Consider your ways. Hag. 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Pay close attention to what our heavenly Father has said, and pay attention to the signs of the times taking place in your life. Are you hearing the voice of the Lord and following up on what was said? Or, are you dismissing God's promptings because you have become dull in heart? Pay close attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying.
How many blessings have we missed because we did not recognize a visit from God while it was happening? Luke 19:44b Because you did not recognize the time when God visited you. This is what Jesus was expounding upon to the people of Jerusalem. God was visiting them, but they did not recognize their deliverer or signs of the times. The very thing the people were praying for (the coming of The Messiah) was standing with them but they did not receive or welcome Him. So close to the blessing, but ever so far.
We can all look back and see where we missed a visitation from God. The Lord came warning us, helping us through a terrible situation, or blessing us beyond our expectations. However, we didn't recognize God's presence in the moment that He had visited. We simply wrote it off to good fortune and we lost our opportunity to express gratitude, appreciation, and fully respond to God's goodness in obedience.
There was a paralyzed man who had been stuck with an infirmity for thirty-eight years. He had become used to the same old excuse year after year for not getting anywhere in life. He hung out with the sick people at the Well of Bethesda. He had no answers as to how to use his faith for his healing. You might say he was like a lot of Christians who are stuck in church and attend Sunday after Sunday but have no victory in their daily life.
Jesus visited this man and asked him an interesting question. John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well? ” When God asks you if you want to get well or get out of the mess you are in, pay close attention and respond to what God is saying. After being asked the question, the paralyzed man began to tell his sad story and the problems he had in life. He was always missing his chance in life because others got ahead of him. John 5:7 “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.”
When God the Father is visiting you, just take everything God has for you, and throw all the excuses away. If you have a relationship with God, then listen to what He is telling you. Prov. 1:8a Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you. God is looking for a faithful response and not a list of excuses. It is a blessing to have a miraculous visitation from God and get blessed to the max. But, pay close attention and obey what God says to do, so that you keep your blessings alive.
We don't know why the paralyzed man was stuck in his situation for such a long time, but Jesus does tell him to stop sinning so that things don't get worse. John 5:14 After this, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” Had the paralytic missed a previous time of visitation and ignored it like so many people do?
I can look back and see three warnings that God pointed out to me concerning my unhealthy lifestyle. I had been visited three times but didn't get the message into my heart. Not paying close attention resulted in a stroke. I have to say that at the next visitation, I was fully alert. When Christ knocked at the door of my now diseased heart, I answered and opened the door wide and without excuse grabbed all the healing I could get. Rev. 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
I had to consider my previous ways and repent of them. I am getting a lot better at responding and recognizing the visits from my Lord. I've got no excuses for Him, just a whole lot of "Yes sir! Do your work in me Lord, and point me in the right direction!" We all need to pay close attention to what our Heavenly Father is asking of us when He visits. Lord, God, please come and visit us again, that we may walk with you and be in Christ as you have ordained it so. Amen!