ROLL UP YOUR SLEEP NUMBER BED AND WALK
It’s amazing how much effort we put into making ourselves comfortable. Even when life has dealt us situations that we didn’t ask for, we expend a great deal of energy settling in becoming comfortable with the situation.
I was recently reflecting on the Bible’s gospel of John chapter five verses one through eleven. The Bible tells us that Jesus after the feast of the Jews, went up to Jerusalem where he went to this place where people gathered at Bethesda. There was a pool there that was encircled by five porches around it. A great multitude of people with all kinds of situations laid around waiting for an Angel to stir the waters that would heal the first person who jumped in. As Jesus approached he noticed a certain man who had laid there in waiting for thirty-eight years. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be well?” The man with his situation said to Jesus, “I have no one to help me into the water when it is stirred and every time I try to get there someone gets there ahead of me.” Jesus in return said, “Rise, roll up your bed and walk!” Immediately the man rolled up his bed and began to walk.
Reflecting on this story it struck me that “this place Bethesda” was much like many churches and life in general for Christian believers. We say we believe that the Bible is the living word of God, we proclaim that we have faith yet we settle in making ourselves comfortable with our situational paralysis.
On a sleep number bed there is a remote that allows you to click the dial up or down for your own personal level of comfort. As we continue to accept our infirmities we adjust our remote, clicking our remote control of excuses. “If only I had the Pastor come visit me”. “If only I had the healing evangelist come to my house”, click, click. “I didn’t have a good childhood, I didn’t have a dad in my life, I was abused”, click, click.
Wondering often as I do, I wonder if sometimes we turn our excuse dial to “ultimate comfort” because we really don’t want to be made well. We have become so comfortable in our situation that we no longer want to change. If we were made well again, it would mean having to give up our disability check, we would have to give up people feeling sorry for us. We would have to give up our handicap plackard and park away front the reserved parking. We would have to become one of the regular people again.
The Bible says, “The word was with God, the word is God”. How much more power and authority do we need before we begin to act on the word? If we truly believe the Bible is the living word of God Almighty that it poses the power of life and death, why do we shun the very power that it gives us to call on? I am amazed at the power of God’s word, the Bible has. We can take this word to countries like India and Africa and have revival, camp and prayer meetings and tens of thousands of people turn out to hear the word of Jesus. Without fail, thousands accept Jesus and salvation. Hundreds upon hundreds of people are healed. The dumb speak, the deaf hear, the cripple walk and those with disease are healed all in the name of Jesus. Yet we share this same word in America and few are moved.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews Chapter eleven versus one through three that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are not seen were not made of things which do appear”. I love these versus because it challenges us to question our faith and what we believe about our faith individually. God’s word tells us that faith is the substance, (the material that it is made of) of things hoped for. It is the evidence, (again, something physical, its proof) of things not seen. When I read this, I believe it to mean that no matter what the physical world presents, I can be confident of what is going on in the spiritual world. It is because of what the spiritual world is doing the physical world will align itself with those who have enough courage to believe the word of God is truly the Word of God! Verse three confirms this. Through faith we understand that the world was brought into existence because of what was going on in the spiritual realm. From things unseen, things seen appeared! How great is that?
The body of Christ spends a great deal of energy arguing about the literal word of God to all those things that really don’t matter much on the larger scale. We use it to create division amongst ourselves branching off into all kinds of different denominations. We use it to protest movies and on and on. I say, “If the word of God is the Word of God, regardless of personal interpretation, act on it. Stop waiting for someone to help you into the stirring pool of stagnated circumstances and enter the river of living water. Roll up your sleep number bed and walk! By Rick McGrath, Ph.D.
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