Step and Stretch (1)

  • You might say that “Step and Stretch” is a strange title for a teaching, but I just put them down the way God gives them to me. Like I’ve said before, He is in management and I’m in sales. It is just not healthy to get the two mixed up.

    So to begin, I was reminded about the story of the man with the withered hand and how, in the past, I used this story to show where Jesus was angry. Most people use the story where he turned over the tables in the temple and used a whip to show Jesus getting angry, but I think the story of the withered hand reveals His anger much more. I decided to study this story once again, since I was triggered to do so by a quick reminder by the Holy Ghost.

    Many times we miss the subtle still small voice of the Lord by rejecting or neglecting the little nuances of others, or short comments made by others, or comments we might “accidentally” read. I’m learning to refine my awareness to these occurrences that would in the past seem insignificant. Instead of ignoring them, I’m learning to embrace them and simply dialogue with God to see if there’s something there for me. Dialogue? Okay, I’ll make it simple. Throw out the 50 cent word – dialogue. What I mean is I simply say, “is that you Daddy”?

    It was Him so I went to the Truth/Word to study the story. As I was doing so, I received a completely different revelation about life and truth, in addition to confirmation of the subject regarding anger. You can find this story in Matthew 12, Mark 3, and Luke 6. I have always liked Mark’s writings on this story, so here it is in the New American Standard version.

    Mark 3:1-6.

    He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered.

    Did you notice the verse said “entered again”? That would indicate He had been in some place before and sure enough. He had been in a synagogue before. Written the way it is, I concluded this was one of a number of synagogues, because it didn’t say “the” synagogue, it said “a” synagogue. Why is this important? I have no clue, but if God reveals something to me about that I’ll be sure to share it.

    They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

    Oh be careful. The religious crowd is always watching to see if there might be something they can catch you doing that isn’t quite in line with their rules and regulations.

    Here we see the religious legalistic crowd keeping a close eye on what they would call a radical believer. Just waiting for an opportunity to belittle, accuse, or discredit someone who makes prophetic declaration of truth regarding the finished work of healing at the cross.

    These are those that think we have to beg God for healing and then add the lack of faith statement “if it be your will”. That makes them sound spiritual, but it is simply embracing stupidity and calling it humility. It’s as if they are ensuring they have an answer for their unbelief by saying “if it be your will”.

    With that statement they can have an answer if someone does not manifest their healing by saying – “Well, I guess it wasn’t God’s will”. At the same time, they can have an excuse ready to protect God’s reputation. Newsflash!!! God doesn’t need His reputation protected by anyone.

    It’s clear what God’s full intent is on healing. He sent Jesus with healing in His wings. In 3 John 2 He makes it clear that He desires us to be in good health. The stripes Jesus took were to secure our healing. That’s just a few truth statements regarding God’s will concerning healing. There are many more, so people who use that worthless statement about it being God’s will reveal themselves to me as being weak in faith and in bondage to religion. I’m not angry at them, but carry extreme compassion for them, desiring to see them set free.

    He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!”

    In the New King James version verse 3 reads, “And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” This is where Jesus tells the man to step forward. To move forward. Get up and come forward from where you are. Don’t stay stuck in the place you find yourself as a result of a setback.

    Your setback will be turned into a setup for God to bless you. Don’t stay in bondage to that thing you think has held you back. Rise above that circumstance and move forward. Besides, a word from the Lord is what puts you in control.

    All the promises of God are yes and amen, but we’ve got to step into them. God does provide worms for birds, but He doesn’t throw them down their throats. You can’t see beyond the horizon if you stand still. You must continue to move forward. As you do, more and more of the horizon will be revealed to you.

    How often have I let something negative challenge what I knew to be God’s direction for my life. Letting that negative thing put me off the true path to where God was taking me. The neat thing is, God doesn’t give up. He simply adjusts where you are to where He wants you to be.

    It’s like Google maps. If you miss the intended route by taking a wrong turn, or you happen to miss a turn, the GPS will recalculate the route and keep you moving forward. It may just take longer to get to the intended destination due to the change in route. GPS could be God’s Perfect System.

    Wow. I hate to stop here because this is really good already. I am getting a blessing from studying this over again. We will continue in verse 4 in part 2. Grace and Peace.