This is one of the first blog posts I ever posted, as it was published in 2016. However, I believe that it contains important truth when it comes to understanding “what it takes to get well.” I’ve edited out some previous content, and as you’ll see me mention my ministry had just started when writing this, and now I’m in my fourth year!
“Going into my third month of coaching and the launch of Butterfly Beginnings along with the small group I started at my house, I’ve noticed that several people express interest in changing, but they don’t follow through with it. For this post I want to focus on taking that leap of faith, jumping in head first, taking the bull by the horn, biting the bullet, however you want to phrase it. ACTION. FOLLOW-THROUGH.
What takes someone from wanting something and saying they will commit to it to actually DOING IT?
So many reasons and excuses and justifications come to mind, and for so many different areas of life. That is what it is, right? We have expressed an interest and the desire is there, but there is a catch that is stopping us.
It could be as simple as “I would if I had more time” or “I don’t have the money”, or “I don’t know how”. In each area, we all have goals and ideas of how we think things should be and what we need to do to get us there, the problem is all the wishing in the world isn’t going to move you from point A to point B. You need to take ACTION.
I think to best address this issue we need to look at from two different perspectives. Not ready to give up what we have vs. Not ready to not know what is ahead.
Perspective #1: Not ready to give up what we have
When we don’t do what we say we are going to do we may just be being selfish and stubborn. If you look at this in terms of a healthy eating and exercise plan, sure we want to be healthy BUT we may not want to give up our daily muffin or cupcake or glass of wine or soda or (insert food here). This begs the question, “Are you not ready or are you not willing?”. We may like our life. It is predictable, controllable and uneventful (in a good way), and when we entertain the idea of a new way of eating or living or thinking it can be scary.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again, THERE IS COMFORT IN THE FAMILIAR, even when it is not healthy.
To be ready is not the same to be willing. Let’s look at John 5:5-9 where Jesus heals at the pool of Bethesda.
“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”
Even as I read it now, I smile to myself because I so glaringly see the excuses the man was trying to give. How many times do we make excuses like this?
The man SAID he was ready to be healed, but he did nothing to show that he was ready.
We say we want to eat healthy, we say we want to have a better relationship with a spouse or family member, we say we are interested in knowing God’s plan for our life, but when it comes down to it, do our actions match our words, or are we caught up in our own pride and sense of self that we are not willing to take the steps necessary to move forward?
So what does it take for us to forge ahead? In terms of not doing something because we are still holding onto selfish wants and desires, this can be sign that the enemy might be uninvited guest in this area of your life. He is telling you don’t have time for this, you have more important things to do and it is a waste of money. He is telling you that you’ve done everything and it doesn’t matter what else you do it’s not going to make any difference.
This reminds me of someone who reached out to me to be coached, and expressed extreme interest, but backed out when it was all said and done. Something (someone) had prompted her to respond to me, she even said it was out of character for her to do so, and felt that the Holy Spirit was leading her to me, but she didn’t see it through. We need to get out of our own way, but we can’t do it by ourselves. We need to have faith in order to do that.
Perspective #2: Not ready to not know what is ahead
I’ll be the first to admit, personal and spiritual growth is a scary thing because you don’t know what to expect. You can’t CONTROL the outcome, and quite frankly it is like wandering around in the dark with only a little light to see what is just before you so don’t fall or trip over something. We don’t like it when we don’t have control, but FAITH is letting go of control, and realizing that you never had it in the first place.
When Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well” he knew the answer, but he needed to see the man show faith by following the direction he gave him. Yes, not knowing is scary, and I’m sure when the man heard Jesus tell him to walk (meanwhile knowing full well that he was paralyzed), he thought of 10000 excuses and reasons not to do it.
But he chose to get up and walk. Jesus empowered him to take that next step (literally) but he had to trust in him first.
There are many, so many instances in the bible where Jesus seemingly heals people solely based on the faith demonstrated through the steps they take.
However, there are also many instances in the bible where Jesus will still heal despite a lack of faith that is demonstrated.
While we can get caught up on the topic of faith and healing, we can agree that trust leads to understanding which leads to having a personal relationship with Jesus through faith in him.
You trust that He has something better planned for you, and that He is with you every step of the way.
You trust Him by not only saying, but by doing. You trust Him by neglecting your self-focused ways to take the next step that He has called to do.
In trust, we only get a small amount of light (direction), which still doesn’t tell us how everything is going pan out, but that little light is enough to get us to where we need to go, one step at a time, and we just need to stay out of our own way.
You want to be well? You want to know and live out God’s purpose for your life? Pick up your mat and walk. Be ready and willing to commit to what he has placed inside of you, no matter what the cost.”
Trust and faith precede action, while fear and doubt precede inaction.