Why Move Before the Repairs Are Finished?

by Christine Sine

by June Friesen

Recently we have moved from one residence to another. This past week I was asked a question by one of my visitors as I was showing them my new place. I was talking about the changes and remodeling my contractor was going to do beginning this week. The question that I was asked was: ‘Why did you move in before the repairs were made?’ I am not even sure how I answered the question at that moment but it has caused me to consider this question: ‘Why does God choose to move into my life/your life at our invitation instead of making us clean-up/out the sin first?’ I remember a verse that I learned as a child found in Revelation 3:20 – “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” So many times I heard that verse quoted by preachers and teachers encouraging anyone/everyone that this invitation was for them at the very moment it was being spoken. God was/is wanting to have fellowship with anyone at the very moment of hearing this word. 

So why would God want to even entertain the idea of being a part of someone’s life before they have gotten rid of all the sinful/bad/evil/not so good things that were/are a part of their life? I believe that one of the things that Jesus revealed to us in His ministry here on this earth was that anyone could follow in the crowd, anyone could meet Him along the pathway and anyone could even interrupt Him as He was ministering. As I was typing this last sentence time after time was coming to my recall of people coming to Jesus before they had changed their lifestyle. There were even times when the people around Jesus were sure that He would not talk to someone, or He would not heal someone or    ‘you fill in the blank.’ 

Luke 5: 17 -26

17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him. 18-20 Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, “Friend, I forgive your sins.” 21 That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins.” 22-26 Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, “Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, stunned—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, “We’ve never seen anything like that!”

The religious leaders had been following Jesus to see if they could somehow figure Him out – or to see if they could trap Him in some way and get people to think/agree with them that Jesus was a heretic or imposter or at least that He ‘was not’ Who He said He was – ‘the Son of God’. He just did not do things the way they were supposed to be done. So what may have been some of the things the religious leaders thought Jesus should have done – or at least done before He chose to heal someone? When we read the Scriptures we find that one of the reasons for illness was sin. The people often thought it was something that the parents or someone in the family had or had not done; or it could have been that the person themselves had done or not done something. Their belief was that illness and/or birth defects were a result of sin and while that is in essence true it was not necessarily that it was the family that was in the wrong. Sin, when it entered the world with Adam and Eve, came with a whole host of consequences for the human race and none of them were good in any way. Sin affects all of humanity and while it may seem that some people get more than their share of struggles and troubles God is well aware of what is happening to each individual. 

In the story here in Luke, first of all the friends of this handicapped man were convinced that Jesus could help their friend. Second, I do not believe that the man himself resisted or even could resist what his friends believed for him. He had no way to get up and run or hide – he was captive to their idea. Thirdly, they did not try to pretend that they knew the outcome 100% but they were definitely willing to move forward believing that there was a better way for their friend. And then – and then – – – what in the world – not anyone in the crowd was willing to move an inch or make any room for them to get their friend into the room where Jesus was. Others had no care for their friend, who they did not know, and who they immediately judged as one who was not worthy of Jesus attention much less of Jesus healing. After all, they got there first so these guys with their problem friend just needed to go. Go indeed the friends did – but that was only the beginning of this story.

So, the friends of this man decided if the crowd was not going to be polite – well maybe they could try another avenue. And I expect that the avenue that they used got the attention of the crowd in even a greater way – and I expect that there was some ‘What’ – Now what’ – ‘Why’ etc. being uttered. I expect there were also those who were trying to stop this whole fiasco too. Did these people have no respect at all for Jesus and the group of people that he was meeting with – and did they have no respect for the fact that they were ruining someone’s house? All for the opportunity for a man to be given the opportunity to be made new – to be healed. This man’s friends saw the result that they believed Jesus could produce as opposed to being an intrusion into the situation. And for them the need needed attention now – not an appointment for a later date. Their friend needed an emergency appointment with Jesus and they were all about making it happen. 

And so this man came ‘lying on a mat right through the ceiling at Jesus’ feet’. And definitely it caught Jesus’ attention – and he healed the man and allowed him to be on his way. The man was complete, whole, and able to go forward and live a life as everyone else was living from this time forward. But it was all because his friends believed in the finished product of Jesus’ work of miraculous healing. What a great ending – the friends believed that Jesus could heal now – and their friend did not have to wait until Jesus came to his house or town. 

What or who in your life needs hope? Hope for a future that can not be completely seen or known. Does one choose to just give the negatives of what is happening in the world around us? Or does one look rather at the opportunities that God is wanting to work in the world? One may say (and I have heard people say it), ‘There is no hope for this country/world/universe.’ Yes my friend, that is a true statement in many respects however Jesus as well as other writers of the Scripture say, ‘Put your hope in God and not in humanity.’ It is about putting one’s hope in the unseen believing that what is promised can be accomplished and will be accomplished. For me and my new home, I have a contractor in whom I have hope as the photos above show what transformation happened in my previous home. This same contractor will transform this now home into a beautiful home as well. Just as you and I are ready to put our trust and faith in humanity with skills to transform and make things better – God does one better – He takes you and me and anyone else who is willing, sometimes unwilling at first and He transforms us into people filled with love, hope, peace, gentleness and kindness. But I must believe it can happen to me in my life, that it can happen to others and then choose to embrace God and His work in my life  as well as others and then – ‘Watch and see how God will transform your life into a beautiful miracle.’ Amen.

Guidelines for a personal retreat photoGuidelines for a Personal Retreat – Download

Whether the beginning of a new year or a new season, discerning God’s direction is key. It can be difficult at times to figure out how to accomplish this in our busy lives.

The beginning of summer is a perfect time to embark on discernment and seek God’s direction. I strongly believe that God is in the process of birthing something new and wants us to be a part of that newness. So it is an ideal time to look, listen, and discern. Spiritual retreats are the perfect way to accomplish that.

This booklet is based on the most popular posts about spiritual retreats published on Godspacelight.com over the last few years and provides resources for taking a spiritual retreat either on your own or with a friend or spouse.

Updated with more practices and sections!

You may also like

Leave a Comment