Monday Morning Devotion (What is your Real Need?)

(5) And when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Child! Your sins are forgiven you.” (6) Now there were certain scribes there sitting and considering in their hearts, (7) What is this that this man is saying? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins except God? (8) And immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that they were considering this in themselves, and he said to them, “What is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you?’ or to say, ‘Arise and take your mat, and walk?’ (10) But so that you may know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins–he says to the paralytic, (11) ‘I say to you, Arise, take your mat and go to your house. (12) And he rose up and immediately took his mat and went out before them all, so that everyone was astounded and was glorifying God saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” — Mark 2:5-12

In verses 1-4 four men let the paralytic down into the room through the roof. After that determined effort I’m pretty sure the paralytic knew what he wanted. He wanted Jesus to heal him, make him whole, make him walk.

So what does Jesus do? He says, “Your sins are forgiven you.” My wife and I were once involved in praying for the healing of someone’s foot. I know, it doesn’t sound all that glamorous, praying for a foot, but it was what we were called to do, and along with a number of friends, we did it.

But the foot was very stubborn and remained unhealed. In prayer and some conversation with the man whose foot was injured, we found that he had an issue of forgiveness, specifically of forgiving himself and of accepting God’s forgiveness on a particular issue. Finally he expressed that forgiveness, and meant it, and suddenly he got up, was able to put on his shoe, and could walk. He even helped us move a piano.

Now what this man wanted was healing for his foot, which was swollen, wouldn’t take his weight, and wouldn’t fit his shoe. What he got was forgiveness and healing both.

When we come to Jesus we often come with our agendas. We could some it up in this prayer: “Make me healthy, wealthy, wise, and happy!” I think Jesus wants all those things for you at the right time and in the right measure. But the question is this: What do you really need? Jesus is going to look into you and discover what it is that you really are searching for, that you can’t do without.

When he offers you that one thing, will you recognize it? Will you realize what you’re getting? It may be that everything else you’re asking for will come with it. It may be that you’re going to go through hardships.

If you can’t lay your agenda aside for long enough to let Jesus fulfill his agenda in your life, and give you what you really need, you’re probably going to keep ending your times of prayers dissatisfied.

If you haven’t already done so, why don’t you try asking Jesus to do to and for you whatever it is he wills? Can you trust him that much?

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