John 5:6 “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’m trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’” I recently told my friend a testimony about how I fasted from work, and how God showed up with a personal encounter and victory for the deal I was working on. My friend came back a few days later and said “I decided I’m going to fast from work too. Do you have any advice on how to do it?” I replied “well the first advice I’d give is not to “decide” anything, but to ask God what He wants you to do. What worked for me may not work for you, because God wants us to have a relationship with Him, not to follow some rules or principles. And anyways, a relationship with God is so much more fun than a relationship with the rules. In John 5 we meet an invalid who had been waiting at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years to get healed. Legend has it that when the waters of the pool stirred, the first person to jump in would get cured of their ailment. But because of his handicap, this man could never make it in time. For almost four decades this man had seen probably hundreds of people get healed, and he had strived to use the same technique to gain his own healing. But then one day Jesus shows up and circumvents all the rules. He says to the man “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured. He picked up his mat and walked. How often do we study the techniques of others looking for the way to success? It’s always good to learn, but Jesus makes it so clear. The way is not jumping into a pool. The way is not listening to a podcast and following the advice of gurus. The way is not even a particular type of fasting cause it worked for someone else. Jesus said “I am the way.” All we need is an encounter with God, which is why we should seek that above all else. Lord, I desire you today. Nothing else matters. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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