John G Lake- Breaking the Cycles of Defeat and Lack
How many people remain stuck in an endless cycle of defeat with a grey cloud following them everywhere they go? Despite all their efforts, they always fall short, and their story is one of failure. In John chapter five, we read the account of the man with an infirmity for thirty-eight years, which in those days meant almost all of his life.
“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is tired up; but while I am coming another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.”
John 5: 2-9
The man always had an excuse and, because he saw himself as the victim, remained stuck. You can hear the Master asking him, “Do you really want to be healed?” Sometimes we need the Lord to speak straight to us and expose all our excuses.
John G Lake said:
“Hunger is a mighty good thing. It is the greatest persuader I know of. It is a marvelous mover… There is a certain spirit of desperation that accompanies hunger.”
In all those years, the man never made it in time but always had an excuse. If you read some of the stories of the greatest entrepreneurs, you find that their breakthroughs occurred in times of desperation. When failure was facing them in the eyes, they knew they had to do something, and they DID. Many believers all talk but never get themselves desperate enough to lock in before the Lord and determine they will do whatever it takes.
It is in such times of allowing Him to expose us and correct us that breakthroughs come, for we can’t repeat the old again and again and expect different results. Something must really change.
John G Lake explained:
“God is an all-round God. His power operates from every side. The artist puts a halo around the head of Jesus to show that there is a radiance of glory in His person. They might as well put it around His feet or any part of His person. It is the radiant glory of the indwelling God, radiating out through the personality. There is nothing more wonderful than the indwelling of God in the human life.”
Sometimes the key is taking small steps and getting small victories. Can you imagine if that man with the infirmity had moved a little bit close every day, he would have been ready? Sometimes we want to finish the race instantly when the Lord is calling us like Abraham to start taking steps. I have met so many people paralyzed by the distance to the goal like this man with the infirmity that they don’t begin to move forward.
“But my opinion is that one of the works of the Holy Ghost is that of preparer. He comes and prepares the heart of men in advance by putting a strange hunger for that event that has been promised by God until it comes to pass.”
Listen to these words of David as well:
“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes by salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved.”
Psalm 62: 1, 2
The Hebrew here for “silently waits” is “duwmiyah” meaning to repose or to silence the soul. When you have gone through it and you have tried all you know to do, there is time to repose and come before Him, silently waiting that we might hear. How often does He has important things to say to us but we are too stirred up, and our emotions are too loud that we can’t hear? The shout of our defeat and failure is deafening. Oh, to stop and take a moment to worship Him and silence our soul. We need our spirit to speak and our soul to be quiet. Our soul, that is our mind, will, and emotions is always full of opinions and constantly reminds us that we are about to fail.
“O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open).”
2 Corinthians 6: 11-13
Paul pleads with the Corinthians to open their hearts to him and hear what he is saying to them. They were being held captive by what stirred their emotions and passions and, as a consequence, failed to hear what the Lord was saying.
“Daniel says that he was convinced by the study of the books of prophecy, especially that of Jeremiah, that the time had come when they ought to be delivered from captivity in Babylon. The seventy years was fulfilled but there was no deliverance. So he diligently set his face to pray it into being.”
Like the man with the infirmity, we leave all to the Lord, but the Lord is longing for those who are touched by the Holy Spirit and catch the vision of the Father. Those who are willing to press in and those willing to listen and obey.
Have you read the blessings of Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight? Do you believe them?
He will set you above! He will make you the head! You are blessed everywhere you go! But note the key condition…
“Now it shall come to pass if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to obey carefully all His commandments…”
Deuteronomy 28: 1
The call is to listen with listening. That means to actually hear what the Lord says and what He means and do it. If He brings a word of correction, edification or encouragement, we must be in tune and receptive. We typically only want to hear what appeals or agrees with our opinions. But we need a real conversation with the Lord in the Secret Place where nothing is off-limits.
“God’s purposes come to pass when your heart and mine gets the real God cry, and the real God prayer comes into our spirit and, the real, God yearning gets our nature. Something is going to happen.”
We must come to the place where we are willing and open because we trust Him and we want only His way. Our ways have failed, and our ways will fail. So let’s surrender to Him!
“And let me tell you no human stoppage because the thing settled deep in the nature of man; too deep for any material remedy to get at it. It takes the Almighty God and the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ to get down into the depth of man’s nature and find the real difficulty that is there and destroys.”
Until we get to a place of real holy desperation, that this time we are going to get our breakthrough, and nothing, not even myself, will stand in the way. We will refuse to bow to fear and allow anyone or anything to intimidate us.
I finally got to the place where my supreme cry was for deliverance. Tears were shed for deliverance for three years before the healing of God came to us. I could hear the groans and the cries and sobs and feel the wretchedness of our family’s soul. My heart cried, my soul sobbed, my spirit wept tears. I did not know enough to call directly on God for it.”
These were three difficult years of watching defeat after defeat, but something was growing in Lake. The Lord keeps calling us to come aside into the Secret Place and to simply listen. He wants us to receive the breakthrough. He gives us the promise, and we like the promise. But we must also listen to the directions and paths we must take to move forward to the promise.
“But bless God, one thing matured in my heart- a real hunger. And a real hunger of a man’s soul must be satisfied. It must be satisfied. It is a law of God; that law of God is in the depth of the Spirit. God will answer the heart that cries. God will answer the soul that asks. Christ comes to us with divine assurance and invites us when we are hungry to pray, to believe, to take from the Lord that which our soul covets and our heart asks for.’