Saturday, 15 August 2020

Choose Life (Part Forty-Eight): Drink From the Waters (Part Three)

Lay Down Your Heavy Burden
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 that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?  
― John 5:5-6, NKJV
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

He Wants My All:

“Don’t let your fear of failing triumph over the joy of participating.” (Marilyn Monroe) God wants our all or nothing. We don't come to God cautiously. We come to God with reckless abandon. The one who loved us recklessly requires a reckless response. Note the usage of the word "ALL" in the parables in Matthew 13:44-46. God wants all of us. He'll take nothing less.

Coming to faith, as a teen, some thirty-four (34) years ago, one of the most destabilizing verses of scripture for me was Luke 14:26. It reads, 
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)
How could I possibly need to hate my parents? I love the Lord, but why would He require me to hate my parents? Well like you all know, Christ was comparing our love for Him to that for our parents. My reckless disposition to God when compared to that I have for my parents should seem as if I hate them. He is making it unequivocally clear where and to what magnitude our devotion should be.

God wants our all, and He makes it clear in the first and greatest of all commandments. That is the sum total and end of the prophets and the law, it has not changed, and will never change. [Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5] Yet, these Pharisees and scribes - lazy heads, lazy hearts, and lazy hands - just want enough faith to feel good. 

Make Us A god:

Foolishness of Man
The same Israelites who did not want to hear from God directly [Exodus 20:18-20] asked Aaron to make them a God. [Exous 32:1-6] What changed? They were unable to receive God as He is. They were unwilling to submit their cravings to God, and rise up to His calling. Rather they had their own idea of who and what God should be, and was far more interested in that. 

Rather than embrace the God who has introduced Himself to them, they were too attached to the vision of the gods they had imbibed in Egypt. They were reluctant to let go of the old to accept the new. Their modern-day compatriots we see in Romans 1:18-32. Just like the Israelites, they were not ignorant of God. (verses 19-20) They chose as an act of the will to abandon Him. 

He was more than they bargained for. They were not looking for a God to serve. Rather they wanted a God that would serve them and their lust. So, in this endeavor, they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (verse 21) Professing themselves to be wise they became fools and subjected themselves to the very same things they were created to have dominion over. (verses 22-23)

"We don't seem to want to worship a God who's too big, too authoritative. We seem more comfortable with a deity who's more manageable." (Mark Finley) Since they were bent on depravity, God allowed them to have the full measure of it. (verses 24-27)

© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse

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