march 16: John 5

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Do You Want to be Well?
Imagine you've been paralyzed for 38 years, living by the side of a swimming pool, surrounded by suffering, utterly forsaken by friends and family. Then imagine a complete stranger walks up to you and asks, "Do you want to be well?" This seems like cruel question—"Do you want to be healed?" "No, I love it here; hopefully I'll die here. Thanks for bringing it up!" So why does Jesus ask? Because Jesus is a perfect gentleman. He will never fix anything against your will. He will never be where He's not wanted. Jesus is saying, "Do you want to let me touch your life?" It's a question of desire, but the man responds with an answer of ability. "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." It's a yes or no question and the man says, "I can't." But that's not what Jesus asked.

This is so important.

Jesus isn’t asking, "How come you weren't able to get there yourself?" but rather "Do you want to get there?" He's not frustrated with this man for never winning the race; He doesn't expect him to have done it. The lame man thinks Jesus is disappointed, asking because he should be faster, better, closer. Jesus is asking because He is willing to do it for him.

Why do we so often feel like God expects us to have it all together––to be perfect? We are robbed of quiet times, from open relationship with Him, from church involvement, and Christian service because we feel like God expects us to be whole on our own and we have our laundry list of reasons why we're not there yet. God sees us in our endless cycles of struggling, vowing never to do it again, stumbling, feeling hopeless and as though we will never conquer it. In the back of our minds we think God is disappointed, but all the while, He is saying, "Do you desire to be made well?" I've tried! I can't! "Do you desire to be made well? Just come to me."
God desires to do what you can't. He knows exactly what your abilities are; He said “without me you can do nothing…” But you can do all things through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). God is interested in our desire, not our ability. He's looking for faith. "Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.'" What seems impossible in your life? Jesus never calls you to do something He is not prepared to enable you to do.

Remember: God is interested in our desire, not our ability.

(Excerpt from 21 Days in the Book of John by Levi Lusko and Fresh Life Church)