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“Arise and go” – I am convinced that many of us Christians today are living very much below the level God intended for us to live at.
As we read scripture, we undoubtedly read the phrase “Arise and go”. In other translations, we read “arise and take position” or “arise pick up your mat and go” or even “rise and walk”.
(For a look at the phrase “One Another” in scripture, see this post.)
I’d like to share with you some of the instances of the phrase “arise and go” in the Bible and how you can live out these scriptures today. Furthermore, how living out these verses will help you to live the life that God intended for you.
Arise and Go in Scripture
Arise and Go in Faith
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic— “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. – Matthew 9:1-9
In this instance, we read the phrase as “Rise, pick up your bed and go home” Similar phrase as “arise and go”, same message.
Let’s look at the background here and the context of the command by Jesus.
The Healing Pool
In the city of Jerusalem, there was a pool that was called Bethesda. Daily, many people (the blind, lame, paralyzed) would lie near there. These are mentioned most because being the least able to help themselves, they would lie the closest and wait the longest time at the pool. They don’t feel they have the ability to arise and walk.
At one point, an angel came and “troubled” the water, thereby stirring it to release all of its miraculous healing power so that many were healed.
There was, however, a particular man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years. The bible says when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in that condition for so long He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” (arise and go) – John 5:6-8 ESV
As I reread this story, I can’t help but see the parallels to today’s world.
Particularly, my friends, to our own lives. Rather than taking responsibility for ourselves and the role we must play in bringing about the desired change/s in our lives, like the man in the story did, we are quick to blame others.
We make excuses for why we don’t or can’t arise and go. We look to others to attend to our needs.
I do believe that if we are really honest with ourselves, all of us, whatever difficulty we are faced with, individually or corporately, we genuinely desire change. We genuinely desire to arise and go – healing for the sick, a better paying job, promotion, bills/mortgage paid off, deliverance from poverty and lack of finances, addiction to pornography, drugs and alcohol, depression, domestic abuse and violence, terrorism and crime, senseless murders, just to mention a few.
No doubt, when Jesus comes to us with the same question, “Do you want to get well?” our first reaction or response would be a resounding, “YES!” Later on, however when we realize that there is a process to simply arise and go and a cost to being made whole we are not quick to respond.
To make matters worse, we remember why we had the mat/bed in the first place, so we roll it back out and go back to lay down and nurse wounds of the past, disappointment and hurts, while some too overwhelmed with the challenges, fall off to sleep wallowing in self-pity.
To arise and go means having faith and trusting in God and getting rid of every dead weight and hindrances that are preventing us from walking and embracing God’s gifts and callings for us. Without shedding these things, we cannot arise and go.
How can we Arise and go or Get up, take up your bed, and walk? Here are seven ways to arise and go, even when you are feeling paralyzed by fear or doubt or having a crisis of faith:
- Inwardly die to self – outwardly the mat would always tempt us as the easiest thing to do but inwardly, we must die to self. What God has called us to is far bigger and greater than what we can handle. We must trust God to work out His plan.
- Get rid of your excuses – if God called you to it, trust Him to bring you through it. He will equip you and give you the strength you need to get the job done.
- Never get yourself bogged down with religion and tradition. Eventually they become strongholds that’s even harder to get rid of. Have faith in God.
- Leave behind old perceptions and deceptions. The enemy would rather not see the plan of God fulfilled in your life.
- Get rid of habits and attitudes that are self-serving and is out of alignment with the will and plan of God.
- Disconnect from your old passe’ [tribe], your old culture, and even family members so that you push for what you believe [values and morals]
- Get up and do something productive that will allow you to put your gifts and talents to good use.
It is my prayer that this message of faith and hope have inspired you to have a different outlook on life. Let us help our brothers and sisters to wake up, arise and go or to pick up, and walk!
Arise and Go For This is No Place to Rest
Arise and go,
for this is no place to rest,
because of uncleanness that destroys
with a grievous destruction. – Micah 2:10 ESV
Other translations, read “arise and depart”. But what does this really mean?
Micah the prophet pronounced judgment upon Samaria and Jerusalem because of their walking away from the Lord. There were wicked people among them who conspired evil plans and carried them out against their fellow men, women and children. Not even widows and orphans were safe among them, and when the prophets charged these evil ones with their wickedness, they desired for the prophets to be silenced. In this prophecy, we read, again arise and go!
The verse begins, “Arise, and go; for this is no place to rest:” In response to such wicked behavior, Micah told the people to “Arise” which means “rise up and stand” “and go” or “leave, proceed, move or go away”. He added, “for this is no place to rest”. The idea was for Canaan to be a place of rest for the people of Israel and Judah, but now that there was no rest for those who lived within these places, they should leave them.
The verse goes on to say, “because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction”. Micah gave another reason they should leave. Not only would remaining in these places destroy the people who stayed there, but their destruction would be extremely painful and grievous.
When we take the time to meditate upon these words of Micah, we may be thinking about our own country. What if he was writing to us? Was our land intended to be a place of rest, and now it has become “polluted” “sexually, religiously, and ceremonially”? Perhaps we will think about the world which is not the Christian’s final home and resting place. As it becomes more and more corrupt every day, may we be reminded that one day we too will “Arise and go” for this is no place to rest” even as the Bible promises, and may the Lord Jesus come quickly to receive those who believe in, trust in, rely upon and cling to Him.
Remember that the earth is our temporary home. It is no place to rest for eternity. Only heaven promises that. I encourage you to pray that God would allow you to remember that one day you will arise and go to a place of eternal rest and peace.
But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? –2 Kings 1:3 ESV
We need to be ready for the battle in front of us. The church needs men and women of courage who are clear about God’s calling on their life. Listen to the instructions God gave Jeremiah and see if these do not apply to us, as believers, today:
But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” – Jeremiah 1:17-19 ESV
Does this not echo the words of Jesus when he said:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” – Matthew 28:18–20
God is with us at all times. No matter what battle we face or worldly environment, God is with us. We must be courageous and arise and go to serve His Kingdom and make disciples of all nations.
Don’t Dwell on Should Haves
Rise let us be going. – Matthew 26:46 ESV
The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done, they were in despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say— ‘It is all up now, it is no use trying anymore.’ If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience.
Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a great opportunity to do, then we are likely to sink in despair, and Jesus Christ comes and says— ‘Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.’ Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from missed opportunities, financial difficulties, illnesses, etc. and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said—‘Rise! Let us go! If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.
There are numerous more instances in the Bible of the phrase “arise and go” or similarly worded phrases.
Let’s all take the opportunity to arise and go and live the life that God intended us to live!
You may enjoy this brief sermon about “arise and go” in the Bible.
Additionally, here are a few recommended resources pertaining to arise and go in scripture.
How will you live out the command to arise and go? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Because He Lives,