The Crippled Woman-Disabled but NOT defeated!
Luke 13:10-17 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”
Can you imagine how difficult this woman’s life must have been?
-Anyone ever pull a muscle in your neck or back, or just wake up achy.
-This woman was doubled over, for 18 years (6,570 days)
-When she walked her face was to the ground…stared at the dirt…
-I’m sure her condition was painful, but she did not let that stop her from going to where she knew she needed to go.
-Her face was constantly downcast, therefore she was unable to even look into another person’s eyes.
Her suffering could have tempted her to turn away from God…
She instead went after her relationship with JESUS! She was a woman who was earnestly seeking God, and this resulted in her being healed.
The title of todays lesson is: Disabled, but not defeated!
One definition of crippled is: anything that is impaired or flawed.
Because we are human each of us is flawed in one way or another. So we can all in one way or another relate to this woman.
Point #1 Identify your disability
-Bitterness…maybe you have unresolved hurts that you need to talk about and fully surrender to God. Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
-Fear… maybe you have fears that you need to face so that you can live by faith
-Maybe your disabling spirit is criticality or negativity-maybe its hard to appreciate the good, because your critical spirit has you focused on the negative
-A lack of openness- maybe your disabling spirit is keeping things in the dark
There are a lot of disabling spirits….
-Job Challenges or
-Maybe like this woman you understand how it feels to have serious health challenges. Perhaps you’re a woman familiar with physical suffering…
For the women in this passage the answer was Jesus, and praising God. It the same for us, whatever the spirit that has us disabled today, Jesus is always the answer. We all experience the feelings of “being crippled” at different points in our lives…
Hosea 5:15 “Then I will return to my place, until they admit their guilt and seek my face –in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”
- We can glean from this passage that Jesus allows us to go through times of misery for a couple of reasons.
- So that we may earnestly seek his face.
- Admit our guilt. (admit that we have fallen short, and truly see our need for God)
2 Corinthians 12:7-11 “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Like the crippled woman, Paul also suffered…
- Thorn in his flesh, he pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away.
- But God didn’t…
- He said “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- Maybe the suffering in your life, is there as a means to get you to heaven.
- Sometimes we need suffering in our lives so that we rely on God.
Whether or not God removes the disabling spirit from your life. It’s a reliance on Jesus and, your faithfulness and your relationship with God that will pull you through.
Romans 8:28 “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In ALL things God works for the good of those who love him.
Group Exercise: Repeat after me- God is working for my good!
In my relationships: “God is working for my good!”
Finances: “God is working for my good.”
In my exams: “God is working for my good”
Persecutions: “God is working for my good.”
At your new job: God is working for my good!
In my pain: “God is working for my good.”
-God is always teaching us something. If we love God then despite the challenges we face we can trust that in All things God is working for our good!
Honestly in the midst of hardship I can find this very challenging!
However by being open and prayerful I believe than we can overcome anything! WE can trust that God has our best interest in mind.
It is also helpful to focus on the blessings God has given you!
Psalm 16:5-8 “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for each of us!
God has blessed each of our lives in incredible ways!
We must remember to count our blessings as each of us have so much that we need to thank God for.
Exercise: What are ten things you are thankful for?
Gratitude can help us defeat some disabling spirits.
Point #2 Defeating disabling spirits in the lives of your Sisters, and in the lives of the lost:
Luke 13:12 “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward…”
- He called her forward. When is the last time you have done this?
- Invite someone into your home.
- Imitate Jesus’s heart
- We need each other, if you think one of your sisters or a woman in the world (co-worker, classmate) may be having a hard time… Be like Jesus and initiate.
- The woman did not ask Jesus for help, he offered.
- He saw she needed it.
- Look out for the needs of others.
Exercise: Write 3 names women you want to encourage (“call forward”) this week.
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
- Pray for each other… Ask for prayer request. Something that bonds me with my friend Lana is that I find comfort knowing she prays for me. We need to imitate Lana, and pray continually for one another.
- Confess sin to one another.
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
We need to love like Jesus loved
- Look for needs & help meet them.
- Spend time together.
#3 More faith, more miracles: Matthew 13:58 “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
- The opposite is true. Where there is great faith there are many miracles.
- God is doing amazing things here in Boston!
(In just over a year the Boston Church has grown in membership by 213%)
- We all have many large tasks before us, and in order for us to see many miracles in our lives and in the lives of others we need great faith!
- Every woman here matters, and every one of you having faith is going to make a huge impact in the lives of other people.
- Many women need to hear the gospel… We have a lot to do!
How do we continuously grow in our faith, or get more faith?
Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
Faith comes from hearing the word of God…
Have you been allowing yourself to truly hear the word of God each morning? (Reading your bible daily)
-Your quiet time is a great source of building your faith!
-The good news email is a great source of building faith!
-Share with others what Jesus has done for you!
-Remember the ways he has worked in your life!
Conclusion: Let us be women who are able to identify disabling spirits in our lives and the lives of others. Let us be women who by prayer, love, and openness defeat these strongholds. Let us be women who strive to grow in our faith everyday so that we may continue to see miracles!
Women’s Midweek Worksheet: The Crippled Woman
Purpose of worksheet: Please use this time as a time of openness and bonding. It is a time to reflect on the lesson as a sisterhood and to bond and deepen relationships. This is a great opportunity to learn one another’s strengths and struggles and to hold one another accountable to decisions made from the lesson.
Point #1: What disabling spirits are you battling:
This can be physically, Emotionally, or Spiritually
What physical, emotional, or spiritual challenges are you facing?
What Sister will you talk to, and pray with to help you overcome?
Are you allowing the “disabling spirits” in your life to make you bitter or better?
How are your daily quiet times with God going?
Point #2 Help your sisters defeat their disabling spirits:
What 3 Sisters will you encourage this week? How? (call, write cards, find out their prayer needs, or serve, cook for ect…)
Is there any sin that you need to get open with?
Point #3 Help the lost defeat their disabling spirits:
What women in your life are you reaching out to?
What are your faith goals for evangelism and personal fruitfulness?
How will you imitate Jesus by “calling someone forward” this week?