In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk
By Tal Haroni
One’s life is a collection of many different elements – looks, actions and choices, belief systems and more. The way we behave points on what we believe – about ourselves, about others and about God. We all have repeating behavior patterns, behaviors that are ingrained in us from a young age. We learn to achieve things through actions and specific behaviors. Usually, these patterns stem from a desire to protect ourselves, they safeguard us and define who we are. Each of us can look at our lives and recognize these patterns. Jesus wants to help us recognize our false beliefs, so our behavior changes, and we can become more like Him.
A few days ago, one of the girls in our community confessed to me that she had been distancing herself from me for a few weeks. I had indeed noticed her growing apart during recent weeks, and I felt that whatever I did was not enough to bring her closer. The situation discouraged both of us. She took time to seek the Lord’s guidance about her heart. Through prayer, repentance, and introspection, the Lord showed her a behavior pattern and invited her to break it and find healing.
As she shared her journey with me, it reminded me of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple in Acts 3:1-8. He was accustomed to begging and surviving. But Jesus wanted to do something greater for him. Similarly, in her case, since I couldn’t feed her cyclic pattern, she found deeper healing.
Let’s examine this story. The lame man likely spent his life appointed to the temple gates begging. His parents might not have been able to care for him, or they might not have expected much from him. They may not have even hoped for something significant from him, so they left him at the temple gate. His existence was validated by receiving charity. Perhaps he believed that was his destiny.
“Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!!” Acts 3:3-6
Peter and John believed that this lame man had a different destiny. In the name of Jesus, he could walk. They knew that Jesus could and would heal and free him. They had genuine faith, knowing Jesus. The man was lifted up, his feet and ankles were strengthened, and he walked and praised God.
Like the lame man, who had been accustomed to relying on begging and charity, we are also trapped in various behavioral and thought patterns stemming from false beliefs about God. Jesus wants to set us free and give us true liberty, allowing us to grow and develop in His image. He wants us to trust in who He truly is. Thus, He breaks the cycle that feeds these behaviors.
When this cycle is broken, it can be painful. There might be disappointment that what we expected or wanted wasn’t fulfilled, and something no longer satisfies the cycle. This pain and disappointment can lead to resentment, anger, distancing, or even leaving the community. Or it can be a catalyst if we choose to approach Jesus with it. Just like my friend did. It may take time, especially if the cycle has been going on for years, but there is hope because God is faithful.
“No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Indeed, this trial isn’t easy, and breaking these patterns isn’t simple either. But it’s worth the effort! Just like the lame man who had spent his life collecting charity but received something greater, new life. And that’s exactly what Jesus wants to give each of us – new life. The current pain doesn’t compare to the freedom and resurrection awaiting us.
Jesus invites us to come before Him and allow Him to change us, to become more in His likeness. He invites us to discover places in our hearts where we need to grow. He wants to reveal false beliefs that feed these cyclic patterns. Today, invite Jesus to examine your heart. Allow Him to expose false beliefs that keep you trapped in these patterns. Be encouraged, for He has new life for you. He wants to heal and set you free.