Read Mark 5:1-20.
(This is an account of a very distinct and powerful healing Jesus did. Most would just remember it as the “pig story.” But today, we’re actually focusing on what happened after the initial drama, verses 16-20.)
Jesus had just radically and miraculously changed this guy’s life. Jesus saved him from the impure spirits that tormented him, and he was nothing less than grateful. He begged Jesus to let him go with Him; he wanted to follow Jesus, literally. Who wouldn’t after an experience such as this? But Jesus stopped him and told him to go back.
“Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’”(v.19)
Now, this makes sense from our outside viewpoint; we understand that this man could be a great witness of Jesus to his people. But at the time, do you think it made sense to the man who had just been saved? He wanted to go with Jesus, which was a good thing, but Jesus was telling him to go back and tell others about Him.
There are countless times when it turns out what we thought was best and what we wanted to do isn’t God’s best. Even in the Bible, David wanted to build a temple for God, but that wasn’t God’s plan. Paul wanted to go to Spain to preach the Gospel, this man wanted to go with Jesus, and Naomi wanted Ruth to remain in Moab rather than come with her–but none of that was God’s plan. None of these things were bad things; they’re all good things in and of themselves. But they weren’t in line with God’s plan.
Sometimes we want to do something for God, we get excited, and we plan to do it, with the purest of motives. But then God comes and taps us on the shoulder and tells us that’s not the way we need to go. Has that ever happened to you? Sometimes it’s harder to obey God in that than in regards to something sinful, but it’s important to remember why we’re doing anything at all, the whole point we’re alive and breathing. Our goal in life ought to be to glorify God. Even if our motive was to do it for His glory, it won’t truly glorify Him if it’s not in His will.
It can be very hard to say goodbye to something good that isn’t God’s best, especially when we can’t see what God’s best is yet. It’s important to remember that God’s will is out there, working for His glory. We ought to long to worship Him no matter what that means doing or giving up. As a Christian and true follower of Christ, worship is a lifestyle and your purpose in life.
It’s not easy, I know. It’s hard to just sit there and let an opportunity pass that we want to take so badly. It can be hard to stay focused on God’s plan when we’re tempted by so many other things going by. But we can have faith that when we honor and submit to God with every area of our lives, we’re doing what matters most. And He sees us. He isn’t just saying no for the sake of it; He’s guiding us down His master plan that will end with the biggest and best “yes” there ever will be. Yes, we can experience eternity with Him—which is so amazing our biggest imaginations can’t do it justice. Think about that. Just hold on and keep worshipping Him. He’s got you.
Abba, i know You are in control and Your will should come first in my life. i submit to You now. Thank You that i can find strength and rest in Your loving arms! Please keep me focused on You and let my life glorify You! In Jesus’ Name i pray. Amen.
*(Quick word on this artist: Pneuma Worship’s a great band, and I’m not just saying that because I know them personally. They’re real, and they really love God. This is their first YouTube release from what I know, but stay tuned for future songs by them.)