Don't Stay On The Mat

​Last night while I was on the treadmill, I was listening to Elevation Worship's "Raised to Life,"  and I again felt burdened by a Facebook post from earlier this week. The source of the post was from a fairly known Christian radio guy in the DFW area. In his post he was talking about the words used to describe Yogi Berra- words such as good, honest, human and real. In response to this, this guy's response was that he wanted to be remembered for his brokenness, failures and strongholds. 

I get the humility in all of that, but I reminded him that yes, Jesus does love him (as he mentioned, but also struggles to believe that God likes him some days) and as a believer, we can live power-filled lives - in complete victory over our old self as we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The account of the lame man at the Sheep's Gate at the Temple came to mind (John 5:1-15). This man had been sick for thirty-eight years, however at the moment Jesus healed him, Jesus told him to "get up, pick up your mat and go." Jesus also said later "now you are well so stop sinning." I reminded my friend that Jesus healed this lame guy and He did not leave him on his mat. Do you know why?

If Jesus had left the guy on the mat, he would have become a stumbling block for everyone around him. Physically, he would have taken up space that someone else needed. Spiritually, how would people believe this guy had been healed and forgiven if he hadn't gotten up and went?
​We need to be careful that if we are truly born-again believers that we don't wallow in our past afflictions. The Bible tells us that our sins are remembered no more by God (Isaiah 43:25) so why in the world do we keep hanging on to them and allow Satan the opportunity to use them as weapons against us?
 
The Bible says when we are born again that we become a new creation. That means every piece of us is born again. The God who created our minds, knows our minds are the playground for the enemy and Satan does some of his best work in that place. He twists and perverts God's goodness, our worth and our weaknesses. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God gives us a "sound mind" (KJV). The term "sound mind" refers to self-control/self-discipline...one of the nine attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. 

As I write these words, I know the enemy camp is not happy with me. Why? Because these are words of deliverance for some of you. Some of you are searching for this word today. I'm willing to enter into the battle for you, but are you willing to accept God's complete and total grace? Your testimony, struggles and issues are a part of who you are and how God is going to use you for His kingdom, but don't you dare misuse that gift. Do not become a stumbling block for others. By continuing to highlight all your struggles in a "woe is me" state, you remain on the mat instead of getting up and going. Even worse, every time you do this, you add other struggling brothers and sisters to your mat. 
 
Please don't do this anymore. Get up and go everyday and push back the darkness that tries to grab a hold of you. Speak words of life not death, disease or illness. 
 
Live in victory knowing completely that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead can live inside of you. Wow, what a gift! If you don't feel like you have access to that power, have a conversation with God today. Ask Him for His power (Luke 11:13), from this point forward, to win the battle over every addiction, doubt, fear or stronghold that has a grip on you. Come into agreement with Jesus when He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). 
 
Your shame may be great, but Jesus is definitely stronger.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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