Four Keys to Victory

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

May 6, 2024

Four Keys to Victory


John 5:6 “Do you want to be well?”


It's shocking to realize that nearly 47 million Americans are caught in the grip of addiction, whether it's to substances or behaviors. What's more, only a tiny fraction of them actually seek help, and even fewer manage to truly break free. Seeing these statistics laid out like that really hits home, especially when you have a friend or a loved one, or maybe it’s you fighting this battle. It emphasizes just how crucial it is to understand and embrace the path to recovery.

I recently came across a story in the Bible that sheds some light on this struggle—the story of a man who was paralyzed for 38 years, found in John 5. His journey from enduring decades of suffering to experiencing miraculous freedom offers us four critical keys to recovery. These insights aren't just spiritual platitudes; they're practical steps that anyone can take to start their own journey toward healing.

The first key is Desperation. When Jesus met the paralyzed man, he asked him, "Do you want to be well?" It wasn't just a question—it was a challenge to assess his own desire and readiness for change. This moment underscores a vital truth about recovery: it requires a deep, genuine desire to get better. You have to be all in. If you're holding back even a little, you're not truly committed.

The following keys build on this foundation: Surrender, Disclosure, and Community. Surrender comes when Jesus tells the paralyzed man to "Pick up your mat and walk." This command, seemingly irrational at the moment, tested his willingness to take action that didn't initially make sense. It's a clear metaphor for the often illogical-feeling steps one must take in recovery.  

Disclosure is highlighted when Jesus chooses to heal the man publicly, not in solitude. This teaches us the power of vulnerability—addiction thrives in secrecy, but healing blossoms in openness.

Finally, the key of Community is illustrated when the man, once healed, goes to the temple. It reminds us that recovery isn't a solitary endeavor but one that thrives in supportive community settings. These lessons from the biblical narrative are for anyone longing to break free from the chains of addiction and step into a life of renewed freedom and purpose.


Pray for a spirit of desperation. Surrender completely to God. Be willing to be known. Connect with others. These are the four keys that unlock the door to freedom.


Lord, I’m all in. I am desperate to be well, healed, and whole. I will do whatever it takes to walk in freedom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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