When you’re fully prepared, distractions become opportunities.
Acts 3:1-3 – Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 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 of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
Think about the location of the events of our Text for Today. It was at the temple gate called Beautiful. The week prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus had entered here every day. The lame man in our Text for Today was laid there daily. Now it might appear that Jesus walked by him every day, but this is not necessarily so. It was the “ninth” hour of the day. That would be about 3:00 PM, but Jesus always entered in the morning. It is likely that when Jesus came daily to the temple, the man was not there yet.
But consider the scene in our Text for Today. Why were the disciples coming to the temple? They were coming to pray. Now consider this; who was it that had afflicted the man lame man? If we believe John 10:10, we would say “Satan.” Had Satan caused the lame man to be laid there to receive his healing, or was he placed there to be a distraction for those entering for prayer? Remember, he was laid there daily. Prayer time came daily, and so did those who came to pray. Each day was an opportunity to get some money from those entering the temple. Now don’t misunderstand me. God’s will is to heal, but how many people use their ailments (sometimes even false ailments) to get sympathy, attention, and even material things from those who might have pity on them. In no way am I saying this was the case for the lame man. But the fact is, he was placed there daily and had never received any productive ministry. This is my question. While his need was genuine, and perhaps even his desire was genuine, could it be that the enemy was using his lameness as a distraction towards those who came to pray? I am convinced we see this in great volume from week to week in our churches; many people needing healing, desiring healing, but not receiving their healing. Is it possible the enemy is using these dear people as distractions to keep others from fully engaging the work of the hour? Prayer and ministry of the Word?
PLEASE! Understand that I am in no way ascribing blame to those in need. Rather I am attempting to draw the attention of those of us who come be ministering to them. WHAT IF? What if those who should be engaged in ministry were spiritually prepared to face that healing need with what is truly needed? HEALING! Let us not be distracted by the image of the need, but rather let us be focused on Him Who meets that need, the Healer, the Deliverer, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If we are ready, distractions could be turned into divine appointments.
Manna for Today – Acts 3:1-10; Romans 8:26-29; Philippians 4:13; Luke 1:37; Mark 16:15-20