Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. – Acts 3:6 KJV
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Peter and John were on their way into the temple for ninth hour prayer when they met a lame man at the gate of the temple which is called the Beautiful Gate – Acts 3:1-2. The man who has been in that state since birth, and had been laid daily at that particular spot, asked them for alms, as it is usual with him to do with all the people who regularly passed by him at that spot.
On this particular occasion, Peter and John gave him attention asking him to fix his gaze at them – Acts 3:4-5. He obeyed them but, with expectation of the usual alms that he has been collecting, but Peter and John had a different idea. Their action is the foundation scripture for today’s devotion. Both of them held the man by his hands as they pronounced healing into his life. At their words, the Bible says, his feet and ankle bones received strength and he, leaping up, stood and walked with them into the temple – Acts 3:6-8.
Obviously, this is a new Peter and John having been just recently empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus had previously told them that they will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come on them – Acts 1:8. This act of theirs was probably the first confirmation of that statement of Jesus Christ. Worthy of note is the difference in thoughts and expectations of the lame man against the thoughts and actions of Peter and John. Whereas, he was expecting the usual alms that will provide temporary relief for him, they had a different plan, which was to permanently liberate him from the bondage that was limiting him in life. Luckily for him, Peter and John operated at a level higher than his expectations and so he got a better deal this time around.
Most Christians are however, not as lucky as this lame beggar. They, like the lame beggar have been so weather beaten by their situation that they are not able to see beyond their self proffered solution. They have decided to limit themselves to that temporary solution that they have, and so cannot see any permanent alternative. They end up in all or any of the following:
1. They choose to remain at the gate and never see themselves being qualified to go into the temple. Christians should for no reason limit how close they can be to God and grace. Nothing should ever make the Christian feel inferior before the throne of Grace. The Bible says we have a High Priest who is able to identify with our situation, having being through it himself. So we should approach the throne of Grace with confidence so that we can receive the desired and needed mercy for our situation – Heb. 4:15-16. You are at the gate if you are still waiting for an intermediary to plead your case aside from Jesus Christ. You are at the gate if you still believe that your sin is so much that God will not listen to your pleas. You are definitely not maximising the advantage of your relationship with him if you still feel inferior around him. At the gate, all you can get is pity from men but approach the throne of grace today so that you can receive mercy that will lift you out of that situation.
2. They end up with family members also agreeing with their position at the gate so they will not be trying to help such a Christian go beyond the gate. Most times, the greatest obstacle to getting out of that negative situation are people who claim they actually know you. Their awareness of who you were before knowing Christ adds to their unbelief that you can be more than who you presently are, and thus make them take definite positions that will further limit your chances of overcoming that life challenge. There will be the need to remain focused on the God that you have decided to worship and his Messiah. They are the ones that can and will reshape your destiny if you avoid such distractions from family and friends. Do not let your handicap, such as lack of financial support, limit your divinely inspired dreams. Focus on the author and the finisher of everything that you have come to believe in – Heb. 12:2. Your cheer leaders may not be all those who are helping you today because, they will limit what you can get to what they can give. Think beyond the limit of their support and see the ultimate helper. That is when your dream will not be killed by the limit of the capacity of your present helpers. The help that God renders is limitless and with him nothing is impossible. Even Jesus Christ refused to be limited by the thinking of his parents and his brothers – Lk. 2:41-52; Lk. 8:20-21; Jn. 7:2-9. He remained focused on his life goals and he succeeded. You too will succeed if you follow his example.
3. They eventually become comfortable with the low level that their situation has brought them to, and stop having ambition to be anything different. Christians must always separate contentment from ambition. It is good to live a life of contentment but there is no crime if you have the ambition to be better than what you are presently, especially if the ambition is divinely inspired. The only error would then be, if you decide to live the life that you want to be when you are not yet there or you decide to break all rules to achieve that set goal. The foundation of any breakthrough is the decision of the person concerned to overcome his/her present situation. It is not possible for God to take anyone out of a situation that he/she is comfortable in and your discomfort with that situation is what should be clearly expressed in your prayer points. Jabez was very ambitious as he rejected whatever may be the family trend. He clearly stated in his prayer points what his ambition was and all was granted – 1Chr. 4:10.
Your remaining in that situation, despite your Christian belief may be due to all these points and there is the need for you to ride over them. All that is required to overcome them is your decision and resoluteness and of course the support of the most high and you will find yourself in divine comfort. May God help you as you take the necessary decision in Jesus name. Amen.