“Every day, blind Bartimaeus would wake up and feel for his cloak. He would put on the beggars cloak that allowed him to sit and beg. But today, every one says, ‘Take it off!’” said Pastor Russell Evans in the Planetshakers Awakening Conference, at Sunway Convention Centre from 29th to 30th of January 2016.
Although Bartimaeus wakes up every morning to beg, that day was a special day for him because he heard Jesus passing by with a crowd.
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!
48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.
51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Yet, instead of feeling intimidated by the crowd, he cried out and said, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47)
“If you let the crowd dictate your life, you will never be who God created you to be.”
“You see, the crowd never takes you to your destiny. One moment, the crowd was singing (to Jesus), ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Lord.’ The next moment, the crowd said, ‘Crucify Him!’
Pastor Russell shared how God unusually prompted him to run around the building in front of ten thousand people. Overcoming his fear, he ran and God revealed to him through a number of people saying to him, “I saw you taking fire to the nations.”
Back to Bartimaeus, he did not care about what people thought of him. Even though people warned him to be quiet, he cried out even louder and said, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48)
What did Jesus do?
Jesus stopped amidst the noisy crowd. He heard Bartimaeus calling. And He commanded him to be called forth! (Mark 10:49)
“I believe God is calling a generation tonight. He is calling you!”
But before Bartimaeus came, he also did a significant thing. He threw aside his beggar cloak aside. (Mark 10:50)
“He is saying, ‘This cloak no longer defines me. I am no longer a beggar! Jesus called my name, my breakthrough is about to happen now!’”
Is there a cloak of fear and insecurities that you are wearing now? Take it off.
Pastor Russell shared how a prophet told him not to compare himself with his family of preachers, because God will be anointing his lips to speak to nations. He obeyed God and took off his father’s mantle in preaching, his fear in speaking, and his fear in flying.
“I took off all the things that have defined me.”
Many of us have defined ourselves based on our past successes, degrees, or jobs. But what really defines us is that we are the sons and daughters of God.
Leave yesterday to yesterday, because God wants to do a new thing in our life today.
So, responding to Jesus’ calling, blind Bartimaeus came to Jesus. (Mark 10:50) He took a step of faith in darkness towards Jesus. Are we stepping out like Bartimaeus by faith and not by sight today?
“Faith does not come by seeing first, but hearing the Word of God.”
In other words, we must first hear what God says, do and say what He says, and then only see what He says become a reality in our lives.
For example, Pastor Sam Evans heard God wanting her to speak healing into a man. So, she walked up to the man and spoke healing into him. Only then, she saw the physical healing of the man.
“God is speaking to a generation who listens to the voice of God and take a step of faith, doing things you have never done before.”
When Bartimaeus came, Jesus asked him the most peculiar question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) It would be apparent that this man wanted his sight back.
“There’s something about speaking and asking Jesus to move in your behalf, because there is power in your words and there is power in the name of Jesus, which is the Name above every name.”
So, Bartimaeus said to Jesus, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51)
How did Jesus respond? Jesus honored his request. He said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” Immediately, Bartimaeus receives his sight. (Mark 10:52) Hallelujah!
But before Bartimaeus receive his healing, he need to first take off his cloak of fear, insecurities, and past successes.
Pastor Russell shared how the beggar’s cloak of performance seemed to be especially prevalent in the Asian culture. We believe that we need to perform to get approval. We get our identity from what we have done, instead of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
“Look, you are a son and daughter of God. You are not a human doing, you are a human being. It’s not what you do that makes you a Christian. It is who you are.”
“But that does not mean you don’t do your best. You don’t do your best for approval but because you are a Christian.”
Bartimaeus took off everything that defined him, so that he can receive all that Jesus wants to give him.
Hence, like Bartimaeus, we need to also disagree and take off every negative word said to us. But we need to come into agreement with all that Jesus says about us in the Bible – that is we can do all things in Him!
Even Pastor Russell’s 80-year-old grandfather had to come before Jesus and took off things not from God. He later got up and wrote his first song in life to praise God.
Take it off.
When God created you, He intended you to be filled only by all of Him.
But before He fills us with all of Him, we need to take out everything that is not of Him.
Father God, I take off everything that is not of You, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I only receive all that is of You, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Planetshakers will be coming to Malaysia next year, on 20 – 21 January 2017. See you there!
Note: Although this article has not been vetted by Planetshakers, it has been written based on the audio recording of Pastor Russell Evans’ sharing.
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