daily devotional

Why did you stop trying? Really, what was it in your way that made you give up? What was the ‘no’ that made you decide it wasn’t possible? What was the obstacle that finally stopped your progress and made you assume it wasn’t God’s will for your life to move forward?

Was it the people in the way? Was it the closed door? Was it the difficulty? Was it the rules? Was it what others would think or say?

Something caused you to stop … and what if that something can totally be blown out of the water today? What if your limitations could be removed and you were given permission to do things that seemed a bit ridiculous to keep moving toward the life God has for you?

Isn’t that who God is looking for … he’s looking for the ones willing to overcome obstacles and do ridiculous things in the face of surmounting odds to become more like who He created them to be. He’s looking for people who will lead the way instead of get in line and wait for something they don’t even know they’re waiting for. He’s looking for people who will stare down an obstacle and figure out a way to go around it, and drag a few other people around it with them.

He’s looking for some bold modern day Peter type people. People bold enough to do the unexpected, say what others may judge, and get back up again when they fail. He’s looking at you and asking if you’re going to stop getting discouraged now. He’s looking at you and asking if you’re going to toughen up and figure out a way to step into the life you were designed for. If you’re still waiting for this thing to be easy, you’re not ready. If you’re still looking for the quick fix, magic diet, instant success, and winning numbers, you’re not ready.

Are you ready? Are you ready to drop your excuses and overcome your limitations? Are you ready to climb some walls, tear through some roofs and hang from the ceiling to tap into the power of Jesus? Wait, what? Did I just go too far? You’re not ready to climb walls? You’re not ready to tear through a roof or two? You’re not ready to tie some ropes and hang from the ceiling? Then maybe you’re still limited by what’s in your way and you’re going to stay stuck.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all 3 tell us the story of some men who were desperate enough for the power of Jesus that they dropped excuses and overcame limitations. They broke a few rules, caused a scene, and left some damage, but it’s what was required to get to Jesus. These men had a friend who was crippled and they knew somehow, someway they needed to get him to Jesus. When Jesus was in their town they went to their friend and put him on a bed and began carrying it.

Let me stop right there. Y’all need some friends like this. Some friends that will carry you to Jesus. Some friends that will do more than stand at your bedside and weep with you when you are hurting, but some friends that will lift you up and say ‘we’re not settling for this, let’s get help.’ Friends that won’t let you wallow in your despair and leave you in the darkness, but drag you and your bed through the streets of town to seek Jesus.

Oh, but often times we just want friends who will wallow with us. Friends who will co-sign in your misery and show up for your pity party. Sorry, I won’t be that friend with you. I love you too much to see you waste what God has put within you. I know how darn precious this single day of life is and I won’t willingly watch you waste it waiting for a better one to come. I’m gonna drag your butt to Jesus. I’m gonna remind you of who you are and who’s you are.

Be that kind of friend. Be that kind of wife. Be that kind of mama. Get some fight in you with a relentless love that will seek Jesus no matter what is in the way. That’s the kind of friends these guys were. Dragging their paralyzed friend on his bed through town, looking for Jesus. But when they get to the house where Jesus was, they couldn’t get in the door. There were people everywhere and they couldn’t even get close to Jesus.

What do you do when you’ve tried and it didn’t work? What do you do when you drug your problems through the streets and then Jesus seemed to be pre-occupied and your problem goes unnoticed? What do you do when the door is closed, the crowd is big, and every reasonable option is out?

LOOK UP. Yes, look up.

These friends looked up and decided to climb. They climbed the walls of the house where Jesus was, and they somehow hoisted their paralyzed friend on his bed up on the roof with them. Then, they started making a hole through the roof.

Y’all this sounds ridiculous. Read it for yourself Luke 5: 18-25. They’re tearing off the roof of a home that doesn’t belong to them. They’re breaking rules, and they’re not stopping. Eventually they create a hole big enough in the roof and they lower their friend on his bed down to Jesus.

Now just imagine for a moment being Jesus. You’re standing in this crowded home teaching and you know your audience is proud religious law-keepers and teachers of the Law, meaning they are questioning who you really are, judging every word you say. Then suddenly pieces of the ceiling start caving in, and you look up to see these crazy guys standing on the roof, lowering their friend down on ropes through the hole they just tore out. Why because they know who you are, and they believe every word you say!

I imagine Jesus had to smile. In fact scripture says “Jesus saw their faith.”

He saw their willingness to do the ridiculous. He saw their determination to overcome the obstacles. He saw their relentless pursuit of his presence.

Isn’t this what he wants of you and I today? To stop giving up so darn easy? To tear the freaking roof off and find a way? To overcome our own excuses, stop caring so much what others will think or say, and seek God no matter what it takes? To believe in who he is and everything he says to the point you’re willing to do ridiculous things.

There will always be someone or something in the way. There will always be something blocking you from what God has determined as possible in your life. Will you give up again? Will you be discouraged and detoured? Will you allow your heart to grow weary here and turn around claiming it’s impossible once again? Or will you look up and see maybe there’s another way? Maybe there’s a roof you can rip off!

Let me tell you, when that house was being built, God knew in advance one day those walls would be climbed. He knew one day that roof would be ripped off. He knew one day his boys would do whatever it took to get to his son Jesus. And God said YES! Let the roof be ripped off. Let them set the example on not giving up. Let them show others how to not back down. Let them show my people how to overcome.

God allowed the crowd to gather and the way to be blocked, because he already knew he had equipped them to climb walls and tear off roofs.

Their friend was healed that day by the Almighty. Yes, they had to tear through a roof of a home they didn’t own and they may have had a few damages to pay for, but they got to Jesus.

Get yourself to Jesus! Do whatever it takes to fight your way through the crowd. Climb some walls and rip off some roofs. Sometimes you have to stop waiting for permission of others and just decide you’re seeking God and you’ll ask their forgiveness later. And most of the time the person you need to stop asking for permission is YOU. You’ve been holding back because you’re afraid it might be hard. It might cause a little pain. It might be uncomfortable. It might take more work than you’re willing to show up for. It might cost you. It might take longer than you’re prepared for. So, you’re waiting for permission from yourself. Screw that … this is the one and only life you get and God has called you to do something with it!

You have no time to waste here. Who are you trying to impress and why are you trying to constantly make it easy? You’ll never know what God says is truly possible in your life if you wait around for clear paths and open doors. Climb that wall. Tear off that roof. Get yourself to Jesus and let him do the impossible!