Pick up stix – parable


This is a part of a list of modern day parables…

PickUpSticks_simple.jpgDo you remember the kiddies game pick up stix? I had so much fun playing this game as a kid. I’d play it again now as an adult… if I had some of them. But that’s beside the point.

I’ve often wondered: what the key thing was to healing people?

Was it Jesus name? That sounds right but the disciples didn’t always use His name in the book of Acts… so that’s not it.

So I read a bunch of books and they amused me because their basic message was “try, try and try again”. Even good books called “How to pray for healing” were eventually vague at the end.

I looked at how Jesus did it, looking for the example method, trying to find the key. I wanted a neat line of pick up stix all aligned at the edges.

I read how Jesus healed. Guess what? It looked like this:

PickUpSticks.jpgJesus never healed in the same way twice. Never.

Sometimes He spat on the ground. Sometimes He simply spoke to the person. Sometimes He remarked on their faith. Sometimes they didn’t have faith but someone else had faith for them. Sometimes they didn’t even know who He was (the man at bethsaida). Sometimes they asked for healing, sometimes they didn’t ask, sometimes He asked them if they want it (the man at bethsaida). Sometimes they didn’t seem to deserve it or want it or thank Him for it (the centurion who was arresting Him). Sometimes He sent the demonic into pigs, sometimes He told them not to come back, sometimes He did other things.

Now that leaves me in a pickle – how can I pray for others if I don’t know exactly how to?

You see, if my Greek-Western mind can’t see a 10 step plan then how can I copy Him? If there is no key, then how will I know what to do? I spent 12 years at school and some more years after that being trained to follow instructions… and now in this most important thing, there are no instructions?

What I want is this

PickUpSticks_entwined.jpg kind of effect. It all should tie together nicely. Neat. No loose ends. Certainly not… in a serious matter like this!

But there we have it. Jesus never did it the same way twice.

Why? Why didn’t He? I think it’s because we would then copy Him! Yes. We’d reduce healing to a 10 step plan and do it, when what He really wants is for us to get into a relationship with Holy Spirit and learn to follow Him.

So what is the one thing that all the healings have in common? Jesus. They all have Jesus – either right there, or in the person who is doing the healing. The only thing that every healing has in common is Jesus.

I have found this same principle is in every very important teaching in the bible. The teachings all look a bit like this:

PickUpSticks2.jpgThe various teachings on sanctification, baptism, the old covenant, the new covenant, being IN Jesus, Paul says that to live is Christ, Him in me, me in Him… all these teachings are so important but it’s tremendously hard to pick a single pattern out of them. Do we need to be baptised to be saved? Does it have to be full immersion?

But there is one pattern. You might be able to make it out in that image above. Can you see how it kinda looks like a cross?

Paul says that it was Abraham’s faith that made Abraham righteous with God. So when the law came the people began to do what I wanted to do… find 10 steps to righteousness… but it was still faith that makes us right with God.

And today that is still true in that we must have faith in Jesus to be right with God.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. –John 10:9

For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed. – Romans 10:9-11

For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. – Acts 16:31

I previously wrote (Healing people through Loving them) about how my faith is changing and becoming simpler.

Now it has become even simpler. I think it’s very very important to learn about what Jesus did for us. We must search the scriptures to find out what He did for us and then believe in that. Our faith allows us to rely on Him for those things.

If we see this (what He did for us) as the central truth and accept it then we can let go of religion, we can let go of religious behaviour… and then the pick up stix look like this because His cross and His resurrection are at the center…

Pick_up_sticks_center.JPG

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