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Whether You’re Withered or Weathered

…a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other. –Mathew 12:10-14

Here we see a religious establishment threatened by Jesus and all He represents (even though they claim to represent the same things). They try to trap Him or somehow stop Him from doing the good He has set out to do, but Jesus doesn’t back down.

He answered their question and then finishes the argument with action, but hidden in this short testimony is something that amazes me. Jesus commands this man to do what he is physically incapable of doing. In fact, that’s how Jesus’ miracles worked so many times in His earthly ministry.

reach

“Stretch out you hand,” “Rise up and walk,” telling the disciples “you give them something to eat”–in each case, they were completely unable to do what they were told, but once the word came and their faith met it, they found themselves doing the impossible.

That powerful combination, the word of God mixed with an act of faith, changes everything.

Some of you may be withered (so to speak) and facing genuinely scary or heavy circumstances. Get near Him. Listen for the word He would give and trust Him by acting on it in some way.

There may be others who are weathered–wearied of standing and holding on. You have fought the good fight, but it feels as if you’re losing ground. Like Moses in Exodus 14, you’ve watched God do great things, but now the enemy is closing in and you’re facing a Red Sea of impossibility.

Moses was uncertain and possibly afraid. God “comforts” him with these words, “As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.”

Did you catch that? God didn’t say, “stretch out your hand and I will part the sea.” He tells Moses to stretch out his hand and divide it! When you’re up against a wall, listen and act in faith. God even gives you the credit because you believed Him!

I truly believe that there is an invitation to you today to hear from heaven. “Stretch out your hand,” though you may be tired and losing hope. Your faith will enable you to do what was impossible because that’s who our God is.

Withered or weathered… either way, it’s a great day to step into the breakthrough He’s promised.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this?

4 Comments

  1. Jason, I never was consciously aware of the action that goes hand-in-hand with faith before I read your words here. Wow! Next time I’m feeling withered or weathered, I will listen to God with renewed trust, ready for action.
    Blessings!

    • I so love how God’s word has so many facets and layers to it and how not one person can experience the fullness of it, but we need each other to see the whole picture. How great is our God?! Thanks so much, Martha.

  2. Excellent thoughts, Jason.

    As our Father is action so we’re to be about action. He never calls us to sit back and wait to do His will. He only calls us to wait on His will, and then never without action. We’re created in His image, including being active for His service.

    Great reminder!

    • He calls, we respond. Man, do I make it a lot more complicated sometimes! I’m thankful for the reminder myself. Thanks Floyd.

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