BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road” (Mark 10:46-52 New King James Version).
In verse 47 of the scripture above, the Bible says that blind Bartimaeus began shouting that Jesus, Son of David, should have mercy on him. Obviously, he was fed up with his miserable life as a beggar. Many people tried to silence him, but he only shouted louder. I like him because he did not allow those who were not blind to discourage him from securing help from the Person he believed could deliver him from his problem.
They were not in his shoes therefore, he simply ignored them just as David ignored Eliab, his brother, who made an uncomplimentary comment on his enquiry about Goliath on the battlefield (1 Samuel 17:28-30).
Blind Bartimaeus knew he would be the greatest enemy of himself if he allowed Jesus, whom he must have heard a lot about, to pass without calling His attention to his problem. After all, he was only blind, he was not deaf or dumb! He used what he had – his voice – to his advantage and got what he wanted – his sight. He shouted louder to the extent that Jesus heard him, and sent for him. Matthew 20:29-34 and Luke 18:35-43 have similar stories with little differences in details.
Let nothing hinder you
The irony is that the people who tried to hinder Bartimaeus from getting his miracle were the same people who told him to cheer up because Jesus was calling him! That is why you must not listen to mockers, discouragers, envious and negative people. If you listen to them, you will remain in your disappointing condition. However, if you cry to God and your heaven opens and your level changes, they will say a different thing.
That was what happened to Elisha. The same prophets-in-training, who were mocking him about the imminent departure of his master, Elijah, came back to bow before him. They began announcing what Elisha had not told anyone, but they already saw. “Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha’” (2 Kings 2:15 New King James Version).
When Bartimaeus was told that Jesus was calling him, he removed his garment, went to Jesus and got his sight restored. If he had listened to those asking him to keep quiet, Jesus would have passed that road and probably do nothing about his case. The Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 New King James Version). That word “ask” means “keep asking.” “Knock” means “keep knocking.” “Seek” means “keep seeking.” The New Living Translation says, “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7).
What was the problem of those trying to silence the man? After all, Jesus, whose name the man was shouting, was not complaining! His shouting did not cost them anything.
That was the same way Jesus’ disciples tried to prevent some children from coming to Jesus, but Jesus overruled them, saying, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14 New Living Translation). Jesus then put His hands on the children’s heads and blessed them. The LORD shall overrule whatever and whoever will not allow you to receive your miracle this season in Jesus’ name.
You must be determined to receive your miracle. No matter what, you must not stop crying to God until He answers you, until you receive your miracle, until your story changes. Do not let anyone or any situation silence you. You must scale every hurdle and let Heaven hear your voice.
Again, that is why I like the determination or faith of the four men that brought the paralytic man to Jesus for healing in a house where He was holding a meeting. They were positively desperate! When they could not get the man into the house because of the crowd, they removed some of the tiles of the roof and lowered him down. They knew that after the man had gotten his healing, they could address the issue of fixing back the roofing! There was no way Jesus could have overlooked the faith demonstrated by these men. He saw their faith, forgave the man’s sins and healed him (Luke 5:17-26; Mark 2:1-12).
You may have been praying over a matter for some years, never give up; do not give God rest. Keep asking except God has specifically told you as he told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 that He would not remove the thorn in the flesh given to him, but His grace would be sufficient for him! By and large, God does not complain; keep crying to Heaven. Your answer may be nearer than you think. Do not get tired praying.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (New Living Translation). 2Thessalonians 3:13 says a similar thing. “And I say to the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 New Living Translation). We can apply this scripture to prayer.
Do not be weary in prayer
David says, “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6 New King James Version). He says in Psalm 69:3: “I am weary with my crying; my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God” (New King James Version). There are many people in this type of situation. The devil is happy as long as they continue crying but fail to cry to God. Crying over your negative condition does not change anything. Stop crying over your condition; start crying to God. Keep crying to Him.
Even if you are already weary, there is help for you. Receive God’s help now in Jesus’ name. Wait upon the LORD; He shall renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). Keep shouting reverently to God. Let no one or circumstance silence you.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told a parable of the persistent widow who continually bothered the king for justice against her adversary. However, because of the widow’s persistence, the king had to accede to her request. God will surely give justice to His chosen people who plead with Him day and night (verse 7).
Earlier in Luke 11:5-8, Jesus had told the parable of a friend’s persistence for his friend’s sake. He had to keep on knocking in the night at another friend’s house to ask for bread for a friend who had come to his house in the night. The friend, who was inconvenienced by the persistent knocking, granted the request though he did not know the friend on whose behalf his own friend was asking for the bread. And just as we read in Matthew 7:7, Jesus said in Luke 11:9-10, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks” (New Living Translation). If you will keep on asking, God will answer you.
The Bible tells us how Jacob wrestled with God until God blessed him and changed his name (Genesis 32:22-32). Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (Verse 26 New King James Version). Verse 28 says God gave him a new name and blessed him. God will give you a new name and bless you, too, if you will not give Him rest.
Isaiah 62:2 says, “And the LORD will give you a new name” (New Living Translation). How will the new name come? See verse 1 of Isaiah 62: “Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch” (New Living Translation). It is believed that Prophet Isaiah was speaking here. He was committing himself to not resting, not keeping quiet, until Jerusalem experienced a turnaround. If he would not rest, God would not rest! God would answer him. Do not rest; God will answer you as well.
Give the LORD no rest
Isaiah goes ahead to declare, “Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth” (Isaiah 62:7 New Living Translation). Did you see that? The New Century Version says, “You should not stop praying to him until he builds up Jerusalem and makes it a city all people will praise.”
Do not give God rest over that wayward child, that stormy marriage, that protracted sickness, that failing business, that hostile boss, that frustrating situation, etc. until God establishes His will and He receives praise over the situation. So shall it be in Jesus’ name.
Who and what is that thing that is discouraging you from crying to the LORD? Do not allow that. Keep crying to the LORD. The Bible says whosoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13).
God told Moses He had seen the oppression of His people in Egypt, and had heard their cry because of their taskmasters, and had come down to deliver them (Exodus 3:7-8). Keep crying to the LORD about your condition until it agrees with His promise. God will answer you, and deliver you.
Trust the LORD
Jesus was on His way to the house of Jairus whose daughter had died, but was interrupted by the woman who had been suffering from bleeding for 12 years. Unfortunately, while the woman must have been rejoicing over her healing at last, Jairus received a bad news that the daughter was dead. He was told, “Your little girl is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now” (Luke 8:49 New Living Translation).
They were, in essence, saying there was no need for him to cry to the master again; he should accept the condition as his fate. He should give Jesus rest. Jesus heard them and told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me, and she will be all right” (Luke 8:50 New Living Translation). Jesus’ entourage eventually got to this man’s house and the daughter, who was dead was restored to life. Everything was alright as Jesus had said. Just trust Him; everything shall be alright for you and with you in Jesus’ name.
What to do
1.Study the Bible and obey God’s commands there. These include forgiving those who offend you (Matthew 6:12-15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4) and walking in love (Ephesians 5:2; Romans 13:9-10)
2. Pray according to the Word of God. The Word of God is the will of God (1 John 5:14-15).
3. Be specific in your requests (Matthew 20:32; Mark 10:36, 51; Luke 18:41).
4. Keep asking in faith and thanking God (James 1:6; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2). Paul says, “For this cause we thank God without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 2:13a).
5. Do not neglect assembling together with fellow believers, submitting to the authority of your shepherd (Hebrews 10:25, 13:17).
6. Be patient (Romans 12:12; Hebrews 6:12).
7. Listen to and obey the Spirit of God. Be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).
Conclusion: Nothing is final until God has spoken! Your doctor, your lawyer, your enemies, etc. may have spoken, but God can overrule them – their word is not final unless God approves of it. Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the LORD has not commanded it? (Lamentation 3:37).
If there is a situation in your life, your family, your career, your business that does not agree with the Word of God, that is contrary to the promises of God, it does not matter how long you have been praying or how many people have prayed for you or with you, do not give God rest.
Samuel said to the Israelites, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23 New King James Version). Earlier in 1 Samuel 7:8, they had told Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines” (New King James Version).
Paul, writing to the Romans, states, “God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God” (Romans 1:9a New Living Translation). The King James Version says, “without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” Do not cease praying. That is what God expects you to do.
Do not give up on God; never stop praying. “Pray continually” (1Thessalonians 5:17 New Century Version). For your destiny, your marriage, your children, your family, your ministry, etc. “pray without ceasing” (1Thessalonians 5:17 New King James Version). Don’t keep silent; don’t give God rest!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing and Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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