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Do You Even Want to Get Well?

on 01082014

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There often comes a point in a person’s life where she reaches the end of her rope. She is too tired to keep going, too unmotivated to make a change, or too hopeless to move forward. Stuck. Stuck in the past, or present, or future, and reaching her darkest hour, she accepts her lot to be much less than mediocre. This becomes the “new normal” and she is numb. Okay with mediocrity. Okay with going no further. Okay with the status quo.

Ever been there?

The Bible tells us a similar story about a man who was sick. In fact he was so sick he couldn’t walk, he was paralyzed. This man had been sick for 38 years. We find him by the pools in Bethesda. These pools are said to have great healing powers that occasionally, when the waters begin to stir, the first person to make it into the pool would be healed of his or her infirmity. But there was only one problem: this man was paralyzed, he couldn’t move. He was stuck. Stuck by a pool for 38 years watching everyone else get their chance into the pool, some even making it in first, watching them walk away healed and there he sat. Years of sitting, watching, waiting, hoping. You can imagine what he looked like, smelled like, spoke like.

Imagine the hopelessness that man felt. Sitting there for nearly four decades. I’m sure he probably figured that had become his life. The new normal. Sitting by the pool, begging for help. Hot, hungry, desperate for healing and a new life.

And then, in the Gospel of John, there is this interaction. Jesus makes His way to the pool and finds this man… “When 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?”

What a cryptic question!! My response: Excuse me? Do I even want to get well?? Is that a joke?!

It was no joke to Jesus. He knew exactly what to say and when to say it. And there was intention behind every single thing He did and said.

How many of us remain crippled because we’ve chosen not to leave that sin behind us?

But how many of us think the same thing? Spiritually or circumstantially speaking we say evasively, “Oh, it is what it is.” My life has been this way for as long as I can remember. I’ve been stuck in this place since my husband divorced me. I will never be able to harness my critical spirit. Whatever excuses we may give, Jesus comes to us in the midst of our circumstances, watching us cling so desperately to our “new normal” of harboring anger, gossiping to others, or living in promiscuity, and asks us, are you ready to let that go?

Are you ready to stop being angry?
Are you ready to stop drinking?
Are you ready to stop having sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend?
Are you ready to stop being so judgmental and full of pride?
Are you ready to leave behind the life that you have completely identified yourself with for the last 38 years and walk with Christ in an abundant life?

How many of us remain crippled because we’ve chosen not to leave that sin behind us?

Do you even want spiritual healing?

The paralytic, of course, said yes, and Jesus told him to get up, take his mat, and walk. 3 imperatives.

  1. Get up – Do something you’ve never been able to do without Him.
  2. Pick up that life you have identified yourself with for the last 40 years.
  3. Walk away from it all, into a new life in Him.

Notice the progression: Jesus recognizes this man is sick, asks him if he wants to get well and the man says yes, then Jesus heals the man and commands him to get up and walk. Now let’s put this in the context of your own life: God recognized you were struggling, sick, and hopeless (this has already happened), and in the greatest act of Love the world has ever seen, instead of asking you if you wanted healing, He healed you anyway (again, this has already happened through Christ’s death on the cross), and has asked you to walk away from your former life, letting go of the things that weigh you down.

Did you catch that? God has already seen you in your circumstance, in fact, He was there when you were committing that sin or when someone committed a sin against you. God has already forgiven you for what you’ve done. It’s gone, it’s over, it’s done. You have been healed! Steps one and two are taken care of – there is nothing left for God to do, the choice to move forward is on you. At some point, you have to come to a place where you decide to get up and walk away.

God has already forgiven you for what you’ve done. It’s gone, it’s over, it’s done.

For some of you, I know you’re in pain, and you have very little hope, but you must understand that God has already forgiven you for the life that you’ve lived or are currently living, and He beckons you to a new life! In fact, later on in John, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) God’s desire for you is to live an abundant life, free from the bondage of sin and the ways we see ourselves that are not of Him! When are you going to believe that God did what He said He did, that you have been healed and forgiven, and say to yourself and your sin “enough is enough”?

For those of you aching for Hope and change, tired of living the life of sin you have been living in for years, can I just encourage you? Get up, take that issue that has ruined your friendship, your marriage, your children, your faith and your hope, and walk away. Begin now! If you have no idea where to start, but you just know you desperately want to change, start with talking to a biblical counselor and get help! My church has an amazing counseling center, but really, there are so many valuable, intelligent, and gentle men and women out there that God has anointed to guide you through your pain. Contact me, or go find them on your own.

Until you spend the time and realize your own depravity, and recognize the issue(s) that continues to bring you down and away from Christ, it will never go away and you will always carry its weight.

In the very act of forgiving your sins on the cross, Christ came to give you life and life abundantly. Get up from that which once had you crippled, and walk away. It’s time.

Alongside you,
beth

 

This article has been republished from SelfTalktheGospel.com, with permission.

Image Credit: Anandham, Creative Commons