Stirred, but not shaken

The call of God on your life is not always an easy one to accept.  It's not that any of us want to necessarily live life apart from God's divine direction, but there are times when what He asks of us may not make sense to us - or others in our lives - so that we balk at what and where we believe He is leading us to do.  Knowing that God wants to use you is not that hard to believe.  Knowing how and where can be a little more difficult.

In John's gospel (5:1-15) we read the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem and walking by the pool called Bethesda.  This pool was surrounded by people who were sick - blind, lame, paralyzed, etc. - because tradition had it that an angel would stir the waters in this pool and, when that happened, the first one in the water recovered from whatever physical ailment had afflicted him.  One man in particular had been lying by that pool of water for 38 years, hoping for that healing that he believed this stirred water would give to him.  Jesus, knowing that this man had been waiting for almost four decades, approached him and asks him what most would consider an obvious question: "Do you want to get well?"

Of course he wants to get well!  Why would he be patiently waiting 38 years for a miracle to happen?  But oddly enough, the man did not answer with a resounding "Yes!" but instead chose to explain to Jesus why his healing had not yet occurred.  No one had been available to put him into the water.  Perhaps all his years of waiting had left him resigned that nothing miraculous was going to happen to him. 

This is where it gets good.  Jesus, with only a few words, tells this man to stand up and walk, taking up his bedroll that had been his constant companion all these years.  And that's exactly what happened!  Instead of the man having to wait for the waters in the pool to be stirred, Jesus came to where he was and did the stirring inside of him.  A miracle had occurred, which is no different than the miracle of a changed life that Jesus offers to each one of us.

You would think that the rest of the world would celebrate with this man and his new found healing, but that's not what happened.  As can often happen, when God moves greatly in the lives of people there will always be others who doubt or call into question this movement.  The most discouragement that some Christians can often receive is from other Christians.  In our story, the Jews that witnessed this man's incredible healing had a problem with the who scenario.  You see, Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath day and as a result, when they saw this man carrying a bedroll that for 38 years he could only lay upon, they rebuked him for doing "work" on the Sabbath.


This guy could only lay down for 38 years and now that he's walking all they can do is fuss at him because he's acting contrary to one of their man-made preferences.  Because this man did not respond to God's work in his life like the Jews believed he ought to, they chose to nitpick with him over silly details instead of rejoicing in the awesome things that God was doing.

If God hasn't stirred your heart yet, He wants to through Jesus Christ.  And He will not be satisfied with allowing you to remain sitting there doing nothing with what He's given to you.  God wants us to move with Him.  Please know that there will be those who will not be happy with where or how God is leading you because it goes against their own agenda or beliefs about how God is to move in the believer's life.  But understand this - you cannot be shaken from the call that God has placed upon your life.  While we want peace with our fellow believers, we are not called to capitulate to their personal desires for our lives, especially when those desires deviate sharply from where we know God wants us. 

God will do the stirring and He will also provide a firm foundation so that you will not be shaken.  Rest on Him.

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