Where Belief Works

Jesus saith unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”  -John 5:8

We all have some kind of belief system.  Our belief system typically guides us and causes us to take certain actions.  Whether we believe we can dance like Beyonce or we believe we can sing like Luther, there are things we simply believe.

In John 5, we see a man who had some kind of disease, sickness, or weakness for 38 years of his life.  There were times of the year when an angel would trouble the water, the pool of Bethesda, and if you got in the pool first, you would be healed.  For years, this man happened not to be first and was not able to get the healing he desired.

What is interesting to me, is the man did not doubt he could be healed.  He believed he could be healed – via the water.  His belief caused him to take action to get to that pool, but because of lack of assistance, his desire remained a desire….even though he truly did believe.

One day, a stranger came up to him and asked him if he wanted to be made whole.  I can imagine that he was thinking he was about to have that help to get to the water he had been waiting for.  However, the man didn’t make that suggestion nor did he touch him.  After the man assured him he did want to be made whole, the diseased/sick/weak man was told, by the stranger, to get up.  Just get up, your mat, and walk.  The man did as the stranger told him and was immediately made whole.

This was such a miracle.  I’ve had surgery on my ankle twice over a three year period.  After surgery, I’m in a cast and then I move to a walking boot.  All the time not using my muscles, even though I had assistance of crutches and/or boots, it took me about 2 months to be able to walk.  This man did not have assistance for 38 years and immediately had the muscular strength to walk.

We see the man changing what he believed IN and realizing his desire to be made whole.  When where he placed his faith changed, so did his life.  The man didn’t know it was Jesus.  At the time, he didn’t understand what his obedience to Jesus would do.

I challenge myself and my readers, what will happen when we change where we place our faith, our belief?  What are you believing to happen in your life that will immediately change when you immediate obedience to Jesus, regardless if He is a stranger to you?  Where is your belief?

Resolve

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  Daniel 3:17-18

I’ve had the opportunity to be both a child and parent.  Typically when I approached my parents, it was not a random conversation, which seldom took place, so I could get something from them.  I talked to my parents daily and they talked to me.  My son and I talk each day.  We talk about his life, his day, his dreams, his fears, even things that may seemingly seem small and insignificant.  We have actual conversation, where I am talking to him and he is talking to me.  We have developed a relationship.  As his mom, I know what he has need of and many times I will take care of things prior to him asking.  But if he asks me for something and I decide not to give it to him, if I choose not to give him what he wants, it does not change that he is my son.  He can stomp and get mad, but he will always be my son.

God is so merciful and so kind.  Often times, we select scriptures to have answers to our prayers, such as praying in Jesus’ name.  Additionally, often times when we approach God, we are approaching him with a hand out and asking Him to do this and do that.  When our prayer is not answered in the manner we expected after using select scriptures and believing for a short time, there is disappointment that takes place and we are tempted to think God doesn’t care about us or may even go as far as He’s not real.

We read about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the book of Daniel.  In the third chapter, we see the guys have run into a situation where they are again not falling in line with the Babylonian king.  They were to fall down and worship the golden image.  The king called the guys to him and told them at the appropriate time, fall down and worship the image and everything would be cool.  If not, in that same hour, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace and then asked them, “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

The guy’s response was that God had the ability and would deliver them.   But even if He did not, they would still not worship the image.  The guys were resolute and trusted God.  The lesson I appreciate is they had made a decision to stick with God and had a made up mind that even if they were not delivered, it did not negate the fact that God was still God.  Facing a fiery death, their mind was made up to stay with God.

Obviously, this did not sit well with the king and he had the furnace turned up seven times higher than it was originally.  When they took the guys bound into the fire, the furnace was so hot that the men who took them to the fire, were killed.  The king, looking into the furnace, saw four men, loose walking around versus the three dead bound bodies.  The fire had no power over the guys – they didn’t even smell like smoke.

The miracle that took place caused the king to turn to God and worship Him.

Are you expecting God to be a genie and only approach Him when you want something?  Or do you trust Him to be God our Father?  When you don’t get what you want, when life doesn’t turn out how you expected, will you still trust God?  Regardless of how bad it gets, will you stay with God?  Will you stay with Him when you see people who do not trust Him getting further along than you?  Do you have an absolute resolve that no matter what, you’re going to stay with God?

In turn, who will watch your resolve and be drawn into the Kingdom?

But What Are YOU Going to Do?

So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.  Matthew 17:16

Remember the childhood nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty?  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.  Presumably he wasn’t bothering anyone.  But something happened that caused him to have a great fall.  Whether it was at the hands of someone else or by his own choices, the result was the same – he fell.  He had people in his life who thought enough of him to help, that wanted to see him restored.  They wanted him to be back in his place of sitting on the wall.  Whole.  His friends scooped him up.  The king’s horses and the king’s men did not find success working in their own might.  What would have happened if they had gone directly to the king, the overseer of the kingdom?

In Matthew 17:14-21, a father came desperately running to Jesus due to seizures his son was having.  Jesus had just come down from a mountain top meeting that included Peter, James, and John, as well as Moses and Elijah.  It was a supernatural experience.  When Jesus meets the man and hears his plea regarding his son, Jesus spoke to the condition and the boy was healed that very hour.  The disciples then asked Jesus, why they could not do that.  He tells them it was because of their unbelief and goes further to explain the need for prayer and fasting.  If we fast forward to the book of Acts, after the Holy Spirit had come, we see disciples of Christ healing.

We will have times where we will fall, when we have challenges that are going to require more than a prayer that only hits the ceiling.  When you have a friend, family member, co-worker, church member, neighbor, associate, etc who has a challenge, can they come to you to help them?  Can you on behalf or Christ at any given moment?  Are you ready?

Service

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  Romans 12:1, NKJV

Those who know me, know I rarely do anything halfway.  When I commit to do something, I stay in there, have a firm grip, similar to that of a bulldog holding on to a “catch”.  I even broke my ankle in a big way!

When I serve, for me, it’s not just about doing something all the way.  It’s so much more.  Paul said, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice…acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  My parents taught me to be polite.  When someone gives you something or does something for you, you say thank you.  God has given me eternal life through Jesus Christ.  He has forgiven me of my sins.  He has blessed me abundantly.  He’s done so much, He absolutely deserves much more than a ‘thank you, Lord’ – although that should be included.  Since he owns everything, what else can I offer Him besides the gifts and talents and abilities He has given me?  My reasonable service, is to serve whole-heartedly.  My reasonable service, the least I can do, is give myself back to Him (He already owns me!).  My reasonable service is to present myself as a living sacrifice.  He is the Creator.  What else can you give Him truly, but yourself?