Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Borrowed Faith

Borrowed Faith


Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him.  And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.  When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” – Luke 5:17-20
I’ve heard a lot of folks say “I can worship God at home, I don’t need church.”  Yes, it’s true that you can worship God anywhere, because He is everywhere.  But if you feel you “don’t need church”, you’ve missed the point of church.  It’s not just about congregational worship, or being fed God’s word from a minister.  It’s also about finding the strength you need in others.

Sometimes the mountain is just too big to move on your own.  Your faith may be strong, and you may be prayed up, fasted, anointed, and in the Word 24/7.  But eventually, God’s going to give you a mountain that you can’t move on your own.   

Faith is like a muscle, and we’re like weight lifters.  A weight lifter begins training with a small weight.  But if they only lift 100 lbs. and stop at that, they’re never going to be able to lift more than 100 lbs.  So their coach will give them more.  They are encouraged to try 105 lbs., 110 lbs., and when they finally reach that weight that becomes too much of a burden, they call for a spotter.  The job of the spotter is to “spot” when the lifter needs help, and step in and help them lift the weight. 

Church is where you find “spotters” for your faith.  There are times when we all will face a trial that our own faith is just too weak to overcome.  Maybe the burden is too much bigger than what we’ve successfully lifted in the past.  Maybe we’ve carried the weight of the burden too long and expended all our faith.  Maybe the trial is too costly to lose, and fear overcomes our faith.  Regardless of why, there comes a time when we all need to reach out to someone else, borrowing some of their faith.

In Luke 5:17-20 we read of a man who had been paralyzed his entire life.  Jesus had come to town and was teaching a packed house, and healing those that needed healing.  This news must have excited the paralyzed man - yet also become a burden.  How could he get to the house where Jesus was?  And even if he did, how could he push past the crowd?  How would he get Jesus’ attention in a packed house when he couldn’t even stand?

But as Jesus is speaking, the tile roof begins to be torn away, and the man is lowered on a cot to be placed right in front of Jesus.  When the paralyzed man could not come to Jesus of his own strength, he borrowed the strength of others.  But it wasn’t just their biceps and triceps he borrowed.  He borrowed their faith.  In Verse 20 we read “When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”, and the paralyzed man walked away healed.  Whose faith? THEIR faith.

His friends had great faith that Jesus was the healer that they had heard about.  They believed that if they just got their friend to him, Jesus would heal him.  Their faith gave them strength in the face of discouragement.  Having gotten to the house where Jesus was, and not been able to enter because of the crowd, they didn’t stop believing!  They climbed on the roof, found rope, and lifted their friend up.  They tore open the tiles on the roof, and lowered their friend to Jesus.  And they didn’t plan for their friend’s exit from the house through the roof because they believed – in faith - that he would walk out!

There’s a song by Bebo Norman called Borrow Mine.  Its lyrics are about receiving help in your weakness.  You don’t have to bear your burdens alone.    

“You can borrow mine when your hope is gone
Borrow mine when you can't go on
'Cause the world will not defeat you when we're side by side
When your faith is hard to find, you can borrow mine, borrow mine.”

Borrow Mine.  That’s a message each and every Christian should offer to their friends.  When your faith isn’t strong enough - don’t give up, don’t give in.  When you have no hope left, when you have no strength left, borrow mine.  Find a “spotter” that will say, “Borrow Mine”.  You don’t have to carry your load alone.

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