Monday, March 05, 2012

Encouragement From One Who Has Gone Before-5

Obedience First!
I was recently looking through the Victory Call archives and I came across a number of them that were written by our dear sister Dottie Noel, who went home to be with Jesus on May 21st of last year. I miss her sweet spirit in this place!

As I read through a number of the Victory Call devotions she had written, my heart and soul were blessed and I thought, "Why not share the blessing with all of our Victory Call subscribers?"

John 5:1-14 This is one of my favorite miracles recorded in God's Word. It's the story of the invalid of 38 years, lying by the pool called Bethesda. He was with many who were lame, blind and paralyzed. He was hoping to be helped into the stirred waters to be healed. But someone always got into the water before him. He had no one to help him and he couldn't do it himself.

Thirty-eight years is a long time to have to depend on someone else. I wonder if he could recall when he could do things for himself!

Jesus appeared and asked him something that is almost strange to hear: "Do you want to get well?" It has caused me to really look at the passage.

This May of 2005 I have had a muscle disease, Myasthenia Gravis, for 38 years. I know what my answer would be; but do I understand what Jesus was asking? My prayerful study gave me new thoughts to ask myself.

1. Healing? It could be a life-altering event!
The cripple's answer was, "But, Lord, I have no one to help me..." We are always ready with excuses! We fear the unknown, fear changes. Sometimes we find it frightening to move on.
2. Maybe your healing would send you back to work, or you might be required to return to more responsibility with home and family.
3. Maybe healing would bring a life-altering change or event such as moving on to new surroundings or meeting new people.

My husband and I were married ten years, with children just 1, 3 and 5 years old, when I was diagnosed with MG. We remained in our home church, in our home town, serving in Christian Education. We were surrounded by family and friends, all helping. I stayed close to home depending on others.

One day I was asked to come, in my wheelchair, to fill in for the director of the Christian child-care at our church. I had all kinds of excuses, but I thank God I said, "Yes"! I was to stay three weeks, but stayed three years. God knew I would love this ministry and learn from obedience to Him. You see, it removed the fear of going on years later to a new ministry with my husband at America's Keswick.

Obedience was the answer for the man at the pool. In verse 13 he didn't even know who Jesus was, but in verse 15 he is telling others about what Jesus did in his life.

What changes does God need to make in your life? He wants obedience first!
I'm asking God to continue to search my heart and let me be satisfied with his choices and changes. Proverbs 3:5&6 - His word to us!


Submitted by Stephanie Paul

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