The higher truth—joy heals.
John tells a story in John 5:2-9 of an invalid who lays by the pool of Bethesda.
“One man [among a multitude of invalids] was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’ And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.”
Jesus asks an odd question, “Do you want to be healed?” You would think the answer would be a simple “yes.” But the invalid gives a couple of excuses: “I have no one to put me into the pool…” “while I am going another steps down before me…” The first reason is actually stated in vs. 5. He’d been this way for 38 years. It’s the way its been for a long, long time.
How often do we sabotage ourselves? In Dawna DeSilva’s first message at “Shifting Atmospheres”, she mentioned that “familiar spirits” are the hardest. In other words, we become familiar, or used to, a situation, and we accept it as fact.
The invalid says:
- There’s no one to help me.
- Someone else deserves the healing more than I.
- He’s been that way for as long as he can remember.
Jesus simply chooses to ignore the familiar excuses. He didn’t do the, “I think if you just…”
Pastor Doyal gave me a great insight on Sunday. I bruised a rib a couple weeks ago while gardening. Does anyone else jump on the shovel to get it into the hard soil? My rib, as I was leaning on the shovel handle and jumping on the bottom, was softer than the ground I was trying to break up. Indeed, the shovel got the best of me. What concerned me was that each day, it seemed to be getting worse. Was it becoming “familiar?” I kept expecting the healing, but where was it?
Doyal quoted Proverbs 17:22,“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” What I heard was the ending word, bones, and the beginning, “a joyful heart is good medicine.” Though I didn’t have a crushed spirit, I freely admit I was not living as positively as I could.
Since Sunday afternoon, I have been working on a joyful heart. As I become frustrated, I choose patience. When the critical spirit comes, I choose to encourage and bless. As I see challenges, I choose heavenly solutions. When negativity reared its head (all day!) on Monday, I chose to return to positivity. This keeps me in joy. The shovel won the battle, but I choose to win the war—with Jesus.
Each day, my rib now feels better and better. I am no different than you. Being joyful is a choice. I am determined—I will stay joyful. And here’s a revelation. Scripture works! It is the higher truth.
What are you agreeing with today? Is it a “familiar” spirit? What do you need to ignore? What will you choose instead?
Join us for the next “Shifting Atmospheres,” Monday evening, July 9, 7-9pm, at NewDay in New Prague.
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