Do you want to get well?
Healing inside out…
April 9th, 2019
Note: This article is a republished work from 2017. Today’s devotional is not fresh copy because yesterday afternoon I came down with the stomach flu, and as a result was in too much pain to focus on writing a new devotional for you. I was awake and in the bathroom eight times last night. So rather than skip a day and I desire to get well, I thought I would pull this up and fix the grammatical errors in it and republish it for you today.
In the Grace of Jesus, kip…
Perhaps this seems like a silly question, who would want to not be well? Do we all not strive to make life and living as comfortable as possible? It would stand to reason that we would. It only makes sense, but we often choose the opposite. Do you really want to get well? Stay well? Live well?
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
John 5:6 (HCSB)
The man Jesus was asking this question of had been sick for 38 years, the text reads. He wished to be well because he was lying near the pool where the sick, blind and paralyzed would gather. Staying there waiting for the waters of the pool to be stirred by and angel. Hoping they could be the first one into the water after it had been stirred. He wanted to be the person getting healed, but he could never get into the water at the right time.
Invariably, someone would beat him to it. He had no one to assist him in ahead of the others, so buy the pool he lay.
Then Jesus asks him out of the blue ‘Do you want to get well?’ Can you imagine what went through the man’s head being asked this? What a question! Later on, you find that the man didn’t even know who Jesus was after being healed.
“I can’t get there in time”; could be a clear paraphrase of what he responded to Jesus with. He told Jesus he had no one to help him into the water. Apparently, he was lame.
And Jesus’s response was “Get up, pick up your mat and walk!”
Wonderful story. A simple miracle by the measure of the wonders that Jesus performed, but it meant everything to that lame man.
As I look at this story, the part that really stands out are the words of the Master. “Do you want to get well?” Then what happened? The man expressed his desire and inability to take the measures necessary to be healed. Then, Jesus immediately acted on the man’s behalf. He was healed.
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7 (HCSB)
It’s as simple as asking
So, this would appear to show that if we but express our desire that God will fulfill that ‘need’. Doesn’t it? Why are there quotes around ‘need’? If it were just that simple, then why do we not have our every desire satisfied? The key to this fulfillment is that our request is inline with God’s will for us.
That is because while it is simple, there are some mitigating conditions attached.
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:2-3 (NKJV)
Ever have something you wanted, and you thought you ‘deserved’ it or ‘needed’ it? I have. I’ve even scrimped and saved to acquire what I desired and asking God for help in getting it. What is the big deal with this asking, seeking, and knocking business Lord?
The answer to that is above in James. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
As a father, I wanted my boys to have every advantage to succeed and grow to be happy, productive, and well-respected people. I would have done whatever was needed to see these objectives met in their lives. But I also wanted them to learn to decide and take responsibility for their actions at the same time. So, I gave them the opportunity to decide on their own, understanding they would have to suffer the consequences if those decisions were not correct. Some might call that a ‘school of hard knocks’ mentality, but I think it is just wise to allow a child to make non-life critical decisions on their own so they can develop those skills before they find themselves out on their own.
That meant that they inevitably would make errors in judgement. Yes, admittedly I would try to minimize the impact of those bad decisions as much as I could, but I also couldn’t intervene too much because otherwise they would never learn the lesson of the experience. God allows us to fail as well when we have errors in judgement. He also will intervene.
Stubbornness runs in our family. Time and time again, I wanted to step in and ‘make the call’ but I realized that doing so would handicap my children. Stand by I must. I would be happy to render advice, if asked. But more often than not, they never asked. Perhaps that is a key to our growth; learning to surrender your will to that which is good and right; to the will of God. Surrender to make your desires subordinate to the good of others; surrender to make our will subordinate to the will of God.
An example of this was provided by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Luke 22:42 (NKJV)
So, when we ask God for His intervention in our affairs, it is incumbent on us to consider what our Heavenly Father might consider. How does this request pair against the needs of our brothers, sisters, and the community around us? Are we seeking the same thing our Lord and Master seeks for us?
Like a parent seeking to instruct their children, as they grow into mature adults; God gives us freewill. His divine will is that we, his children, make choices that will allow us to grow and mature to be adult members of His family. Family members that reflect honor and Glory back to God our Father. Just as earthly parents take pride in when their children make the correct choices, God does when we do.
Let’s come back to the real question being asked here. “Do you want to get well?”
‘Being Well’ differs from the perspective of the viewer in question. ‘Well’ to us may be that we have that new car or house. It may be ‘well’ to us means that our body is healthy. Well may be that we achieve our dreams from our perspective.
But God’s image of wellness for us may have a place to lay our head and shelter from the storm. Well may be that although our body is failing, our spirit is vibrant and in unity with God’s. Well to God is that our dreams and aspirations are in lockstep with His.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” God isn’t your short-order cook of life. If you’ve surrendered to His Son Jesus Christ, God is your Father. When we seek from Him, we need to do so with a heart complaint to His will. Surrendered to the aspirations that God our Father has placed in our hearts and not desires born out of the flesh. If we ask for things outside His will, then we ‘ask amiss’, seeking to satisfy the flesh.
It may until you understand the relationship that exists between us and God. It is imperative we recognize this and embrace it. There’s an old song we used to sing in church, and it had a bouncy rhythm to it. We loved singing it! But the key phrase in that song has a message so powerful when it is really applied to your life. Jesus, others and you!
Jesus and Others and You
Written by B. Metzger, 1951
Jesus and others and you
What a wonderful way to spell joy
Jesus and others and you
in the life of each girl and each boy
“J” is for Jesus for He has first place,
“O” is for others you meet face to face,
“Y” is for you, in whatever you do,
Put yourself third and spell JOY.
When we place God first in our priorities, we establish a template for ‘wellness in your walk’. Then considering others over yourself places us in a role that sets us on the path of our redeemer. Finally, the ‘me’ in this order of things. Me because I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. Me because, I am God’s messenger. Me because, in all I do I ‘need’ to bring Glory to my Father who loved me so He sent His Son, so I might be adopted into His family. Yes, that spells joy, but it also spells ‘well’ too.
In the Grace of Jesus,
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