I spoke in detail about this passage of scripture in the post (So Close but Lame: Click Here), but I want to share with you how God opened this passage up to me in a whole new way this past week.
"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms." ~ Acts 3:1-3
Every day, friends carried him to a gate called beautiful. Misery and Beauty met here every day. An un-beautiful circumstance lay in the gate of beauty every day. Here he lay every day, scanning the faces that streamed by him, asking for them to give him help.
WATCHING TIME, LIFE, AND PEOPLE WHO HAD WHAT HE DID NOT SLIP BY.As we look at the scene unfold in front of us, I would ask you to notice something else.
He was content to meet the smallest of his needs, but in his mind he was lame as well.
His thought process was crippled. In his mind, the greatest need he had was money for his crippled existence.
How meaningless did life must seem for him? Everyday the same as the last. The moment this man breathed his first breath, he was lame.
From birth, his greatest need seemed to be centered on just eating enough today to gain the strength to wake up the next day and beg… beg for just enough money to buy just enough food to eat just enough that day to wake up the next and beg.
Let me ask you three things.
1. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST NEED AT THIS MOMENT?
Think about this question for a moment. What is the greatest thing that you need in your life right at the moment that you are reading this post?
Hold the first word that entered your mind and then keep reading.
The lame man in this story had a thought crippled thought process as well as a body unable to move himself further. In his mind, the greatest need he had was money for his crippled existence. This is not completely crazy, because our churches are full of people who come on routine, lay at the gate, and on routine ask in their own way for the surface needs.
Day after day, the “THEY” of their life will continue to carry them to the gate to beg for the surface needs. I do not want to minimize surface needs, but most surface needs are symptoms of a root need. This man begged for alms, (Symptom of being crippled) his root need was that he needed to walk. He did not know to ask the right questions.
Thank God that two faces that were in the crowd were different that day.
"And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them." ~ Acts 3:4-5
2. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST NEED AT THIS MOMENT?
I would submit to you that the need you first thought of is not in fact your greatest need in this moment. Most people are content to lay in their need and settle for their wants. Wants are only a indicator of a need
The widow in 2 Kings 4 assumed her greatest need was finances, however through oil pots, God revealed to her the understanding of her greatest need as being a complete understanding that God was her sole provider.
Gideon assumed his greatest need was and army, however through three simple test, God revealed to him the understanding of his greatest need as being a complete understanding that God was his protector.
Woman at the well assumed her greatest need was water, however God revealed to her through the words of Jesus, the understanding of her greatest need as being a complete understanding that God was her savior.
I spent the majority of my Christian life, lame in the idea that my value to God was determined by how much I accomplished for Him and in His name. I lay on my spiritual mat and begged God to allow me to live FOR Him and was lame in my understanding of my greatest need. I needed God to show me how He desired me not to live FOR Him, but rather to live FROM Him. I was spiritually lame. I will never forget the day Father reached down and helped me to stand up!
Often times, the needs we list off first as being our needs are simply the fruit of our greatest needs.
Look at your answer to the first question and ask it of yourself again.
"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength." ~ Acts 3:6-7
People that are in-tune with God are also in-tune with the real needs of others.
3. WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO ASK GOD TO OPEN YOUR EYES TO YOUR GREATEST NEED.
"And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him." ~ Acts 3:8-10
God is not interested in helping us settle for our wants. God is not interested in us remaining in a crippled state, satisfied for just living out our wants. God designed our needs in order to be met IN Him.
God allowed me to see this very principle acted out in front of my very eyes this morning.
I work in a job where a portion of my responsibilities include the oversight of several warehouses. We have a selection of office furniture stored in these warehouses and periodically I will receive a request from someone within the company who is looking to upgrade their office furniture to take them to the warehouse where we store the furniture.
There is one particular chair that has been in storage for a very long time. It is probably the nicest and most expensive chair we have in storage but not for want of request. In fact, this particular chair has been requested countless times and anytime someone goes to the warehouse, they ask to have this chair.
It sits in storage because it is missing a wheel. It is an odd sized wheel and I have not found one to replace the missing wheel so there it sits.
On this particular morning I received a request from one of the ladies in our dental department. When she requested to go to the warehouse, I answered, "I would be happy to take you to the warehouse today. What do you need?"
She needed a chair she replied, so I took her to find her chair. As we drove I was telling her about a newer vehicle my department had purchased and made the remark that I had claimed the truck before we were able to purchase it and how God had provided it. She laughed and said, "I guess I need to claim a chair and God will provide that too!"
We walked into the warehouse and she went straight to the chair everybody wanted. I was preparing to tell her about the missing wheel when I happened to look down at her broken chair we had brought with us to exchange. Her broken chair had the exact same wheels as the chair that she wanted. She was delighted!
As we prepared to drive back to the office building, I began telling her about the lame man in Acts 3.
"What are the odds?" I asked her.
"When I spoke with you on the phone, I asked you what you needed and you replied that you needed a chair. Your broken chair had a wheel that would fix the nicest chair in the warehouse. You thought you needed a chair, but you could have made your old chair do for a bit longer. Your greatest need was NOT a chair, your greatest need was to know that God loves you enough to care about where you sit. He cares about your comfort, but more than this, He wants you to know that whatever you are facing outside of this chair is cared about as well."
Our greatest need is not the need that pops into our mind right off the bat. Your greatest need is much deeper and God longs to reveal this to you. It's amazing because when you ask God to open your eyes to your own greatest needs, He opens your eyes to others greatest needs as well.
God created you to walk in Him and not to spend your life laying, lame in your wants. Let Him show you how your greatest needs are met in Him and discover how awesome it is to walk in the newness of LIFE He promised!
Climbing with you,