Please read this one…
This is likely the most “needy” devo I’ve shared, and hopefully when you finish it you too will feel the same need.
We’ve been talking about being prepared but there is one aspect that is typically not talked about, but is absolutely critical – Our need to be relationally prepared.
I don’t know when I’m gonna need YOU, but I know I will sooner than later.
Some of you reading this, we haven’t talked in person in a while, but I know you and send this daily as I want the relationship.
I want to be prepared and need men whom I can turn too..
BLUF – If you are not connected with God and good men – you are dysfunctional!
“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.”
We’ve all read that scripture before and focus on the faith of all the men involved. But today let’s focus on their friendship – their relationship. This is a man who was paralyzed and maybe he heard about Jesus and asked his friends to get him there, or one of them heard about Jesus and made a decision that we are getting to Jesus. You know it would not have been easy moving him- he is paralyzed and can’t help himself. Imagine them struggling with that stretcher, through rough neighborhood streets, pushing forward, getting jostled by a crowd who also want to get inside. And it’s so crowded they simply can’t get inside. Then one of them has this idea – “let’s get on the roof” and whether stairs or a ladder – they haul the stretcher and their buddy up a stone wall. None of this is easy with an awkward load of a paralyzed friend. Now on the roof they literally start tearing open a hole – pulling apart the mud and straw. It’s gotta be a pretty big hole to lower a stretcher in. “Hey David – go get some ropes, we forgot those”.
Imagine this scene if your Jesus “in the house” as He is teaching to hundreds of pastors, and literally the ceiling starts opening up. And you see guys digging and then this stretcher and a man is lowered down into the room…
I want THOSE friends in my life. I want men who are gonna get me where I can’t go on my own. I want men who aren’t limited where I am limited.
I don’t need company – my dog is awesome company, I need movement.
This paralytic surrounded himself with people going towards Jesus no matter the cost. If your surrounded by men who ain’t going towards Jesus you ain’t going anywhere!!!
I’m sure it was pretty cool that morning drinking coffee at the “Galilee diner” and saying “hey let’s go get Mike and take him to that Pastors conference today and have Him heal Mike”. Now this is gonna be an epic Saturday morning adventure – But as we just saw – it got harder the closer they got to Jesus. The stretcher got heavier, the crowd thicker and closing in, the stone wall was a challenge. This was like a military obstacle course carrying a heavy load. It was not convenient and the closer they got, the harder it became.
Here is a truth you need to hear – You don’t get to heaven with a convenient life, and the closer you get to the answer, that is when things are gonna get the hardest. That last mile in a marathon is painful, that final exam means staying up all night, losing that last five pounds after a strict diet gets harder. The home stretch means you need to be creative, stick to your strategy, and have good men in the fight alongside you – who will go the distance.
TD Jakes is one of the finest Pastors and cultural innovators in America today, and I love what he says about obstacles – “HMMMM! That is the sound I want to hear from my friends when they see that obstacle in front, HMMMM! That’s the sound when someone is figuring out how to go up that wall and tear off the roof”!!
I’m too old to be around people who won’t tear off the roof !! The time is short and we gotta get through these obstacles together.
That means we gotta change! Maybe get new friends, become a better friend, get all your friends for coffee at the Galilee diner and tell then we gotta go break down the ceiling at church today and get Bubba in there. And when the obstacles come (they are), be men who go “HMMMM let’s figure this out and get on that roof”.
My favorite bible lesson of all time was from John Schmidt at Frazier Methodist church in 2009, and he was sharing his first bible study in college. He said the instructor came in and said “open your bibles and write this in the front cover “IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS STUPID”. John went on to say that he has now written that in all the 30 plus different bibles he uses, and constantly comes back to it. Our God gave us the Bible and all its lessons, so that we can simply see – how to have a relationship with Him and how we should have relationships with each other. It’s that simple stupid!
It’s gonna take some intentionality – relationships are messy. All YOU people have some serious problems and most of you are nuts. But we gotta do this thing together. I’m gonna need you to get me over the next obstacle and then your gonna need me to go get that rope you forgot, and your gonna need some other crazy dudes to tear off that roof on those other issues you have.
This week we broke open some aspects of being prepared; physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and relational. These are key to you making it or breaking it.
The Joshua Commission is committed to building up men who “make it”.
Imagine the party at the Galilee tavern that night after Jesus said “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.”
Luke 5:24-25 NIV