Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” John 5:8 (NLT)
I have this group of forever friends. And, we have this chant. Our mantra. Our very own personal hymn of friendship. Those three merciful, encouraging, and in-your-face words we all need to hear at one point or another.
Pull yourself together.
Like, really – dig deep, and pull it together sis.
I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of these words, and neither side is necessarily comfortable, but at times, they can be essential.
I can’t count the times the Holy Spirit has terrorized me with these words, which is one of the reasons I recently delivered them to my friend who lost her job. Not just any job, but the job she had held for over a decade with a very prestigious company, in a very prestigious industry, with I’m sure a very prestigious paycheck.
Before you hit send on that email you’re already writing me in your head about gentleness and encouragement for others – hear me out.
In John 5:1-9, a sick man has a brief encounter with Jesus that changes everything. He has been lying on a porch near a body of water where sick people go to be healed. He has been sick for 38 years, and Jesus approaches him and asks “Would you like to get well?” The man says he can’t, because every time he tries to get in the water, someone gets in ahead of him. Jesus tells the man, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk.” So, he does. And, he’s healed.
Some days I’m on my bed mat like this lame man. I’m comfortable and cozy there with my excuses, my pretending, my worrying, and the rest of my mess. It’s a seriously rowdy pity party some days. And then, if I listen clearly, the Holy Spirit pushes me to pick up my mat and walk. Just take a step.
Sometimes we have to do something different to be healed in a different way. Is it time for us to change our minds and our behavior to be healed in different areas of our life? What is preventing us from picking up our mat and getting off the porch?
For me, a number of things are preventing me from getting off my mat and walking in the purpose and plan God has for me. It’s pride, jealousy, gossip, control issues, people pleasing, and losing focus on the one thing deep down I want to outweigh it all – knowing Jesus and making him known.
What about you? Is there something keeping you from standing up, getting off your mat, and walking in the purpose and plan God has for you?
It’s time to stand up. It’s time to pick up your mat. And, it’s time to walk in truth. Pull yourself together.
Email Priscilla. Book Priscilla as a speaker.
READ: John 5:1-9
PRAY: Ask God to show you what is preventing you from walking in His plan for you. Pray for a breakthrough to help you pick up your mat and get off that porch.
GROW: Listen to the Holy Spirit, and take one step in your walk with Christ that you haven't taken before. You know what it is - now go!