BY ETHAN FORTNER
In this story, at the beautiful gate it speaks of a man that had to be carried every single day to this gate called "Beautiful".
The word that speaks deeply to me is the fact that it says that he was "carried" there. The man was crippled from the day he was born. So that means someone physically had to take him to this place called Beautiful. Not only that, but the man had to go every single day.
The Bible may not say it, but the only person I could imagine as being someone willing and passionate enough about getting this guy to this same place every day would be his best friend. If I was this guy, I would begin to get discouraged. I would begin to ask the question of why? Why am I carrying this person every day? Why do I take him somewhere where nothing will change? God does not call us to be successful, he calls us to be obedient.
In this story it says the man asked for things that would never heal him or satisfy him. But it's a place where God touched him. We as believers get so caught up in giving up on someone because we don’t see results. But what had to be going through the mind of the crippled man? If I went to the same place every day and got nothing worth my while, I think I would give up. I would not want to go anymore. It would almost be the same definition of insanity. People who don’t believe in God, tend to try the same things over and over, and expect a different result. Until they end up giving up. We as believers have to be the best friend of this man. When he wants to give up, we have to understand that we are in charge of taking them to the place that God would touch them.
We often get discouraged bringing our friends to church. They may come every week, and nothing changes. But we have to understand the power of obedience. It's not about what happens, it's about what God asked us to do. He asks us to bring people to a place where he can touch them, and when we do, it's on Him to touch them. It's not our job to change someone's heart, it's just our job to get them to a place where they can be changed. Be the best friend that does not care about seeing the same result day in and day out, be the friend that carries someone with you the gate expecting God to touch them.
Even in the story of Saul and Annanias. Annanias was not expecting Saul to be touched by God, he was expecting to be killed, but God told him that he was a "chosen instrument." Had Annanias not obeyed God, Saul would not have become Paul and changed half the world and built the Church itself. The power of obedience can change someone and even the world itself.