it’s hard to get out of it because now people might not pay as much attention or you may have no more excuses and can do more things than you use to which requires work.
If your financially challenged and you have gotten entrepreneur ideas or inventions but shut them down or don’t pursue them, maybe it’s because if you start something and it doesn’t work than you wouldn’t feel like a failure. Better not to start it or dream for that matter. Because starting something new or inventing something new is a lot of work and determination, and you’re not even guaranteed it will work. In our humanity we fail to realize that not doing anything at all is the real failure because it’s fear that hinders you and excuses.
Even Jesus was confronted with Fear.
41And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
2nd Stop; Accepting the challenge
10As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”
12When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”
Accepting that the Lord has called us to do his will and that our lives belong to him will set you free of a lot of anxiety, depression and oppression. Now that you are getting through the excuses of why you can’t or can do something, now is time to accept.
I would like to point out that there are always people that want to keep you where you are, even if it’s not the will of God. Be careful of what you allow yourselves to listen to. Cling your ear to God, listen to his word first. There will always be someone in your life to lead you away from your calling, weather intentional or not.
• What is God saying to you?
• Is your life too loud to listen?
• Are you doing everything possible to hear what he’s calling you to do?
• Do you not like what you hear?
• Are you willing to accept that you are not listening and now start?
• Are you willing to accept what he is calling you to do even though it is painful and you have to die to yourself?
Even Jesus said if you can please remove this from me, YET, your will be done! He knew that the will of God was much bigger and better than His. He was willing to accept it and walk through it.
Paul was a fearless Christian murderer, he hated us Christians with every breath he could muster up, yet when he accepted that Jesus was the way and the life, nothing could convince him otherwise. He who murdered was ready to die and be bound if that was the will of the Lord.
3rd Stop; Faith
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Maybe you’re asking; But I have been saying all these things, trying to claim victory and nothing happens or doesn’t change. What do I do?
You get up! And say it again the next day, get up and say it again the next day and get up and say it again the next day………………… This is called walking in Faith and not by sight.
The message bible said it so eloquently.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (The Message)
6-8That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
What is your take away?