Acts 3:1-11, Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
I recently finished reading an account written by George Muller of his relationship with the Lord and the work entrusted to him, as he cared for as many as 10,000 orphans in his lifetime. The one thing, most of all, that was imparted to me was that he never asked a man for anything. It was a God-given conviction in his heart that the Lord himself would provide for him without his ever having to address the needs of the ministry (or any deficit for that matter) with anyone other than God. He believed with his whole heart that no matter what, God would meet the needs of today. He did not disappoint. God would always send someone. Always.
I am also in the midst of reading an account of Reese Howells, an intercessor, whose conviction was that he had no right to pray for something that he himself would not be willing to provide if the means were available to him. Another words, if someone came to him and asked him to pray for a financial need they were facing, he could not and would not pray for it unless he himself were willing to meet it or contribute to it, if at all possible. This was to the degree that if someone asked for prayer, he believed that God would indeed use him to bring the answer.
To live with such conviction and purpose. To trust God with such self-less abandon.
I want this.
Last night, I was thinking on such matters when the Lord began to revelate Acts 3 to me. I saw the lame man at the Gate Beautiful. He lived a life where people were always carrying him and not God. And if I could just interject here, my friend Melissa Flores wrote a beautiful post here about Hosea… he was in the womb and the pains of birth were coming to him, yet when the time came, he refused to come to the opening of the womb. I believe these two to be the same testimony to what the Lord is saying. Hosea relished being “carried” in the same way.
How often do I have a handicap and rather than look to the Lord to meet my need, I sit just like that man at the Gate Beautiful? Searching for someone to tell…someone to help and living a peripheral life, outside of God’s provision?
Truth be known, there is something SO BIG in my heart to do. Something SO BIG, that my mouth can’t open wide enough at times to speak of it. My impulse is to lean on the crutch that I see so many others with this same “calling” taking.
If I do this, who will agree with me?
If I do this, who will help me?
“Alms for the poor. Alms for the poor.”
I keep coming up short every time… and I wrongly convince myself that someone else will do this with me and I will not have to walk it out myself. Like it’s going to be handed to me.
Here’s the thing. If I never learn to rely solely upon God. If I never trust Him as provider. Silver and gold will never be enough.
When Peter and John said to him, “Look on us.”, what they were really saying was, “Take your eyes off of us! There is Someone greater!”
It’s time for the spiritual “nickel and diming” to stop around here. For weeks I’ve been so unsettled. I’ve been at the Gate Beautiful for too long, dreaming of living and praying someone will fund it.
For those of us who have been living this way, (and I don’t think I am alone in this) we are very aware that “eyes are fixed on us”. We are being challenged. It’s time meet their expectant gaze and look beyond the flesh, to the One and only name of Jesus.
It’s time to open my mouth wide again and believe that God will satisfy it with good things!
I believe that even as I post this, immediately my feet and ankles will receive strength! This is going to be a walking and leaping and praising God kind of year! It’s going to leave those around me greatly wondering!