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Minister to me.

Minister: To attend to the wants and needs of others; to perform the functions of a cleric.

According to my standards, I’ve been something of a whiney baby lately. I’ve grown tired of encouraging myself and have deeply desired for someone to minister to me. I’ve needed someone to speak God’s word to me. To lift me up to the Father. To agree with me for healing and peace. To model the personal relationship we have with Christ here in our daily life. And I’ve wondered if God has heard any of my deepest longings because I stand alone. There is not another to share my walk and speak on my behalf.

So, I wallowed in self-pity for some time. Not much different from Elijah when he fled Jezebel. I’ve been in retreat as well. Just as Elijah was ministered to by an angel of God, the Holy Spirit has fed me when I’ve been too weak to feed on the Word myself.

God’s instructions are all about the “get up!” – get up and eat, get up and go, get up and speak. And I’ve been all about the “lift me up!” – lift me up for encouragement, lift me up for strength, lift me up for agreement. The more I’ve looked for someone to lift me up, the more down I’ve become. Somehow, it’s just become crystal clear to me that the only minister I need is the Holy Spirit. And the only person I need to be in agreement with is Christ. It’s not that I didn’t know this. It’s just that I’m human, and like all humans, I also overlook what’s truly for me while going after what I think I need. But thank God for His never-ending mercy and grace and His penchant for corrective parenting. Every time I veer off course, I come back with a lesson and understanding that strengthened me for the next stage of my journey.

So, brothers and sisters, I am sharing this word with you because I know you too are looking for someone to minister to you. On the surface this word may be pleasing. And at first glance, your church life and fellowship community fulfills your immediate needs. But I know from experience, for the deeper things you desire in Christ, only His Spirit can minister to you fully and satisfactorily.

If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. ~ 1 Timothy 4:6

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. ~ John 12:26

Reference verses:
1 Kings 19
John 12:20-36
1 Timothy 4:6-15

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Just do it – Get Up and Walk!

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.  ~ John 5:8 NLT

I’m the least hip person you’ll ever come across. I’ve been telling “You know you’re old when” jokes since my teens! I never truly caught on to slang; I only started using contractions in college (can’t, don’t, won’t, etc.), I didn’t own a pair of jeans until my last year of high school and didn’t wear jeans to school until my last year of college. My idea of a good time during the traditional “party years” (late teens and twenties) was a good book in a quiet corner. My brother and sister used to rib me all the time, nerd and geek being their favorite words. One day when we were all in our twenties, we had a relaxed day of togetherness. At some point that afternoon my brother was indecisive about something he wanted to do. After much hemming and hawing, I snapped, “Just bust a move!”

I’m giggling now remembering the astonished look on his face and my sister’s chortle at me using a slang phrase correctly. But he made a decision at that moment and we all followed through on it.

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” ~ John 5:7-10 NLT 

Perhaps I’ve known the principle of this story from a young age, because I can’t recall a time when I’ve known what I’ve wanted and didn’t act on achieving it or prepare to receive it. I’ve certainly had my low moments when I’ve prayed for help, support, and assistance of any kind; and lower moments when the help I was looking for never arrived. But being low (in spirit, in mind, in encouragement, etc.) never stopped me from standing up straight and moving forward. The only thing I could do was to do what needed to be done. And if it was something I needed to do, then I knew I had the power to do it. I just had to do it.

Sounds simple, I know. Take another look at John 5:8, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Jesus was speaking to an invalid. By definition an invalid is a person who is too sick or weak to care for himself. Not only that, Jesus was telling the weak person who was incapable of caring for himself to do something the law told him he couldn’t do on that particular day. Talk about difficult circumstances! Neither were excuses Jesus was interested in hearing or accepting.

You have no one to help you? Get up and do it yourself! You’re looking for help from an outside source? Your help comes from within!

As soon as the man heard those words, the scripture says AT ONCE he was cured. INSTANTLY his season as an invalid was over. IMMEDIATELY he stood up on his once useless legs, bent over and picked up the mat he had been prone on for an indeterminate amount of time. There are no pauses or gaps, no “let’s-wait-and-sees” or prayer sessions between Jesus speaking His command and the man acting on it.

If you’re waiting on help to get you to the next level, be assured God is waiting for you to bust a move. So, just do it.