THIRST // Chris Farace

At this past Sunday’s Bushwick service, Pastor Josh spoke about when Jesus encountered the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda. Comparing the man’s physical state to the state of a human spirit with sin and without Christ, he explained that it is Jesus who calls us out from our spiritual sickness—but it's up to us to respond, get up and walk.

I've found in my life that as humans, we love the idea of trying to fix ourselves and paying for our wrongs through legalistic and self-condemning actions. In the man’s case, the only way to receive healing was to drag himself to the pool, to be the first there, to regard the sabbath, etc., but for us, it's trying to justify and make up for wrong which more often than not results in us feeling far from God, isolating ourselves from Him and the community He's placed us in. The truth is that Jesus has empowered us to walk free from this paralysis by surrendering to His loving and graceful ways—and responding to His call to get up and walk confidently in Him, regardless of how we feel or think we need to justify ourselves.

As a teenager, Holy Spirit once told me, “I am never further away from you than the closest I've ever been to you.” This has always challenged me when I feel like I'm further from God because of my actions and reminds me that because of His unconditional love and grace, He's always right there with a smile on face. I can walk confidently before Him, not being bound by sin but being free and empowered to live out the life He has called me to live.

It is truly up to us. He has called us to not only encounter Him daily—but to encounter a life full of love, joy, peace, fulfillment, passion and desire. He’s freed us from sin, healed us from spiritual paralysis, showered us with His love and calls us to get up and walk the life that He has destined for us confidently with Him by our side.