"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Throwing Away Crutches

To be free, to be able to stand up and leave everything behind--without looking back.  To say "Yes"--Dag Hammarskjӧld soon after being elected Secretary-General of the UN

Alan Cohen admonishes us to "Surrender your crutches, and see that you never, in truth, had any need for them."  This is Cohen's message throughout his book, "The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore."  It's the message I know I need to live, so any imagery that I can identify with is helpful.  We have a pair of crutches in our attic used by our then 16-year-old son after he sustained an injury to his leg.  I've kept them all these years "just in case" we should ever need them "for some reason."  This is my thinking about everything I hold on to---including my "survival mechanisms."  I know that I'm held in the palm of God's Hand, but "just in case" "for some reason" I forget this, I'll have my crutch (my survival mechanism) to help me negotiate the threat.  

Hmmmm.....when I say it that way it sure doesn't sound like "believing faith" does it.  In John 5 when Jesus said to the invalid, "Get up!  Pick up your mat and walk" he didn't qualify it with "but hang onto it just in case you need it again."  In fact, He first asked him if he wanted to get well.  Later when Jesus saw him He said, "See, you are well again.  Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."  Some people may think our afflictions are the result of our "sins," but what I believe Jesus was referring to was the man's sin of unbelief.  The way this unbelief manifested itself is explained in verse 7:  "Sir....I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.  While I am trying to get in someone else goes down ahead of me."  This is the "crutch" that Cohen is referring to.....our excuses, our "survival mechanisms" that we use to face the world, the belief that some thing is necessary before we are healed.  
It disguises itself in the form of anger (so we don't let that person close to us again); fear/doubt (so we don't risk anything); sadness/despair (so no one will expect anything from us); envy (so we don't have to put forth effort); guilt (so we don't have to take responsibility for ourselves) and so on!  

The fact that Jesus first asked the man whether he wanted to get well is an indication that the ability to get well was there all along if he was willing.  His "woe-is-me, there's-nothing-left-for-me-but-to-lie-here-by-the pool-of-healing-water" attitude (for 38 years, no less), was banished with the authority in Jesus' words.  We have that same authority available to us because we have the Holy Spirit.....the power of almighty God unleashed in us once we throw away the crutches and say ENOUGH!

So, I turned the question around and asked myself "What do you need to do, Cathy, to remember that God lives in you and therefore you already have everything you need?"  For one thing, I need to be more present in my life--more aware of old habits of coping mechanisms that are on auto-pilot.  The moment I lose my peace I need to ask myself "Where is this disquiet coming from?" so I can nip it in the bud!  Scripture is the way to exercise God's authority--it carries the power to defeat the lies we tell ourselves that we all too often believe instead of His Word--just the way Jesus did when he said, "Pick up your mat and walk," and the invalid did.  

Cohen paraphrases it as, "Take up your bed of self-created sorrow, and walk.  This is not a command, but a promise of the Divine possibility for yourself."

Father, it's time I brought those crutches out of storage and got rid of them.  They are just weighing down my soul with clutter.  If I'm to be truly free, I must leave everything behind and live moment by moment in response to You in me.

Link to scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:19

Take action:  If you struggle with overwhelming thoughts of anger, fear, or sorrow, consider what Joyce Meyer has to say about Scriptures for a Sound Mind.

Who is the Holy Spirit:


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