By: Carole L. Haines
Okay, so this is going to be a toughie to write, because God grabbed ahold of my heart this morning and shook me into some clarity over two issues in my life. Both issues involve excusing myself for certain behaviors. Let’s make that three, because even as I write, God has put another issue in my head. I’m not going to share the specifics, for the sake of my own privacy, but I will share the principle He spoke to me so firmly this morning. God has a way of hugging us while He is correcting us at the same time. I’m so grateful for this aspect of His Nature in His relationship with us.
“A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well and picked up his pallet and began to walk.” (John 5:5-8)
We all have weaknesses, infirmities of body, mind and spirit. These are places where we tend to give way far more often than others. I like to use the example of a tin roof that is caught at just the wrong angle by a gust of Wind and is bent up. No matter how often you try to bend it back down, when the wind sweeps in at another wrong angle, it is easy for that roof to bend in the same place, repeatedly. Jesus whispered the same words in my ear this morning that He spoke to man at the Pool, in the Scripture above? “Carole, do you wish to get well?” As I pondered this I realized that I’m not helpless against this thing. I have nails and a hammer to latch these things down in my life. Jesus suffered under a hammer and nails to give me that power over sin. I have the Power of God, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. I have those. I just don’t use them enough.
2 Peter 1:3-4 say this:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
I already have it, it’s in there, poured out into my heart and life by the power of God, through His Spirit. I have everything I need already to live a godly life, except the complete desire to do so. Yet God has taken care of that too. He spoke to me gently, yet firmly: )Put your name in the Blank)
“So then, my beloved____________, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2: 12-13)
God is at work in me, both to want to and to do His Will. I have everything I need from Him to lead a Godly Life. I just need to stop making excuses and admit, in certain areas (like food, oops, I let that one slip) I don’t actually want to be godly. Like the man at the Pool, my response is an excuse as to why I keep failing. I need to confess this as sin and stop make excuses.
So, God has given me my marching orders in two lingering areas of disobedience and one lingering area of weakness. Join me in letting God examine you as closely. He only reveals what He wants to free us from so that we can live and walk closer to Him. He has bought our freedom. Let’s walk in it.