Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Obeying Whether We Want To Or Not

But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," -He said to the paralytic- "I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home." Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:24, 25 NASB)

The paralytic quietly obeyed Jesus, stood up, and went about his business. In the next verse, we will see that it was so wonderful that it triggered a big celebration.  Everyone was glad he obeyed.  What I've been wondering is what if he had NOT obeyed? What if he'd said, "I don't know about getting up. I don't want to fall." Maybe he could've said, "I've been paralyzed for years. Look how stiff these muscles are! I can't get up."  What about simply saying, "Oh, no. I'm too afraid." He could've said either of those and felt justified. 

We hear that and think, "How dumb would that be? Of course he wouldn't look Jesus in the face, tell Him no, and turn down a miracle!" Really? I hear people say those very words all the time. It's never really clear to me why it is sensible not to try, but, for some people, it is. 

Now lest you think you would never do that, let's remind ourselves of what Jesus has already said to us. "When you fast..." "Do not judge... First take the log out of your own eye..." "Deny yourself and follow me"..."forgive those who have wronged you..." "...be a servant..." Not everything Jesus said is easy, but He didn't list any of it as optional, either. 

Today, pray for obedient hearts. Pray that we will obey everything Jesus has already told us, regardless of whether we want to or not. Pray that our obedience will bear such fruit that it will be unmistakeable in the eyes of our loved ones and they, too, will embrace the ways of Christ.