In Matthew 12:13, we read about how Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand. Jesus says to the man “Stretch out your hand.” As I began to think about that phrase, a few questions came to mind.
Question #1) What is Jesus telling you to do that you have been hesitant on and haven’t done yet? If God is telling you to do something, you should do it without hesitation. Jonah tried to run from what God was telling him to do and it didn’t turn out so well for him. It took being in the stomach of a giant fish for Jonah to realize that he should do what God told him to do. Usually when God tells us to do something, He is testing our faith and trust in Him. James 1:3-4 tells us that the testing of our faith develops perseverance and that perseverance must finish it’s work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words when you do what God tells you to do, stretch your faith and produce perseverance, you will lack nothing. So in the great words of Nike, Just do it!
Question #2) What do you need to give to Jesus that you are holding back? We see that the man had a shriveled hand. Shrivel means to shrink or to hold back. What are you holding on to that is keeping you back from the blessing that Jesus wants to give you? In order to receive something you got to let go of something else. Perry Noble, Senior Pastor NewSpring Church, said that Jesus never tells us to give something up without replacing it with something better. The disciples twice had to walk away from the greatest breakthrough that they had ever had to follow Jesus. But they were able to do even greater things and lay the foundation for the church today. I don’t know who said this phrase but it has stuck with me “A man can’t discover new oceans if he is not willing to lose sight of the shore.” In order to receive your healing, become free, get your breakthrough you got to let go what you are holding on to and give it to Jesus.
Question #3) What is holding you back? Many times the thing that is hold us back from what God has told us to do is fear. We fear what people may say or think, we fear the uncertainty, we fear losing what we have worked so hard for. Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is to automatically assume that the negative is going to happen. When Jesus calmed the storm, He said to the disciples “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (See Matthew 8:23-27) When you become fearful, you become hesitant and you stop the flow of faith in your life. Paul addresses this issue to Timothy when he says to stir up the gift of God that is in you because God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. In other words when you fear, you squelch the gift of God that is in you which is power, love, and a sound mind.
So do what God is telling you to do, let go of what you are holding on to and give it to Jesus, and don’t fear but let faith arise in order to stir up that gift of God that is in you which is the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.