I don’t know about you, but I am a person of routine. I go to the same Starbucks everyday, I have my few specific restaurants I like and I usually get the same thing every time I’m there. When I was a youth pastor, my schedule was pretty close to the same every week. Every day I had specific things I did on that day every week. Maybe you’re not to that level but I think most of us enjoy or value some level of routine or consistency in our life, relationships, job, ect.
Now obviously some patterns and habits are good and necessary, but I wonder if some patterns in our life are holding us back more then they are setting us up for success. Recently I have noticed that my desire for routine has bleed over into my relationship with God. Such as, when it comes to prayer, devotions, reading the bible, it has become ‘this is what I do’ and ‘this is how God speaks’. This is my pattern of relationship with God.
John chapter 5 is an incredibly interesting story between Jesus and a lame man. John 5:5-9 “One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!”
There are some amazing truths in this profound story. I want to just focus in on one of them. This man and this culture had a pattern. When someone wanted to be healed, they would get helped into the pool of bethesda when the right time occurred. If you didn’t get to the water in time, your opportunity was missed.
Apparently this man had been lame for 38 years, and who knows how long he had been at this specific pool and had yet to be healed because he couldn’t get in the water fast enough. So here comes Jesus into the picture and asked the man If he wanted to get healed, which to anyone this would be a no brainer, but Jesus still asked. The man’s response is where I want to land today, ‘I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up’. What is this man saying? Jesus there is a pattern, there is a routine, there is only one way people get healed here.
Then Jesus breaks every code, every pattern and routine and heals him immediately. With no water, no bubbles, no pool. What is Jesus saying? BREAK YOUR PATTERN. Jesus is above our patterns and routines, He breaks every mold. Can you even imagine this discussion? A man who needs to get healed, is telling the healer he can’t get healed because he can’t get into the water in time. I could just image Jesus frustration with his closed mind.
What pattern do you need to break? What box do you need to let Jesus out of? When the veil was ripped when Jesus died, I believe it wasn’t to just let us in but it was to let Jesus out. To let Jesus out of the box of ‘this is how people meet with me’ or ‘this is the only way you can encounter my presence’. God broke the box, he broke the pattern.
Hebrews 1:1 “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets”
Lets get out of our routine with God. Lets allow God to be God, and speak to us or get us what we need, in many different ways. God transcends every box or pattern we can put him in.