Think about a time when you really stuck your neck out on the line. Think about a time when you believed in something so much that you did all you could to recruit to the cause.
It could be that weekend trip that you are trying feverously to get your buddies to skip work for. It could be that beautiful girl or cute boy you want to go on a date with you. It could be a cause to save millions of lives and you just need people to donate money. When we really want something, we will stick our neck out and do what it takes.
But what does this look like in the Christian faith? What does, “stick your neck out” look like when it comes to Jesus?
Mark 2:1-11 is a perfect example. Jesus is preaching inside a packed house and four men come carrying a paralyzed guy. They want to get him to Jesus, but the crowd is full and there is no room. Are they deterred? No, they climb the roof, bust a hole in it, and lower the guy down. Jesus does something remarkable. The text says,
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus moves because of the friends. Not because of the paralyzed guy. Jesus forgives this man of his sins and ends up physically healing him. Why? Because the friends had faith – faith that causes extreme action.
So what about the people around you? There are people around you that are literally sick and in need of a touch from God. What is it that will cause you to act and carry them to Jesus for a touch? There are people around you that aren’t literally sick, but they are paralyzed spiritually. They are wounded by the church, and won’t go in. They want to make a move towards Jesus, but they are stuck – they don’t know how to take that first step.
So what is it going to take? How can you be like these four men? More importantly, what was it about these four men that caused them to move so radically, climb a roof and break in?
Burden + Belief = Boldness
These guys had the incredible burden that their friend was not ok. They didn’t just overlook him and say, “oh well, he will be fine” or “I hope one day he gets better”. No, they took the burden onto themselves and had the internal conviction that this was not alright – we need to carry him to Jesus.
But they also had an incredible belief in Jesus. There is no way they would have carried their friend to Jesus if they didn’t really believe he could heal. Even if they had an incredible burden and concern for their friend, they would not have burst through the crowd, climbed a roof, and broke in without the incredible belief that Jesus was the answer.
Friends, if we want to be people of faith, and action, then we need to be people with incredible burden for our friends and a deep belief in Jesus. One without out the other will still leave you action-less.
How are you cultivating both things in your life? How does your burden for hurting people need to grow? How does your belief in Jesus as a healer need to grow?