Monday, May 8, 2017

When We are Too Blind to See~

I wonder how many times
we miss the miraculous?

I wonder how many times
we see a mighty work of God
only to gloss right over it
because we are too hung up
on the details,
on the way we think it should be,
on our own agenda,
on our own need to be right?

I wonder how many times
we stop what God is doing
because it isn't happening
the way we think it should be?

Call me a deep thinker,
but I think it happens more than we might guess.

And it usually happens,
to be honest,
when we are walking in self-righteousness,
instead of the love, grace, and truth
found only in Christ Jesus.

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in the condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made 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, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."
~John 5:1-10

Every time I read this passage of scripture
I am overwhelmingly aware
that the ones passing judgment on this man, -
lame 38 years (38 YEARS!) now made whole,
walking before them and no doubt happily carrying his bed -
are overwhelming unaware of the miracle that has happened
right before their very eyes.

Oh, they see he is healed,
but instead of standing in awe at the miracle that has taken place,
instead of rejoicing and celebrating with the one healed,
they are angry and upset.
Immediately, upon seeing him walking and carrying his bed roll,
they begin to judge him for doing "work" on the Sabbath.

And I can't help but ask,
"What is wrong with this picture?"

How can carrying a bedroll possibly trump what has just taken place here?

But, it does.
It is all these "religious" men can see.
It is all these "lovers of the law" are focused on.
It is all these who walk in "self-righteousness" know to stand on.

Not only is this healed man judged for doing what Jesus told him to do,
Jesus is also "condemned" for breaking the Sabbath.

Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

The man departed and told the Jew that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, an sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
~John 5:12-16

The very one who created the Sabbath as a gift to man,
now in violation of keeping it "properly"?????

Again, I can't help but ask,
"What is wrong with this picture?"

It's absurd.
It's ridiculous.
It's ludicrous.
It's unbelievable.

And yet,
it is the very thing that happens when
we become lovers of the law more than lovers of the Law Giver.

It's the very thing that happens when
we become lovers of self more than lovers of God and His people.

It's the very thing that happens when
we put our faith in our own ability to keep the law (self-righteousness)
instead of our faith in Christ Jesus. (righteousness by faith)

It's the very thing that happens when
we are walking in self-righteousness,
not in love, grace, and truth
found only in Christ Jesus.

We miss the miraculous.
We miss the rejoicing.
We miss the move of God happening in our very midst.
We miss Jesus.
We miss it all.

Only, we don't know it.

In our foolish pride we think we are doing the work of God,
when in actuality,
we are working again Him.

Self-righteousness always leads to pride.
Pride always puts us in direct opposition to God.

Therefore, it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD and HAUGHTY, BUT [continually] GIVES [the gift of] GRACE TO THE HUMBLE [who turn away from self-righteousness]."
~James 4:6 (Amp)

A man who has been paralyzed for 38 years can now walk and carry his bed!
A man who Sabbath after Sabbath after Sabbath was left lying by the pool,
on this Sabbath has been made whole.
And all these men saw were broken (man-made) rules.

I wonder how many times
we miss the miraculous?

I wonder how many times
we see a mighty work of God
only to gloss right over it,
because we are too hung up
on the details,
on the way we think it should be,
on our own agenda,
on our own need to be right,
on our own pride and self-righteousness?

I wonder how many times
we try and stop what God is doing
because it isn't happening
the way we think it should be?

Lord, forgive us.










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