Get Up!

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’” -John 5:8 (NIV)

There are many things which can hold us back. It could be things such as our past, our perceived limitations, or our own cynicism. When we cling onto these things, we use them to justify our inaction when God calls to do a certain task. But when we wallow in our self-pity, we are essentially depriving ourselves. Our woeful attitudes will become a hindrance to the redemptive work of God in our lives. We, because of our own unwillingness, will fail to see the wonderful plan that God has for us unfold in our lives. It will cause our faith in Christ to stagnate and decline as well, for by continuing to grasp onto our qualms, we have deliberately shut any opportunity for Christ to build up our faith in Him.

Do we doubt the power of God? He stands supreme over the universe. He can calm the roaring oceans and raise the dead from their graves. Through His death and resurrection, the battle over sin and death is won and in Him we have victory over all our circumstances. When He tells us to do something, it isn’t so that He can watch us fall. His plans for us are for our good; to guarantee us a hope and a future. All that He requires of us to do is to step out in faith knowing that He is the one who enables us and who will preserve us on the path He has called us to walk. What are the “mats” in our lives? What are those attitudes in our hearts which chain us to the ground and prevent us from living abundantly in the life God has graciously given to us? When we surrender those attitudes to Christ and make the conscious choice to “get up” in faith, He will take us on a journey that will not only surpass our wildest dreams, but will open our eyes to see the world in the light of His eternity and never-failing love. Those who are slaves to their mats cripple and limit themselves. But those who heed the voice of Christ will be able to taste the joy and freedom of living in His glory and loving provision. Our mats will become a testimony for others to see that, though once bound, we now walk because of the power of Christ in us.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Believing By Faith

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” -John 20:29 (NIV)

How many times have we applied the old maxim, “seeing is believing”, when it comes to God and the way He works in the world? We are always expecting to see tangible evidence of Him positively intervening in our affairs. We tell ourselves that if only He would do this for us or that for us, we would be truly drawn to follow Him and become His children. But such a miracle-based faith in God is never lasting. The crowds who gathered to hear Jesus while He was on Earth, bore witness to the miracles He performed. They were amazed and astounded. Yet shortly after, the same people who claimed to believe in Christ had no qualms about putting Him to death. It is no wonder that Jesus says through parable in Luke 16:31, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

If we base our faith solely on seeking out miracles and dwelling only on the good things God gives us, then our faith is like a sandcastle on a beach. Once the waves come crashing down on our lives, we angrily shake our fists towards Heaven. But who are we to demand that God should wait upon us? God is not a vending machine, nor a slave bound to do our every bidding. He is the Lord of the Universe! However, because He loves us and sees us with intrinsic worth, He will always seek to intervene for our benefit. But He will do so according to His perfect will and timing; not ours. By continuing to base our faith on the tangible, we not only begin to worship miracles and experience over God Himself, but we deprive ourselves of seeing the big picture God has for our lives. He will always act in our best interests because He is love. God sees what is in the deep recesses of our hearts. If we truly want to understand God and follow after Him, we must come before Him with an open heart and a sincere faith. In doing so, He will teach us to believe without sight by training us to rest in who He is; a loving and just God who will never abandon nor forsake us.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Nothing’s Impossible, Only Believe!

“‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’” -Mark 9:23b (NIV)

It is easy for us to become prisoners to discouragement. When our hopes and aspirations appear to be shattered, when we have reached the limit of our own human capabilities, we want to throw our hands up in the air in frustration and resign. Embracing a spirit of defeatism we are quick to say that it is impossible, that our miracle will not come, that we are not meant for great things, and that we are destined to live a miserable life of banality and sorrow. While we may recognize the bleak nature of this outlook, we say that it cannot be helped; allowing ourselves to become slaves to our circumstances and negativity. However, such a view clouds our minds to the fact that there is someone greater; someone that stands supreme above the world and wants to help us.

Nothing is difficult for God. Before the world began He existed. The vastness of the universe, and the laws it is governed by, is His handiwork. By His voice He is able to calm the raging sea and by His hand He is able to make time stand still. His power knows no boundaries and what may be insurmountable for us cannot stand before His omnipotence. When we enter into a relationship with Christ, accepting His redemptive sacrifice for us and allowing His Spirit to reside in our hearts, we are conquerors through Him. We have triumphed over sin and death with Him by identifying with His death and resurrection. Dwelling in the hope and knowledge that He is faithful and all-powerful, we can rest in the assurance that when we have reached our limit, He will prove to us that His strength is more than enough. Will we take that step of faith and take hold of the fact that nothing is impossible with Him? Putting aside our worries and our fears and submitting them to the Spirit of Christ, He will lift us out of despair; showing us that despite our seemingly impossible circumstances, He is able to and will work out all things together for good.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.