Monday, April 14, 2014

A Lesson From a Blind Man

A man that was blind, but desperate for healing, ignored the crowd that despised him. He ignored the mockers that told him to be silent, and threw off his garment so that nothing would hinder him from catching Jesus as He walked by. Though he was blind, Bartimaeus RAN towards Jesus, crying out, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" The moment he took the first step, Jesus heard him. He stopped, and turned around so that Bartimaeus could meet up with Him. The man's earnest plea grabbed Jesus' attention and caused him to turn around. Because he was earnest, humble and seeking the Lord, the Lord turned around and met his request.

It goes beyond just a casual meeting. Bartimaeus sought the Lord with all his heart, and the Bible promises that when we seek Him with all our heart, we will find him. (Jer. 29:13; Deut. 4:29; Acts 17:27; Is. 55:6-7; Prov. 8:17). Jesus, full of compassion, cannot resist the person that comes honestly seeking Him. The fact that He is full of such great mercy is evident in the fact that He always made time for those with needs. He stopped what He was doing in order to show how gracious and kind He was, so that people would understand the nature of their heavenly Father. Love compelled him to stop and turn around!

When a person is earnestly seeking God, they are honestly seeking God. The Lord desires truth in our innermost being, our heart. (Ps. 51:6). It means they are willing to cast off all the things they might desire in the flesh, and that can include quite a bit. Bartimaeus, like many others, was probably used to getting attention, pity, handouts and sympathy from others. The first thing he had to do was get up from where he had been sitting, probably begging for handouts. He had to break that poverty mindset and believe he could have more for his life. Self pity and sympathy seeking could no longer be his friends. He had to be willing to make a determined effort to seek out the One who could truly heal him. Blind or not, Bartimaeus needed to be willing to make the effort to connect with Jesus even though it posed a great deal of difficulty. We must be willing to come to God on His terms. In order to receive what you desire from God, you might have to let go of some things. You might have to stop trying to justify what you want when the Lord asks you to surrender to His will. The enemy will suggest you can walk a fine line, even getting your toes on the line, to push the limits of holding on to your own will. That is simply resisting God, and when we resist God, well,...He resists us. The enemy will often times wrestle with your reason because he wants you to keep that door open, whatever it is. Is there something God is asking you to surrender? There are many people who identify with being a Christian because they go to church, know about God and may even know how to talk the talk or fit in; yet their heart is not submitted to God at all. A person can know what scripture says, they can have a lot of head knowledge or even go to church and seemingly do all the appropriate "Christian" things - yet, still not LIVE in the truth because they aren't submitted to it. That is called living in deception.The truth can only set us free when we choose to walk it out and put it into practice. If a person isn't submitted to Truth (which is the Holy Spirit), then how can they possibly expect to receive from the Holy Spirit? Sometimes people don't stop to think about things like that until they get desperate enough to make some new confessions to the Lord and yield their heart to His.

I don't know what Bartimaeus had to go through, but I know that God's timing is perfect. A blind man had been in that condition a long time, but just hearing the news that Jesus was walking in near proximity immediately caused faith to spring up in his heart. He could be healed! He could lead a normal life! He didn't have to be on the welfare system of his day! Friend, don't settle for spiritual welfare. God wants more for you than that, no matter what your situation looks like. Do you know what you settle for when a situation doesn't change for a long time and you become convinced that it will never change? Discouragement. Hopelessness. Unbelief. They settle into a person's heart, and hope deferred can make a person heartsick. Jesus is here today to heal those that are heartsick. He wants to give them hope again that He is in their midst, and He won't pass by the person who is earnestly, honestly seeking an encounter with Him! Call on His name and see what great and mighty things He does for you!

Whatever Bartimaeus had gone through made him ready to run to Jesus and cast off all restraint. Sometimes you will have to stomp on your pride and risk looking foolish in front of others. You may have to ask yourself if you are allowing pride to keep you from a blessing. You may have to push through some demonic attack, encounter naysayers or those that mock your faith. Do you realize the enemy will always attempt to keep you from pressing into the anointing? The enemy will be in your ear saying, "Don't step out and do that...you will look like a fool! You will embarrass yourself!" Or any number of things he may try to whisper in your ear. You may even have to deal with other Christians that speak against you and try to discourage you in some manner. The enemy can use a lot of methods to try to discourage a person from pressing through until they grab hold of Christ and refuse to let go until they get what they came for, but don't give up! Go where the Lord directs you to go, and do what He tells you to do. Your promise is on the other side of desperation and obedience.

Friends, it doesn't matter what your circumstances look like. Maybe you can't see where you're going or what's in front of you, but throw off the excuses, the unbelief, the doubts, and call out to Jesus. Throw off the things the enemy has tempted you with to exalt your will and your desires above obedience and submission to your Father. Let your heart yield to His. Show Him that you will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:23,24). Jesus is in your midst, and I promise you, He won't pass by those that truly want to encounter Him! The moment you take the first step to humble yourself and come to Him honestly, He turns to meet you. He listens for the earnest cry, for the heart that is willing to yield to Him and please Him by worshipping Him in truth! Today say, "Son of David, have mercy on me! Don't pass me by! I need YOU!" He will turn to meet you and release the answer to your need.

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