“You may not have what others have, but you have something.”
But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold! But I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, get up and start walking” (Acts 3:6, CEV).
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (Acts 3:1-6).
The lame man asked with expectation for alms, but Peter and John wanted to give him something better – something that would last. Had Peter and John given the lame man gold and silver, how long do you think that would have lasted? At some point, he would have run out of money and the only choice he would have had was to go back into the lifestyle that he thought he left. He would return to begging.
This man had a problem, but what he was asking for was not the solution to his problem. Just like the lame man, I was sitting at the gate of Beautiful. As a result of when I went through, I was crippled with fear, unbelief and doubt. I was sitting in pity when I should have been walking in power. I was on the outside when I should have been in the inside.
Your problems and painful experiences may have brought you to the gate, but it can’t stop you from going through the gate.
I was praying for money, but money wasn’t my problem. My problem was that I didn’t trust God. When Peter told the man to look on him and John, the man immediately looked at them to be his source. And that was me. I was looking to my job to be my source when I should have been looking to God to be my Source. The man was looking at their hands, but Peter wanted him to know that what he needed wasn’t in his hand, but in his mouth. In his mouth was the power to command things, to prophesy, and to change his situation.
I thought it was money that I needed, but I needed wisdom. If I have wisdom, I have riches (Proverbs 8:18). I thought I needed money, but it is healing that I need. God never hurt me and He never disappointed me, but I know that I don’t have the trust in Him that I once had and I need God to build up what the enemy tried to tear down. I need Him to restore that childlike faith.
The lame man spent most of his life depending on people, but God wanted him to depend on Him. When Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up, it took trust and faith to believe not only that he could rise, but to do something he had not been able to do since birth – walk.
But one thing is needful (Luke 10:42).
What I need and what God wants is for me to seek a better relationship with Him. It’s time to go from begging to believing.
I’ve been giving Him my hands (seeking a handout), but what God really wants is my heart.
The word of the Lord tried him (Psalm 105:19).
Joseph went through some ups and down. One moment he was reporting to his dad about what his brothers were doing. The next moment he was thrown in a pit and sold into slavery. One moment he was serving an officer of Pharaoh. The next moment he was accused of trying to assault the officer’s wife and sent to prison, yet he ministered and served even while in prison. Why do you look so sad today? (Genesis 40:7). He helped someone else with their dream even though his dream hadn’t come to pass yet.
The word, promotion, means to move forward or to advance. We use that word in school when someone goes to the next grade or level. When we use that same word in the workplace, we think it means having a title and getting more money, but when God talks about promotion, it is about developing growth and character. Promotion is not just about getting. It is about giving – to God and to others.
Joseph learned how to submit to others, to forgive, to let go of pride, and how to love. He wasn’t just going through. He was growing through and at the right time God promoted him. Pharaoh set him over his house, his people and over all the land of Egypt. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that HE many exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
Some years ago, the Lord told me that a promotion was coming (at another job), but I didn’t receive what God promised because of fear, laziness and I had the wrong attitude. I wanted everything to come easy. I didn’t want to go through anything. I didn’t want to endure anything and eventually I gave up. I walked off that job – the same job where God said He was going to promote me. I didn’t give the word a chance.
God still sits as a refiner and purifier of silver (Malachi 3:3). Fire is applied during the refining process because it causes what is hidden to be revealed and rise to the surface. The Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God doesn’t use fire to destroy us. He uses it to change us. Like silver, you and I are valuable and precious to God, but He wants to remove the dross (impurities) from the silver so that we will be ready for HIS use (Proverbs 25:4).
Some of you may not have a job, but God has given all of us responsibilities, gifts and talents. Promotion will come, but to be used the way God wants to use you, let Him separate the dross from the silver so that others can see HIM in the silver.
Don’t run from it. Don’t complain about it. Don’t give up on it. Let where you are prepare you for where you are going.