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Pick up your Mat

Do you want to be well? has been posted at least twice now, but once again I am reminded of its power and saving grace.

My hard season got the best of me recently and in came the mental spiral of discouragement and hopelessness. The result was my destructive tendency to isolate and numb which despite its best efforts led to more negative emotions. It was Sunday, so I went to church and the Lord filled me with a timely sermon on walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5). As I left, I wanted to continue in my habits of escape, but I heard a little voice inside say "pick up your mat" and a knowing took over.

John 5:5-9 (NIV Translation))

Jesus and the Pool of Bethesda: One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “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.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

What if the “get up” Jesus is speaking of is to “pick up your mat” and the faith produced from that action will lead to walking (more faith and becoming well)?

What if God is saying “I am right here (believe and remember that), pick up your mat (take a specific action through faith), and watch me work (watch what I can and will do through faith in action)?

Time after time, when I've applied this principle, God provides.

Pick Up Your Mat means to ACT OPPOSITE.

Act Opposite is a therapy tool that challenges you to behave the opposite of your emotional tendencies.

The paralyzed man had been lying there for 38 years. His tendency was to try to get into the pool. We don't know what his attempt looked like, but we do know he was seeking a solution other than Christ, and he would get caught up in discouragement due to his deficiency and the interference of others.

His act opposite was to get up. and not try to get in the pool. To seek Christ as the solution instead of a worldly counterfeit.

Struggling Me: I keep going as long as I've got options (potential solutions) to try. When I hit a place of mental fatigue or I'm at a loss for options, I tend to isolate and numb. All I want to do is lay in my bed or on the couch and watch TV for hours on end.

My act opposite is to stay active despite not having options and despite not feeling like doing anything. It is also to choose to be around others and open up to friends and mentors when I want to be alone and private.

Acting Opposite is not easy but its a behavioral change you can put into practice that can potentially change your destructive tendencies, your mood, and your day.

Do you want to be well? How can you pick up your mat today?


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