“Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money…Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up…He jumped to his feet and began to walk…praising God.” Acts 3:1-8.
Every time I read this story I am touched in a different way…new angles…new highlights…new revelations. This morning is no different as the words crippled from birth haunt my heart. God forms each one of us with perfection as we are born into this world, and unfortunately born of this flesh driven world. As soon as we enter the earth plane we all become crippled with something of the flesh. We may have a tendency to fear something, or the propensity to think only of ourselves. Whatever our weakness or challenge is, we no longer are perfect beings but are crippled by the flesh.
We allow the world to carry us places where God never intended and we settle for begging instead of healing…being carried instead of walking. We lay in our flesh weaknesses and watch those spiritual giants walking in and out of God’s rest with peace and joy. We want what they have but we are not sure how to obtain it. Much like the crippled, we ask for what we think will make us happy instead of what we know will make us free. I think it is curious that the beggar asked for money instead of healing. Had he lost all faith? Had he started out at the gate called Beautiful with the hopes of walking again one day? Did the rejection and hypocrisy wear him down day after day of being ignored, walked by and shunned? If he couldn’t get healing, maybe he could at least get a few coins.
What are settling for as we sit on the sideline? What is it that has depleted our hope so much that we ask for much less? Are we like those many people passing by the beggars ignoring the opportunity to see them…hear them…point them to Christ to heal them? I suppose that we have been both the beggar and the beacon at some point in our lives. God wants spiritual healing for every one of His children but we have to be willing to look beyond our crippling tendencies. We must spiritually jump to our feet and walk in the Spirit praising God for our healing. There will also be times when we are placed in someone’s path to point them to Jesus. Spiritually speaking, we must help them to their feet but the choice to walk is ultimately theirs.