“Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
What do you say to a crippled man lying on the sidewalk? Jesus believed the impossible would happen when He command the man to stand up. Now the majority of us disciples would’ve gathered around, found an extra blanket and a ham-and-cheese sandwich. We then would try to steer the talk around the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and assure him that God works things out for our good. Some of us would even ask him if we could pray for him.
But Jesus will have none of that. He seems blunt and forward as He commands the man to move; to stand up on his own two feet. You must understand, when Jesus commands something, He gives the strength to accomplish that command. When Jesus speaks, things happen. This was the voice that calmed the sea, this voice would raise the dead! When He spoke to this man, the creative power of the complete universe was taking control.
As he obeyed, and willed his body to stand in obedience, he was healed. We are so much like this man. When it comes to spiritual things, it seems all we can do is lie on the sidewalk. Of course, we have our familiar mat, and we’ve learned to recognize those who can give money. But we can’t move, we are completely immobile. Despair is the norm for this “existence”.
Young people are especially afflicted with fear over following Christ. They don’t think they can do it. They just don’t possess the capabilities and they know it. Others, with habits, are crippled with bondages that paralyze them. Years and years they lie in the same place and cannot move forward. This is a very real issue today.
But Jesus sees. He knows that His healing must be something that is believed into. The power is not the issue. He has unlimited strength which has no equal. He is a massive power station, and you have a 30 watt bulb!
The real issue, when its all said and done, is will you obey the Voice? The order from your creator and friend to stand up, and walk. Don’t worry about marshalling your strength, gritting your teeth, and dispelling negative thinking. It has not worked before, and it will not work now. The only thing that will work is too do exactly what He says. For many of us, we are to rise up off the sidewalk–and to walk!
“The Lord will not save those he cannot command.” A.W. Tozer