In my last post, I talked about the man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1 – 15) who lay for 38 years waiting on the water to be stirred so that he could receive healing. My issue with the man was that he lay there 38 yrs but when asked if he wanted to be made well, he said, “every time I try, somebody beats me to it!” Jesus’ answer was “Take up your bed and walk”.
So what is the bed you’ve been lying in? What have you been wallowing in? Have you made a bed of contentment, pride, self-pity, fear, or just plain ol laziness? What is holding you back? Jesus said to take up your bed and walk!
You’ve all heard the saying “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. Perhaps you’ve said that to someone before. Probably after they have just done a really stupid thing, made an unwise decision that resulted in bad consequences. We said this out of frustration with their actions but Jesus didn’t say lie in it, He said take it up and walk!
It doesn’t matter your circumstance; get over your fear, get over your self-pity, pick up your bed and walk! Whatever you have remained in for so long, it is time to take it up and move forward.
My foundational gift is NOT mercy – I know, you are surprised aren’t you? When reading the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda, my initial response was not – poor man suffering with an infirmity for 38 years. It was, why are you still laying there motionless? Scoot towards the water so you are ready to fall in! Don’t just wallow in your own self-pity! Do something! The whining is what gets me – “while I am coming, another steps down before me”. You’ve heard this before! Or perhaps you’ve said it before. When asked why you haven’t achieved your vision, you say something like, “if it wasn’t for so ‘n so, who got there first”, or “If the Pastor would’ve recognized my gifts I would be operating in it right now”.
Really?! So you are telling me that you have allowed someone else to prevent you from fulfilling your purpose? Because no one else has that power. You are the only one who possesses the power to keep you from the will of God. Your contentment, your fear, your unforgiveness, your laziness! You can’t blame others with your unwillingness to achieve!
If God be for us, who can be against us? God holds your destiny in the palm of His hand. All you have to do is take a step towards it! Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God prepared our works beforehand and we are to walk in them!
Jesus said “Take up your bed and walk”. How is it exactly that we walk? What does that mean? The Bible says to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). There are so many passages that deal with your walk. Let’s take a walk through the Word. Job stated that he walked by God’s light even through darkness (Job 29:3). Malachi 2:6 says to walk in peace and equity. Isaiah 35:8 says if we walk the “Highway of Holiness”, we will not go astray. Proverbs says to walk wisely (Prov 28:26, 13:20), walk blamelessly (Prov 28:18), walk with integrity (Prov 10:9), and walk uprightly (Psalm 15:2). In Acts 9:31 when the church was walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. More instruction from Psalm says to walk without fear (Ps 23), walk in God’s ways and He will subdue your enemies, (Ps 81:13), walk with a perfect heart (Ps 101:2). Ecclesiastes 5:1 says to walk prudently. Deuteronomy 5:35 says If you walk in all the ways God has commanded, you will live long and prosper.
God requires certain things of us. Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O Man, What is good and what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” 1 John 2:6, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked”. Colossians 2:16, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
If we have indeed received Christ Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior, we should walk as He walked. There is reward for doing so, Galatians 5:16, “Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” If we walk the Highway of Holiness as Isaiah said, we will not go astray. Deuteronomy says if we walk in the ways God commanded we will live long and prosper. Psalm says if we walk in God’s ways He will subdue our enemies. In Acts, the churches were multiplied. Psalm 1:1 – 3, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night: He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
If we want to walk as Jesus walked, we need to get in the Word of God and see how Jesus walked. We need to find out what God expects of us. We can’t just sit around and wait on someone else to inform us. If you feel inspired to “take up your bed and walk”, then do so. Take the first step. John didn’t say the man by the pool got up and fell. He simply took up his bed and walked. He went on about His business. Jesus later found him in the temple, no doubt, thanking God for his healing and walking as Jesus walked.
We don’t hear of great and mighty acts that he performed. We don’t know what he accomplished in his life after that but what we do know is that he lay wallowing in his bed for 38 years without movement. Do you want to lay in your bed of pride, self-contentment, unforgiveness, or self-pity for 38 years? Or do you want to walk uprightly before God? Walking in the works that God has prepared beforehand?
Jesus says, through His example,
“Walk this way!” and see what I will do for you!
(If this post speaks to you and causes you to ACT, let me know, leave a comment. Share with us what you made as your bed and how you decided to take it up and walk! It will inspire others to do the same! )