Summary: God laid the foundation for our victory. He desires for us, His children, to exercise our God given authority in whatever areas we are challenged.
(A portion of this Sermon was copied from David Henderson's Sermon, God's Waiting Room on Sep 30, 2013.)(1)
A certain man had an infirmity for 38 years!!
Jesus asked, "Do you want to be made well?"
The man's reply, "I have no man to put me into the pool..."
Jesus heard the man, but his reply was, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."
"Patience is often defined in the Bible as longsuffering. Patience is an attitude of the heart.
It is a virtue and in the eyes of God it is very valuable.
He wants all of His children to have it.
Patience is listed as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the only way it can be developed is when we walk through a trial.
No other way.
If you want patience you will have to face something difficult.
The story is told of a young Christian who went to an older man who had walked with the Lord for many years. He said I want to become more patient and I don’t know how. He said, simple, Let’s pray. The man prayed for him and this was his prayer, “Lord send this young man tribulation for breakfast, problems for lunch and suffering for supper.” It’s the only way."(1)
But! This ISN'T a sermon about patience, not really.
What could you accomplish in 38 years?
It's more than a third of your life!
A foundation is being established, hopefully, for the other 2/3rd's of your life.
This phase of your life could make a major difference in whether you have a prosperous and happy future or a miserable and wretched existence!
Ambitious people work towards this goal and strive for success.
Not so ambitious people (fly by the seat of my pants) (Que Sera Sera)
wait for "the man" to lift them up and carry them to success.
This man didn't lack patience (38 years waiting)!
He had to get rid of the excuse!
Jesus, Our Compassionate Savior
Notice! Jesus, asked the man to take an account of his life when he asked, "Do you want to be made well?"
Jesus, IS compassionate. But! Don't mistake His compassion as an excuse for us to wallow in self-pity, blaming others, grudges, hate (self or others), jealousy, revenge or whatever evil the devil try's to encourage us to believe!
Jesus was compassionate but left no room for excuse when he asked him the question.
In essence, what he asked was, "Are you ready to let go of your excuse?"
"Rise, take up your bed and walk"!!!!
Jesus, in the GREAT COMMISSION says, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
YOU, have been given "All authority..."
What is your excuse, as you lay upon your bed?
-waiting is normal sometimes, as long as we are waiting as the Lord has instructed us to wait.
-The waiting, however, is only for a season!
-God WILL instruct us to "Rise, take up our bed and walk."
-are WE WILLING to be made whole? "Spirit, Soul and Body"
Personally, I spent a lot of years with regret (longing for what could have been), mostly self-hatred and feelings of inferiority.
I put my foot down on the devil's head about 10 years ago. Got tired of the excuses and immersed myself in the Book of Romans (Holy Spirit leading).
I recognized, I was not alone in my regrets (Paul had many).
That was important. But, what was MORE important, was the knowledge that God's love is SO GREAT for me, that I am SO VALUABLE to God (He sent His ONLY Son for me) and that HE has an IMMENSE future for me, and He has EQUIPPED me for eternal VICTORY ("...more than a conqueror...")!!!
That knowledge, that truth, FOREVER changed my Christian walk.
A responsibility comes with this truth, however.
I am WITHOUT excuse!!
I MUST take up my bed!!
I MUST walk!!!
Don't be afraid! Life awaits!!
Life had been awaiting this man for 38 years!!
It grieves God's heart when He sees His children suffer and lack.
When they have His authority but opt not to exercise their authority.
Fill your mouth, your mind, your heart with God's Word!