Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Get Up and Walk

Have you ever had an 'aha' moment of spiritual understanding?  Suddenly, when you are least expecting it, the light bulb goes on in your brain and trickles down into your heart.  That's what happened to me last night during youth group.  I am so elated that I have to tell you about it.

My husband was teaching a lesson on the paralytic who was lowered down through the roof by his four friends.  To those with Bible teaching in their background, this passage from Luke 5 is a familiar story.  The house was packed.  Prestigious religious leaders crammed in close to catch a glimpse of Jesus, the miracle worker.  So close, in fact, that no one could get through, thus the radical entrance through the roof.

Everyone expected Jesus to heal this man's legs.  Instead Jesus said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."  (Lk. 5:20)

The religious leaders knew, as do we, that only God has the authority to forgive sins and so they accused Jesus of blasphemy.  Jesus, wanting to show them that He was indeed truly God, then went on to heal the man's legs.  For which is easier, to wash away sins or to perform miracles?

But the peculiar thing about this passage is the order in which it happened.  First Jesus forgave the man's sins, then said, "get up, and walk".  (Lk. 5:23) 

We were challenged to live what we believe, to walk the walk.  If we have placed our faith in Jesus to forgive our sins, then go on to live in righteousness. 

Yet, so often, like the legalistic Pharisees, we get it backwards.  We expect that our works should come first and then we will be acceptable to God.  But in reality, our trust is not in our good deeds, but rather in the shed blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.

I had a rough weekend.  Excited about leading the middle school girls in our first chapter of a brand new study, I biffed badly.  Most of them left confused.  Although I spent all of last week writing and rewriting, still it fell short of the goal.  I felt I had let the girls down and squandered an opportunity.  

I tend to dwell on my mistakes, rehearsing them over and over in my mind, beating myself up for being so thoughtless.  The encouragement came when I heard the words of Jesus, "Take heart friend, your sins have been forgiven."  And God snatched that shame right out of my heart.  I was reminded to stand on His forgiveness, trusting that He can redeem what was lost.  Now I need to "get up and walk," moving on from here.

I have much work to do, especially in this area of writing, but I have renewed passion and courage, knowing that the past is in the past.  God is not mad at me, nor did I let Him down.  Those thoughts are only lies, all lies.  He knows that I worked in faith believing it was just what He desired.  I stand accepted in Christ based on His forgiveness.

Maybe today you too are hung up on a mistake that haunts your subconscious, shame pushing you down.  Accept God's forgiveness and "get up and walk", for He makes all things new. 

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