“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
A story is told of baby elephants in the circus world coming under the “chain of control”. Immediately after birth, the baby elephant’s leg is chained to a stake. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot tug free. Soon the young elephant stops pulling against the stake. He accepts as fact that he has no power to become free. Over time, the elephant matures in his body, but not in his mind. Although he possesses the physical power to free himself with ease, he continues to remain close to that stake that had him bound even though he could be free if only he would try.
Most people in one form or another have been a victim. A victim usually lives in fear & unbelief. They relive over & over what happened to them constantly trying to figure out how to fix their situation wishing that it had never happened. Without realizing it they become just like that baby elephant in the circus; trapped in the past. Never trying to move forward from the stake in which they were chained. Always reliving the past in their heart & mind.
The deep secret of victims living in the past is they want to see those that have caused their pain, to suffer as they have.
You don’t even have to have a crime committed against you to find yourself living in the “victim mentality”. In John chapter 5:1-9, (read it) Jesus found a man by a pool, where he & many others lay sick & diseased in various ways. The location was Bethesda, a supernatural site where an angel would come down & stir up the waters. When this angel would swoop down & touch the waters, the first person to get in was healed of whatever disease they had. Talk about an amazing opportunity for instant healing! Jesus walked up to a man who had been afflicted with an infirmity for 38 years & asked this question, (verse 6) “Wilt thou be made whole?” or as we would put it, “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter.
Anybody in their right mind would quickly say, “YES!” But we don’t see that, instead the man starts giving an excuse explaining why he’s been in this condition for so many years, 38 to be exact. John 5:7 says, “The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”
Jesus’ question did not ask for the man’s story. He only ask for a “yes” or “no”. Why would he not say “yes”? Instead, he gives a list of reasons why he hasn’t been able to get into the pool.
Think about it, if he desperately wanted to be healed he could have found someone to help get him to that water! After all, he found someone to get him to a porch near the pool of water. The Bible doesn’t really say what was truly in his heart, but many times even without realizing it we tend to live as a victim even when help is within reach.
Jesus ask the man the question & rather than giving a direct answer the man gave his long reason/excuse. Let’s take a look at (verse 8) to see what Jesus did at this point. “Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
In spite of the man’s lack of understanding the delivering opportunity that was before him, Jesus was still willing to reach out to him with an offer of complete deliverance. I know Jesus reaches out to those who trust him. Is spite of the reasons we give for not surrendering to God’s will in our life, Jesus wants to offer us the same opportunity of deliverance. This man needed a physical healing, but the greatest healing/deliverance any of us could ever get is ‘spiritual’ deliverance. We must be saved! We cannot make it out of this world safe without Jesus. Let’s look at how this man responded to Jesus’ invitation to healing.
(verse 9), ” And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” Praise the Lord this man realized he had met the master of deliverance! What about you?
God is actually interested in all around wholeness. For most, we think the story is over & we move on to the next event, but Jesus actually runs into him at the temple & gives him very interesting instructions. (verse 14), ” Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Jesus was making sure he understood that he was healed, but that if he didn’t watch out the sin issue could rise up again, & he would be sicker than before. After this the man went out & told all he could about Jesus & how he had been delivered. Not only did he tell about it, he lived it. Now that is real deliverance!
It appears to me that one of the sin issues this man carried was that he saw all of life as a victim, which gave no room for love, hope & faith to operate fully in his life. When we live as victims, we carry unbelief, which denies the possibility of our situation being changed. We lose hope & believe the lie that we have no more options. Just like the man who was healed, we need to understand that we need to live as a “Victor”, not as a “Victim”. Oftentimes, part of our healing process involves renouncing the sin of the “Victim Mindset”.
What about you? Are you ready to get rid of that “Victim Mentality” that keeps you bound in sin? Which will it be for you?