Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0038
WALKING WITH A LIMP
Have you ever thought that the Christian life – when considered in the light of Scripture – is very different to that which we often perceive it to be today? Our selfish human nature is always looking for the easy way through life . . . looking to sidestep anything to do with suffering, and so on. We do not think that God often uses pain and suffering to bring us to the place where we can walk and live with a spiritual authority we’d never experienced prior to those difficult times.
There was a time when Jacob had an experience with an angel of God that changed his life from that moment on (Genesis 32:22-32). He wrestled with an angel, we are told, “when Jacob was alone” (v.24). (He was on his way home to make reconciliation with his brother Esau.) The impact of that night’s battle was such that God changed his name from Jacob (meaning “supplanter”) to Israel (meaning “ruling with God”). In the process of Jacob gaining that new name and authority in his life, the Bible tells us that God touched his thigh and the sinew shrank, which resulted from that point on in Jacob walking with a limp. Think about this. God met with a man, and the outcome was a permanent, physical limp for the rest of his life! Jacob’s physical strength and ability was reduced to weakness!
If you were to set this Bible passage in today’s Christian scene, and you had had the experience that Jacob had, could you imagine what the reaction from your fellow Christians would be? Imagine you walking into church with a limp and the Christians asking you what had happened. Your reply was that you had met with God, and that God had touched you in such a way that you now walk with a limp! Who would believe you? Who would believe that it was God, or God would do such a thing? You would be ridiculed and accused of being “off the wall,” deceived, etc. Yet the Bible shows us that key people who accomplished great things in His Kingdom, at some point in their lives had an experience that left them “marked.” Job spoke of such a time; he said, “I was at ease, but He has shattered me; He also has taken me by the neck, and shaken me to pieces; He has set me up for His target (or “mark” – KJV)” (Job 16:12, NKJV). Job knew, that ultimately, God was using or allowing Satan to test him, so he attributes his being marked as the work of God. Concerning Jesus, we read, “His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men . . . ” (Isaiah 52:14, NKJV). So, too, did the Apostle Paul experience suffering for the cause of Christ: “ . . . let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17). Notice Paul did not say he bore the marks of persecution from evil men, but of the Lord Jesus. He knew that walking in the will of God would stir up all kinds of opposition against him.
How is it with us – with you and with me? What do we carry in our life that demonstrates to others that it is “marked” by God? Do we walk with a limp because God has so impacted us, so that now we are no longer the same as we used to be? Until God is able to impact us enough to leave His mark on us, then we will not demonstrate very much authority as men and women of God.
When God marks us – and/or leaves us with a limp – we discover more spiritual authority than we’ve ever known before (it is more than a positional authority that man gives to us)! The enemy is not afraid of a limp, but of the power that that God-ordained limp represents! There is no way that we can be “more fruitful” and enjoy a lasting, consistent, impacting life and ministry, if we’ve never known the experience of being marked by God, or what it is to carry His limp. What marks do we carry in our mortal bodies for Jesus? Are we carrying “our cross” for the glory of Jesus? What price are we willing to pay because of Him Who gave everything for us? Or, are we afraid of being“left alone with Him” because of what we think might happen? – Rodney Francis.
Please Pray This Prayer:
“Dear Lord, in Jesus’ name I present myself afresh to You today. Help me to be very realistic as to what it means to be a true follower of You, and what is the reason why You have personally called me – and selected me – to represent You here on the earth. Please forgive me for not demonstrating my love for You more than I have. Take away all fear of being willing to yield to You all that You desire of me. Give me the grace and courage to be a true Bible-believing Christian that recognizes that what You did in the lives of those men and women of faith of old, You want to do also in me. If I need a greater limp in my life for Your glory, then, Lord, I place myself in to Your loving hands, knowing You will only do what is good and right for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray this, and do this, Amen.”