Keep It Urgent
When this blind beggar realized that Jesus was passing by, he began to shout for him right away. This sense of urgency seems worth noting for us as well. In other words, don’t wait. If you need healing, ask God to heal you right now. Bartimaeus could’ve continued to sit there, hoping that Jesus might notice him as he walked by. Or he could have thought, I’m just a poor beggar. He won’t hear me call out to Him. And even if He did, He wouldn’t stop for me.
If any of these thoughts went through Bartimaeus’s head, he tossed them aside because Scripture says, “He shouted.” He was desperate! He couldn’t, he wouldn’t wait! He was going to ask, even in front of the large crowd. He yelled, wanting his voice to be heard above the noise of the crowd. He was doing everything he could to get the attention of Jesus.
Note too that Bartimaeus asked for healing more than once. He understood the need to be persistent, to do what- ever it took. Bartimaeus didn’t ask once and stop when Jesus didn’t acknowledge him. He continued to cry out, even above the noisy roar of the crowd. They apparently didn’t think he was going about getting the visiting Rabbi’s attention in an appropriate manner. But Bartimaeus continued to cry out until he got what he was after.
Jesus heard his cry, recognized it, and said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
Now that was worth the stick-to-itiveness. The blind beggar wanted Jesus’ attention and he got it. Jesus finally asked him what he’d been aching to hear, “What can I do for you? What’s your need?”
Many times, we reach the end of our rope, and we’re desperate enough to call out to God to rescue us. We call out to God — once — but then we give up. Or maybe God doesn’t show up for us the way we want Him to. Perhaps you’ve heard the old joke about the guy stranded on his roof during a flood. He turns down offers to be rescued three separate times — first by someone with a life jacket, then a boat, and finally a helicopter — all because he was waiting for God to rescue him. He drowns. When the man meets God in heaven, the man complains that God didn’t rescue him. God replies, “Hey, I sent you a life jacket, a boat, and a helicopter — what’d you expect?”
We have to let go of our narrow, limited expectations and open ourselves up to what God wants to do in the way He wants to do it. We have to keep asking Him to notice us, to hear our prayer, to meet our need. When I say, “Be persistent,” I’m not talking about… oh, you went to church once, you prayed a time or two, you read a Bible verse. We live in a microwave society and expect everything to happen as soon as we push a button, but sometimes, you simply have to keep pushing the button. Be persistent.
I know you may have grown up in church and done the Sunday school thing. Maybe you were even in church this past week — but please realize, my friend, this is not about church attendance. This is about an encounter with God. It’s about opening up your heart, opening up your mouth, opening up your soul. Paul met God while traveling. I was in a locker room. Bartimaeus was in a crowd on the side of the road. No matter where you are, God can meet you.
When you’re shackled to something that won’t let you go, you’ve got to keep going, taking the next step. Don’t call out once and quit!
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. — Matthew 7:7-8
You know you need a breakthrough. If it doesn’t happen today, then get up tomorrow and ask again. keep asking! Be persistent. Jesus will hear your cry and ask you the same question He asked Bartimaeus: What do you want Me to do for you?
Excerpted with permission from But God by Herbert Cooper, copyright Herbert Cooper.
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