|[Image by Philippe on Flickr]|
It took thirty-eight critical years for an invalid to know whose opinion mattered the most. He had been paralyzed for 38 years and was finally approached one day and told to pick up his bed and WALK.
Are you kidding? First of all, in all his 38 years of sickness he'd never heard of that sort of nonsense. "Pick up your bed and walk." Just like that? Secondly, here comes this man, called Jesus, telling him to do this on the Sabbath day of all days, a holy weekly observation when people aren't supposed to do so much as lift a finger.
Yes, He said it. "Pick up your bed and walk." And boy-oh-boy, if He was bold enough to command a 38-year old paralysis to leave this body on the Sabbath, then this invalid was definitely willing to take a crazy shot at faith. And guess what? He did exactly what was asked of him. And it worked! He suddenly found himself taking beautiful strides beside the pool in front of which 38 seconds ago he had laid there paralyzed. So whose opinion became the most important to Him? You guessed it right. Jesus! (See John 5).
So later when the keepers of the law came to meet this man saying, "it is the Sabbath. You are not authorized to take up your bed," he looked them dead in their eyes and boldly replied, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, "Take up your bed and walk."
At that instant, He realized that no other opinion in the entire universe mattered more to him than the one which restored his life back to him along with the 38 years he'd been defeated.
"The Man Who Healed Me." His opinion had become higher than anyone else's.
In the recesses of the powerful phenomenon known as 'The Mind,' we humans have piled up such unbelievably immense amounts of subject matter. In this generation of crushing technology, information is only found at the flick of our finger-tips. Who could have foreseen that the Internet age would make it so easy? Due to this age of technology, we have voluminous amounts of opinions from countless resources all fighting for a second of our attention span.
But this year, I want to challenge you to take a different approach to the way you select the opinion that matters. Let's be like the man who was healed by Jesus, who said, "But the man who healed me, that man said to me, "take up your bed and walk." All of a sudden, all the information in that man's brain became streamlined to just one source. Every object in his mind pointed to Jesus, and all his thoughts became subject to the love of Christ ("what manner of man is this who chooses to heal me on a day like this?")
You can make that choice too, no matter what you're going through. Choose the most important opinion and stick to it. Be ruthless with your choices this year, because they will affect the potential of the rest of your life. It is only 13 days into 2012 and a lot of transformations have already taken place in the world to set the pace for the rest of the year.
In whatever you do, choose God's Opinion.
Because He is God and holds time in His hands, the opinions of how my time would be spent this year will not be dictated by the standards of the world but by God's standards. Because the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, I will choose to occupy whatever territory He places me in. Because His Word is true, I will choose to seek what He says before I take any actions. Because He is the center of my universe, I will choose to hold on to His Word more than holding on to gravity or fickle political sabotages. Because He places kings and princes in charge, I will choose to respect authority. Because He is a refuge for the oppressed (Psalm 9:9), I will also trust Him to set at liberty those who are currently being oppressed in the world today. Whatever the case may be, we must be careful to put His Word before ours, and His will before ours. His opinion is what matters the most above all else. So when I take my stance on world affairs, I want it to be planted in the Word of God first.
So friends, whose opinion will matter the most to you this year? I pray that even as you #occupy your territories, you will choose Him first and let His Word direct your every move in these perilous times. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). What do you say?