I’ve spent way more time laying here than I would like. It’s 8:52 in the morning and the kids had to prepare their own cereal for breakfast because I can hardly walk. I walked out of an appointment yesterday and felt a twinge in my lower back, but it didn’t hurt, so I kept on with my day. But as the day wore on, I noticed pain began to creep in until, by the end of the evening, I could hardly roll over without hurting really bad. I took four 200mg ibuprofens that didn’t even touch the pain and so, last night, I slept a few hours and stared at the wall the rest of the time.
I spent that time awake praying this morning, and I kept hearing the Lord say to me, “Arise and walk the land, the length and the width of it, because I am giving it to you …“ And I couldn’t help but think, “But Lord, I can hardly walk!”
As I’ve had plenty of time to consider this conversation, I can easily see the implication here: I am not the only one who cannot walk the land. There are many of us who have been called and equipped and given a place to inhabit who cannot “walk the land” because Satan has us bowed down or laid out. Cripples who feel the urgent desire to straighten up and do what God is calling us to do.
I was searching through scripture this morning for the story of the woman with the issue of blood, and before I found it, I found the story of the boy seized by demons in Mark 9. After Jesus cast out the demon, the disciples wondered why they couldn’t do it. He said to them, “some come out only through prayer and fasting.(paraphrased)” I feel like the Lord is speaking directly to those of us who feel inhibited on the edge of the Promised Land. Just like He told the Israelites, “The enemy is in there and you will have to drive him out before you can live in peace,” He is also speaking the same thing to us. But because we “wrestle not against flesh and blood,” the Lord is telling us how to battle the enemy today. Prayer and fasting. We will have to drive the enemy out of the land before we can inhabit it, and it’s done through prayer and fasting.
When I finally found the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5, I realized the next part of our instructions: touch the hem of Christ’s garment. We have to become desperate enough to press in to Him, push through the crowd (or crowdedness of our lives) and reach out to touch Him. We have to have faith that touching Christ is all we need to be healed and straightened up. And we must know that He is faithful to do it. After all, He is the one who told us to “arise and walk the land.”
So what is it that is binding you? For me, it’s fear and insecurity. I feel completely inadequate and incapable. I entertain fear instead of standing in faith and I haven’t moved forward, although I feel I need to. The truth is, it’s not my work, it’s His, So if I’m an empty vessel who’s willing to be obedient, that’s enough for the Lord to work with.
I keep remembering the miracle of the loaves and fishes, in which Christ used a few loaves of bread and a couple fish to feed five thousand people. He was the one who did the miracle. He produced the abundance. The disciples were the hands and feet of His ministry of feeding the people, but in the end, they couldn’t take credit for creating so much food from so little. That was all Jesus. There goes that fear.
Do you see how easily the Lord can remove fear from us when we are willing to study His Word? How many of us right now could be walking in a much different, more abundant and beautiful place in ministry right now if we obeyed these instructions from the Lord? I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced there’s much more to life than this, and I’m going to press in so I can get up and walk in it!