We all have things in our lives that have attempted to destroy us, defeat us, handicap us or keep us down. Perhaps it is a physical limitation or an attitude problem or an emotional issue. It could be vestiges of our past; hurts, abuses, rejections or losses that have kept us from getting up and moving forward.
Sometimes we have a choice when it comes to these things and sometimes we don’t. So, how do we get up from that place and step out in faith even when we don’t feel we can?
There is a story in Acts Chapter Three that beautifully illustrates this point for us.
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. NKJV
Predicaments of Life!
First of all, the lame man in this story did not choose the life he had been dealt. He was born this way. He struggled everyday. People rejected him and looked down on him because of his physical handicap. In addition, he was considered the dredge of society and was perceived as nothing more than a burden on the community. Everyday he was brought by individuals to the place where he would beg. He couldn’t even get himself there. He had to rely on others to get him there and the generosity of others to provide for his life. Had he been able to choose his life, I am certain this is not the life he would have chosen.
We can often find ourselves in places that are not of our own choosing and other times in these places because of choices we did make that had consequences which we did not foresee.
Storms can come in and create chaos. People can be difficult or hurt us. Situations can change and we lose a job or a relationship. Health issues or a bad doctor’s report can shake our world. We are brought to very difficult places. So when things in life try to cripple us, how do we get up and walk UN-crippled?
Planning To Worship!
Going back to our story, we see that Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray. The time had come to worship and they had planned to go in and pray and worship.
The miraculous can happen when we set our hearts to worship! Prayer is not just about giving a list to God of all our wants and needs. True prayer stems from the hearts of those who worship in spirit and in truth. What is worship? It is showing forth or proclaiming the worthiness of God.
When they set their hearts to worship they created an atmosphere for the miraculous.
Peter and John had traveled this path to the temple many times to pray. Everyday, this lame beggar sat at the gate so logic would tell us that they had seen him there before. But today something was different. Today they were paying attention. That day, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit from the Upper Room encounter, they were more sensitive and paying closer attention to the needs around them and because they were, they experienced the mighty power of the name of Jesus.
How many people in our world do we walk by everyday and never notice that they are hurting or lost? Have we been so busy that we weren’t attentive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He led us into divine encounters with others? How many days have we walked by the same people with a need in their lives and haven’t been paying attention to what we could do or what we could give?
Prepared to Give!
As this man begged, not only did Peter and John pay attention to him but today they told him to pay attention to them. He then looked in their eyes expecting to get something of value from them.
Peter told him, “We don’t have money to give you but we do have something even more valuable than silver or gold.”
They weren’t looking to meet this man’s financial needs. These men were wanting to do a work in his life that was profound and much more valuable than a coin that he would spend in one day.
They gave him Jesus! They gave him JESUS!
Peter and John were prepared to give this man something that money could not buy.
Peter grabbed him by the hand and said, “We give you Jesus,” and immediately the man was healed and un-crippled.
He’d been crippled for over 40 years and the moment someone gave him Jesus he jumped up to his feet. He didn’t have to have months of extensive physical therapy and he didn’t need a release from the doctor. He was jumping and running and shouting.
Can you just imagine the freedom he felt in that moment!
Crippled people don’t need another talk show or self help book. They need Jesus. He is the only one who can un-cripple a life.
This man who had never been allowed to go into the temple before because of his handicap, now went with Peter and John to the temple to worship. Powerful praise of how Jesus had changed his life went before him. This man that everyone else saw as a worthless beggar, God saw as someone through whom He could bring glory to Himself.
This miracle brought freedom and revival to this man’s life and it brought praise and glory to God!
If you need to get un-crippled then,
Plan To Worship!
Prepare To Give!