The spirit of GOD lives in all of us. We have this amazing access to hope, that we can call on at any time, but so often we do not choose to. Hope is the only thing that is stronger than fear. Having hope in your heart can be an effective tool for inspiring change in ourselves and the world. Unfortunately, life can beat the hope right out of you. You can easily live a lifetime of pain without hope in your soul. That hope that lives in us is GOD’s spirit, he left for us. (John 14:15-31) Most people call it the Holy Spirit, but I like to think of it as a piece of GOD, himself, living in each one of us. It is sad to say that we drag GOD’s spirit through the mud of our lives and we do not access the hope that HE, HIMSELF is sitting there with us in everything we do.
There is a story in the Book of John (John 5:1-18) about a paralyzed man sitting by a fountain of water wishing that he could get in, knowing that the water would heal him. The man sat at the fountain for years unable to get in when the angels would stir the water. He must have watched thousands of people get in and be healed, while he waited with no hope. He had given up his fight in the world because he thought he was doomed to a life watching everyone else get exactly what he wanted. How many times have we felt the exact same way? Watching people around us get things that we want as we wait outside the fountain hoping that it will be us someday, but never doing anything to get in. The story goes on to say that Jesus walks up and asks the man if he wants to be healed, the man says of course, “yes” and then is healed promptly by Jesus. In a split second he picks up his mat and walks away as if nothing ever happened and he had not been stranded there for 35 years. In this same instant Jesus is gone. He did not stand around and receive praise and glory, he simply walked away.
Most people see this story as a miracle, but as I thought more about it I felt like GOD showed me a different side to this parable. The story is not about the miracle that happen when the man walked; the story is about hope. Having hope in something greater and wanting your life to be different can lead you to the destiny that you were created for. We have all been paralyzed with fear sitting by the fountain waiting for a miracle, when the miracle is already inside us. For example, most of us long to lose weight and fail at diets multiple times in our life. We are stuck in the fear unable to make the goal we have set. Even undisciplined eating habits or laziness has some deep roots in fear of something that is different for all of us. We must identify the fear and overcome it with Jesus to have effective results. I know that if I can say no to food I can say no to anything and that will push me to succeed in the right direction of life. My personal struggle with the fear of losing weight is because people were not so nice to me when I was thinner. So, I know that the diet is not my problem, the fear of after the diet is the problem. I must keep my hope focused on the fact that I am a child of GOD and that with HIM I can do anything. Our fear should not control our decisions and keep us stagnate from change, because change is inevitable. Hope in what we want to achieve should be stronger then the fear we hold on to in our hearts. This man at the fountain had to decide to change his life and say “yes” I wanted to be healed.
The story goes on to explain that the man had no idea who healed him. Then he encounters Jesus again and he cautioned him to “not sin anymore.” So, with this being said, we know that being a believer in Jesus has no conditions on Jesus taking care of you because this man had no idea who Jesus was. We can also see from the scripture that Jesus cautioned him not to go back and sin meaning not to go back to his old way. When you have effectively changed an aspect of your life, do not turn around and pull yourself down by your own controllable choices. We have control about whether we decide to sin or not. Just like I have control on whether I eat that cookie. We are given self- control to say no to the things that will get us in trouble. To this end, living in the fear that GOD will not provide for you, could be considered sin. Think about it, if you do not trust the creator of the universe, you are essentially going against GOD- which is wrong- which is sin. We do not know what kind of sin that this man struggled with at the fountain, but we do know that he had lost the hope that pushes you to be better in life. He had lost Jesus.
We have heard that Jesus lives in us a thousand times from the time that we were small. Although, many of us, believers included do not access the full measure of Jesus even sporadically in our lives. Think about it, it’s like having access to millions of dollars in your bank account and hoping that we could have a corvette someday. We are looking at our ourselves and our own bank accounts thinking we could never obtain such things, meanwhile GOD’s waiting right next you holding out cash saying “let me show you how amazing life can be with me.” In our everyday lives, we need to train ourselves to look to the left a little bit more because GOD lies in the places that our human nature does not point to. Let’s not drag GOD through our dirty laundry anymore. I pray that we can live in the hope of GOD because it is the only thing stronger then fear.