Life At Its Best: Continuous obedience brings permanent change
By Jim Graff
July 5, 2013 at 2:05 a.m.
Each New Year's, most of us make resolutions. Whether they are to eat healthier or spend more time with loved ones, we do pretty well at first. However, after awhile, our passion fades, and we realize that experiencing change requires much more than simply desiring it.
We see the key to lasting change in John 5, when Jesus was headed to Jerusalem. As he was walking, he saw a pool surrounded by a bunch of people who were disabled.
Every day, they sat there waiting for the angel to stir the waters. Whoever made it in the pool first after the water was stirred would receive their healing.
There was one disabled man who'd been lying by the pool for 38 years. When Jesus saw him, he asked, "Do you want to get well?" The man replied, "Sir, when the water is stirred, I don't have anybody to put me in." Jesus replied, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." The man hopped up and was instantly healed.
Now, it sounds a little strange to ask a lame man if he wants to be well. The answer seems like an obvious "yes" to me. But Jesus had a purpose in asking. He wanted the man to know that a desire for healing wasn't enough. He had to be willing to take action.
The same is true in our own lives. Although we may not need physical healing, we all have areas of pain that can keep us from God's best. For some, it's relational pain. For others, it's the pain of regret from our past decisions. Whatever area it may be, God wants to bring complete healing that enables us to live His best.
In order to do so, we must recognize that lasting change won't occur simply because God desires it or because we desire it. It can only occur when we choose to be obedient and take action.
I recently read a quote by Tony Robbins which said, "A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action." It really is true. When we make a serious decision to move forward, it becomes evident in the choices we make. Our actions begin to be governed, not by our own desires, but by the principles of God's Word.
James 1:22 commands us, "Do not merely listen to the word . do what it says." God knows exactly what we need to experience healing. His Word has the perfect prescription for every pain we could ever experience. But we must choose to study and obey it. We must begin applying His process to our areas of pain. And we must never stop.
See, obedience isn't a one-time decision. It takes continuous obedience to bring permanent change. That doesn't mean we'll be perfect. No one can be. But when we consistently practice God's principles, we'll experience His healing.
Do you need healing? I encourage you, don't just live with a desire. Start making decisions that bring about God's best. Apply His principles, and be consistent in your obedience. Start your journey of healing today.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.faithfamilyvictoria.com.