Emerging From the Roadside
The Bible describes a beautiful account that is repeated three times in the gospels. It’s the story of the blind men in Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34 ; Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43). We have , two blind men at the roadside hearing about Jesus.
Here we can learn the first thing that happened with you. You also heard about Jesus. Someone shared the message of salvation with you. You were invited to a LifeGroup and heard that Jesus is real and still changing lives. You felt Jesus’ presence. You heard about things that Jesus did in others lives.
The blind men not only heard but also cried out. They shouted for God. They asked for an intervention in their lives. You also cried for Jesus. You recognized that you were distant from God because of your iniquities and sins (Isaiah 59:2).
They shouted “Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crying for mercy is one of the keys to move out of the roadside of life. Words are important as much as our interior belief (2 Corinthians 4:13). Once you heard and believed, confession should follow as a clear declaration of your salvation (Romans 10:9). Now you can cry out anytime and with confidence come close to the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help you (Hebrews 4:16).
Saved but still at the roadside
Jericho was considered a cursed place in the Old Testament time (Joshua 6:26) but when the Lord came he changed everything, Jericho became a place of blessings and hope. Those blind men would have thought that they were destined to be cursed for the rest of their lives.
You also might think that all these family crises and divorce cycles is just part of your family tradition. Maybe because you were born and raised in this hometown all your dreams are supposed to be small and purposeless.
What is sad about many believers is even hearing and speaking about Jesus, like those blind men, they are still having the roadside life experience. You can be a faithful believer that learned about Jesus and even talk about Jesus, but you still struggling with addictions, finances, loneliness, accusation, fear, confusion. God did not planned for you to live a life without peace. The risen Jesus always came to the disciples saying “Peace be with you”.
The word peace in the new testament was “ēirenē”. The greek dictionary defines it as rest, quietness and prosperity. I like to see it in this way: because God has prosperity as part of His good plan for my life I can be in constant peace.
If you are missing peace and joy in you life know that this is not the plan of God for you. Jesus does not want you at the roadside anymore.
The Bible account tells us that the blind beggars once touched by Jesus they followed Jesus. In other words, they started to walk in the purpose again.
Coming to the path
How can we get out of this roadside lifestyle? First we need to identify our enemies that are impeding us to come to the way. In all bible accounts we have the same description about the baggers, they were sitting.
You need to understand that nothing will happen if you just let it as it is. I know it sounds obvious, but some of us stay stuck in the same attitude for so long that we think that it is fine to be sat down on the floor forever. So please understand that if you do nothing the result will be nothing. Someone said that is your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. If you never take the step one in the path you’ll never will have the step tow and three and actually begin to walk again.
I constantly repeat for believers that come to me discouraged and depressed, that they must give the first step. If you are weak to pray just sing a christian song. If you don’t feel to sing read out loud a Psalm. If you don’t want to read write something in paper for God… as the old commercial used to say: “Just do it.”
The baggers were not quiet until they were noticed. They stood and get their first steps into the path. But here comes the second enemy: the crowd. There was a wall of people surrounding Jesus. Seems that some of them were in a bad mood. When they listened the baggers crying we learn that part of the crowed rebuked them telling them to be silent.
How strange is to have people following Jesus and staying bored, ill-humored and sour. The crowed was following Jesus but enjoying His presence. This kind of people sometimes become an impediment for you. Don’t listen to everybody that claims to be followers of Jesus. Careful with people that says you should be more balanced with your passion for God. The only way to come to be a true follower of Jesus is overcoming such advices.
Jesus said that God is looking for true worshipers. People that has a devotion and love for Him (John 4:23-24). So don’t let the fire in your heart be quenched. God feel disgust for the lukewarmness. The state of being neither hot nor cold God dislikes (Revelation 3:16).
The baggers cried out all the more. Their attitude and passion moved Jesus toward them. The account in Mark says that the blind man Bartimaeus threw off his bagger cloak to come to Jesus. Now was not them calling Jesus but now was Jesus calling them. This is one of the greatest opportunity those men ever had. Jesus was calling them and right now He calls you. The blind man did not give themselves a chance to not respond such opportunity. I want you to know that today is your day of opportunity to stand before Jesus and receive your miracle and change but you must answer the very same question those men answered
Jesus asked them “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind men answered the most powerful respond we can give God: “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” The question of Jesus might be a stumbling block for some, because even seemingly being obvious, this baggers could ask absolute anything like “Give us guide cane” or maybe “We need an assistance dog” or why not even “Give us money”… But they knew that there is no grater gift from God than to have our eyes opened to see Jesus.
From all the prayers the apostle Paul, the great apostle of the New Testament, could ever prayed he says in Ephesians 1:16-23
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
As much as you have your eyes enlightened you will stay and firm walk in the path with Jesus. The promise is that we will be able to enjoy all the fulness of God. Notice that is not about a religious performance requirement, but is all about to have our eyes open.
Here we can understand the last impediment for so many faithful believers still at the roadside of what God destined them to enjoy. God has ” on the way” lifestyle for you. He has abundant and prosperous life for you today! It’s all a matter of see Him. Decide today to not live one single day of your new life at the ” roadside” experience. God has good things in store for you now and forever.