One of the most overlooked parts of Jesus’ ministry is that He didn’t show up at people’s doorsteps. With all the walking He did, He must have walked by houses with sick and lame people in them. He could have stopped by and healed them, but there are no such stories in the Bible. Instead, He waited until people asked Him.
There are numerous stories where someone in the crowd said that so-and-so at their house was ill or demon-possessed and asked for His help. Jesus went willingly with all of them (save for the centurion, but only because the centurion said it wasn’t necessary that Jesus should go, only that He should command). There are even more where someone asked him for healing on the spot and Jesus granted it. In one case, He granted it knowing that nine of the ten people he healed wouldn’t come back to thank Him.
There are two lessons to learn from this:1. God is willing to help you, wherever you are. Jesus never demanded that these people be well before He went to them. He knew He could heal them, so it wasn’t necessary that they be well before they could meet Him.
Unfortunately, we as a church body often do that to non-Christians, telling them they must be well morally before they can be accepted rather than trusting God to heal them. Think back to when you became a Christian: were you perfect? While your habits have hopefully changed for the better since then, is your heart really any less selfish at its core?
There’s an old story of a pastor who was fishing and praying to God about how to grow his church. God responded, “You catch ’em, I’ll clean ’em.” It’s not on us to demand that others conform to our ethical standards before they become Christians, only that they want to know Christ. Just as He met you where you were (and will meet you where you are in any of your problems), He will meet all those who call on Him.
2. You must call on Him. He never imposed Himself on anyone, neither did He heal anyone without being asked to. God won’t take away your free will, even to save you. You have to choose Him. If He made your life perfect without you calling on Him, it would only reinforce in your mind that you don’t need Him when in truth, you need Him more than anything.
If you want God to help you to see Him differently, you have to ask Him for His help. Admit openly to Him where you are and how you see Him and ask that He give you a truer view of Himself.
Speaking of a truer view, we’ll get to that in the next post.