This post is from the revelatory teaching notes that Dr. Aikens taught in a Bootcamp. Posted by Rev. Jane Babich after attending the Bootcamp.
Excuses are a type of spiritual impotence, like the one birthed by ignorance and false expectations of the sickly man at the pool of Bethesda.
Excuses are explanations we put forward to defend or justify a fault or action hoping to make us free from blame if only within our mind while attempting to conceal the real reason.
Impotence is when we embrace the inability to take effective action. It makes us feel helpless to do what we want, need, or should do.
“Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the sheep gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). In these lay a great number of impotent … sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—waiting for the bubbling up of the water. For an angel of the LORD went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted. There was a certain man there who had suffered from a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there, knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, he said to him, do you want to become well? [are you really in earnest about getting well?] The impotent man answered saying, sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I’m trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the sabbath.”
Can you imagine how this helpless man must have felt? He had lain amid these impotent hundreds, year after year. Understand he had the faith to expect a move of God to deliver him, but it had not happened, yet. And while he waited, he began to feel the “D’s” that compound the feeling of helplessness in our times of crisis.
But even worse than the “D’s” is when we embrace a sense of betrayal, it makes us look for an excuse, a reason outside of ourselves, a finger to point at someone else to answer why this thing has happened.
As we see in John 5:2-9, when asked why he was still waiting, the man had an accusation ready on his lips. He’d fixed it in his mind that he was still sick because no one was willing to help him. Excuses!
His response was an excuse because the others were in the same predicament as he was, sick and alone, waiting for the Angel of the Lord to stir the waters. He was there on his bed of excuses when Jesus showed up with a question and a Rhema word of direction.
Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”
Then Jesus gave the man these instructions. “Get up! Take up your bed and walk.” Meaning, forget your excuses and embrace this Rhema word of direction. And when the man heard when Jesus said, he recovered his strength quickly and powerfully.
But, when we continue to rely and rest on excuses, we will exchange our purpose and life for apathy. Apathy is a weight of not caring about anything of value. Spiritually, apathy steals your hope and joy by replacing them with excuses that dull you emotionally and spiritually.
Logos & Rhema Word
Simply stated, God’s Logos Word is The Bible. The Bible communicates His will for all that have an ear to hear. God’s Rhema Word is a Holy Spirit quickened word for a specific person or a specific situation. Both are His Word and according to His will and His ways. God spoke the Rhema Word of recovery to the man at the pool of Bethesda.
Recover is to regain or return to a previous state of health, mind, or strength, and that is good news. But when we experience recovery through a Rhema word, we are always returned to a higher place than before. God is all about an increase, and this increase prepares us to return and follow in His ordered steps.
Psalm 37:23-24 (amplified)
“The steps of a good man are ordered, directed and established by the LORD when he delights in his way; and he busies himself with his every step. Though he falls he shall not be utterly cast down. For the LORD grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”
Ordered is to be made proper and caused to stand erect and just be a certainty in that it is confirmed and directed. When we are talking about God ordered, then we also take into consideration that everything He has made He has seen to its being right and having the ability to exhibit faithfulness to that which he intended it.
Ordered also means to ordain, perfect, or to have preparation or provision to make completely ready, right, to be stable, established, and stand.
Understand that God works with us just as He works with His word. He puts the same care and empowerment into what and whoever He has made and ordered to recover and stand.
God sees to it that we have the back up to be able to do His will in ways that confirm, and present valid living proof that all He’s said to and about us not only was but is, and will always remain pure and established as we follow our ordered steps according to Psalm 37:23-24.
We will all have times of when we feel as did the man at the pool of Bethesda, waiting and being tempted to give in to apathy. Remember that we need not despair because God’s Word will strengthen us to recover.
Declare God’s Word,
Take up your bed, and walk,
Return to your Ordered Steps!
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