Comprehend the Word: John 5:14-15
“The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Contemplate the Word
I was at a complete loss.
No one is perfect, yet deep down I expected it from both my husband and I. At the core, I was terrified to fail, certain that if I failed, God would be disappointed with me. And if He was disappointed then perhaps He would give up on me and eventually leave me alone. Then my deepest fear would be realized.
In order to not fail, I had impossibly high expectations, which ironically were impossible for my husband to meet. To counter my growing disappointment with unmet expectations, I criticized. And as time went on, the terrifying truth was that my criticism only created more distance between us.
For a long time, it was as if Jesus was asking me — the emotionally and spiritually paralyzed one, do you want to get well, and me listing all the ways I was handling it. I’m fine. I will figure it out eventually. I haven’t tried everything yet. I can do it on my own. It’s not that bad.
Trying to handle it comes so much more naturally than helplessness, doesn’t it? And when handling it gets to be too much, hopelessness kicks in and we throw in the towel of attempting change.
My “handling” it and my hopelessness were delaying healing.
Jesus and the lame man showed me a better way; confessing helplessness to Jesus. In order for him to be healed, the lame man had to confess his inability to heal himself. It wasn’t until a moment of realizing His complete inadequacy, that he was willing to completely surrender to Jesus.
This confession is Jesus’s invitation to work. The man’s condition wasn’t a simple fix and neither is ours. The lame man needed physical and spiritual healing and so did I. Helplessness, not trying harder was the first step to healing.
Are you willing to confess the helplessness your storm has revealed? God’s ultimate healing power is available to those who ultimately surrender.
Little did I realize, God didn’t need my perfection; He wanted a relationship with me. He made it possible by sending His Son Jesus to live the perfect life I couldn’t live, and die the death I deserved on the cross so I didn’t have to. He took the full weight of my sins so I could stand before God in Christ, perfect, beautifully new, free and redeemed. He offered me this free gift because He loves me, and wants the most fulfilling and intimate relationship with me.
And He wants the same for you.
You and I are invited to simply believe Jesus. To lay down our trying harder for His healing and forgiveness. Confess that you won’t reach the perfection that a Holy God requires. And trust that Jesus was the perfect substitute for you. When we die to ourselves, not try, Jesus raises us to a new spiritual life in Him.
In this stormy season, Jesus continually invited me back to Himself through prayer. Only in His presence, with His perspective and by His power did He heal me from the storm that raged in my own heart — the pressure to perform perfectly. God is pleased with me, not because of my perfect track record my but because of my trust in His Son. The shouts of the storm are quieter as the cry of my heart is, give me Jesus.
As this bite-size series comes to a close, I wish I could say all my storms have ceased; they haven’t. I came to Jesus wanting my storm to stop; He wanted my heart to be healed.
But because my storms haven’t stopped, I can tell you this: Jesus is more than enough. His power has healed my heart from the lie that I need to be perfect in order to please God. Because I’ve trusted my life to Jesus Christ, I freely inherit His life, including the moment when heaven opened and God declared, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with Him.” I’m learning to keep turning back to Jesus every time I wander out of the shelter, remembering that I cannot exhaust His endless mercy and grace.
I pray that the cry of our hearts is continually, give me Jesus. No matter the uncertainty of the storm, His presence is a guarantee.
It was the life-changing power of Jesus that caused the previously lame man to go and tell about the One who made him well. I’m convinced that when we truly encounter the life-transforming forgiveness and healing power of Jesus, we will do the same.
Converse with the Word
AIM for HE
Father God, you can do impossible things. My storms are small compared to what you are capable of. I praise you that your ways are perfect and that I don’t have to be.
ASK for ME
Jesus, forgive me for trying to do things on my own. Help my unbelief in what you are capable of. Change my heart so I can surrender to your ways.
ABIDE in WE
Holy Spirit, help me to trust you continuously. When I turn back to my own ways, remind me of the truth. Thank you for giving me your Presence, always.
Join the Conversation:
We are so thankful you’ve joined us on this “Give Me Jesus” journey. Ask Him to open a door this week to go and tell of what He has done, and when He does, walk through it.
We would love to hear from you! How has Jesus’ presence, perspective, and power healed you physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually?
— Jessie & Stephanie
Going Deeper with the Word
This week, set aside 20 minutes to dive into and unpack John 11:17-45 with Him in your Give Me Jesus study guide. In this powerful story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we can see His presence in the midst of pain, His perspective that their circumstances were not hopeless, and His power over death itself. What does this story teach about about surrendering to God in the midst of storms?