When you’re knocked down, you need to do more than just get up.
John 5:8 – Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
In the natural world, history has proven that until an enemy is truly conquered, hostilities will not fully cease. Whether openly, or behind closed doors, or even in the caves of the hills, a true enemy is working and devising plans to distract, disturb, and destroy their would-be conqueror. The same is true in the realm of the spirit. Jesus has “destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” And yet, by the weakness and ignorance of a believer, that same devil can distract, disturb, and even destroy his/her life, for his sole purpose in the earth is to steal, kill, and destroy. My friend, it is not enough to see your enemy defeated, you must see you enemy as destroyed.
Look at our Text for Today. The cripple man had lain on his bed, whether at home, or at the pool of Bethesda for so long, that he viewed what was really a deceptive trap of Satan as his comfort zone. I speak of his bed. His bed, perceived by the cripple man as a place of comfort, perhaps even safety, was in reality a lure of attraction keeping him from pressing in, rising up, and moving on with his life. Do you remember blind Bartimaeus whom Jesus encountered on the road to Jericho? His blindness was his ailment, and aside from the alms that might be given him, his coat was his only comfort. It was his warmth in the cold, a pillow for his head, perhaps a shield from the sun. But when Jesus came by, he cast that aside.
And what did Jesus say to the cripple man at the pool of Bethesda? (1) “Rise” – get up and separate yourself from your perceived comfort; (2) “take up thy bed” – take control of what cradled you in power-lessness; (3) “and walk” – get moving, for laying down, staying put, and the thinking that held you there is not where you need to be. How about you? What is it from which you need to “rise?” What is it over which you need to exercise conquering dominion, that is to say, “take up?” And where is it you need to go; what is the path you need to “walk?” The truth stands before you, speaking those very words into your life today. He wants you well, strong, growing, prospering, and being a blessing for His Kingdom. “Do you want to be well?” I know the answer, so “rise, take up your bed, and walk.”
Manna for Today – John 5:1-17; Philippians 4:13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Isaiah 54:17; 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalm 84:11; Galatians 3:13-29; Hebrews 2:14; John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6