Andy Hollifield 7-6-17
Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 9:7 And he said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
I started to write on something else, but as I did there was a different thought that occurred to me. I began to think about the times in the bible when Jesus gave conditional healing. While some would disagree with that statement, there were some times that both Jesus and the Apostles as well as the old testament prophets put conditions on healing. The condition was always the same: obedience. Sometimes it was something to the effect of “thy faith hath made thee whole” as it was for the blind man in Mark 10:52. Other times it was “Go, wash” or “shew thyself to the priest” as the leper in Matthew 8. Sometimes the act of obedience was required before the healing as with the blind man in John 9. Other times it was after as with the leper in Matthew 8 when he told the former leper to “tell no man” and “shew thyself to the priest” and also to “offer the gift that Moses commanded.” Regardless of when the command was given, the result was always the same; they were healed.
I am not really wanting to focus on the healing as much as I am the obedience. Jesus may not be making clay and putting it in our eyes or for that matter touching us and declaring that we were made whole, but the obedience doesn’t change. Sometimes God sends his blessings to encourage us to be obedient and other times he may send them because we have been obedient. Quite often, he sends his blessings for no good reason at all but just because he’s God and he can do whatever he wants to do. Any good father does that way with his children sometimes. Aren’t you glad that God chooses to deal with us in those ways?
We may think that just because we aren’t walking down the street with Jesus that complete obedience isn’t necessary to that extent. Rest assured that God doesn’t change. He still operates now as he did back then. That brings up a question; What will you do? How much is too much? You may still be thinking that God wouldn’t put stipulations on his blessings. He always has and still does. In the verse from Isaiah 1, he said “if” ye be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land. We are all quite willing for God to do his part but we are a little slower when it comes to doing our part.
Put yourself in the position of the blind man in John 9 and think about what it must have been like. Here he was after probably having been led to where Jesus was, and Jesus spit on the ground and made clay with the spit and put it in his eyes. Now, most of us if we knew he had done that, wouldn’t even let him put it in our eyes. We would have maybe got a little smart with him and asked him how dare he try to do that. We might have even walked away fuming and disgusted never to have that opportunity again. It’s hard to say what we would have done. This man however, obviously believed and was obedient. Think about this though; what if he hadn’t been? It was probably no small task for this man to get back and forth due to his blindness. Like I mentioned, he probably had to have help to get there. Do you reckon maybe as he went down the road toward the pool, that he thought “this is ridiculous”. He may have even thought about what he would do next if this didn’t work. Reckon he recalled the stories he may have heard about of how Jesus had just touched other people and healed them and wondered why Jesus didn’t do it that way for him. The further he had to walk, the more time he had to begin to doubt. Have you ever done that? Little by little your faith grows weak because you don’t see what God is doing and you begin to doubt and wonder if he is doing anything at all. There may have even been people in that crowd that told him he had just made a fool of himself and should just go on home. There is never a shortage of naysayers to try to discourage you. Those that never do anything for the Lord but seem to know how everything ought to be done. Just think if he had of let his doubt or maybe people’s comments or even the fact he had to go to the pool to start with, discourage him from going he would have never received his sight.
Elijah told the starving widow woman in 1 Kings 17 to bake him a cake first. Her obedience got her a meal barrel and a cruise of oil that never ran out until after the drought was over. Elisha sent word by his servant to Naaman and told him to go wash in Jordan seven times and he would be healed of his leprosy. He almost didn’t obey for some of the very type of reasons I mentioned in the previous paragraph. He didn’t come himself but sent his servant, he didn’t even have prayer with him, and there were a lot better rivers than Jordan so why not use one of them? Had it not been for his servants reasoning with him, he would have missed out on God’s blessing because of disobedience.
So again I ask you; “What will you do?” Will you be obedient to the Lord’s commands in your life or will you stub up and pass up his blessings by being disobedient? The man at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years would have never known he could walk if he hadn’t tried to stand up. As I heard a friend of mine preach recently; don’t miss out on an opportunity. Let me add this statement to that; because you might be passing up a miracle. What will you do? Will you be willing and obedient and eat the good of the land? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!