“The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Isaiah 50:4
When you pray, do you expect to hear from the Lord? Do you believe that He speaks, or that He still speaks today?
He most certainly does! And as followers of Christ, we are called not only to be disciples, or learners, but also ambassadors and bright lights, offering hope to the hopeless and leading people to Jesus- the One who loves them and can set them free. What an awesome and joyful privilege!
Before you become overwhelmed, frightened, discouraged or anxious let me just assure that the Lord knows what He is doing and He knows who He wants to reach through you. There are hurting, lost people all around us but that doesn’t mean they are all ready to receive His help. Many people don’t want His help, at least not yet…which is where prayer comes in. Keep praying for people, for difficult situations, for seemingly impossible circumstances. Trust that God hears you. If He wants you to do something further, He will let you know.
Back to the assignment part…
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He preached to multitudes of people but He would also seek out the one person who desperately needed His help. Jesus always sought the will of God.
One of my favorite examples is found in Mark 4:36 – Mark 5:20. Jesus had been preaching to the crowds but as evening came He told His disciples, “Let’s go to the other side” (of the Sea of Galilee). There is a companion lesson with the storm and Jesus calming the sea but I will save that for a later post. Bottom line is that Jesus and His disciples disembarked in the Gadarenes region and were met by a demon possessed man. He was in terrible bondage, so much so that he howled, cut himself with rocks and ran around naked like an animal. Human attempts to restrain the poor man no longer worked. The man ran to Jesus and fell at his feet, where upon the demons inside him began to speak. They recognized Jesus. They know who He is and what authority He wields. Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man, the demons entered a herd of pigs and promptly caused the herd to stampede down to the sea and drown.
The good news was that the tormented man was restored and found fully clothed, sitting next to Jesus. Jesus had rescued and delivered a person who had no other means of getting free. I would guess that most people had given up on him…but not God. Possibly not the man’s family, either, which you will see later.
Anyway, there were also some herdsmen who witnessed what happened. They ran and informed the townspeople. The people came out to see what all the commotion was about, then recognize the formerly demon-possessed man and notice how he has changed. They become frightened and beg Jesus to leave their area. That’s another story also, but suffice to say, Jesus doesn’t stay where He is not wanted, which is why we don’t have to “make” people accept Jesus. He told us how we are to respond when His message is rejected- just don’t do it with a haughty attitude or in anger.
So, back to the passage: As Jesus is leaving, the man begs him (Jesus) to allow him to travel with them, but Jesus says no. Rather, He instructs the man to return home to his own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for him and how much mercy he has been shown.
Awesome! This man was restored to his family & community- a living example of the mercy and power of Christ! Perhaps someone, his mother or father, sister, brother or friend had been crying out to God on that man’s behalf, pleading with God to have mercy, to heal him and set him free…and at the right time, God sent Jesus.
Someone, somewhere is crying out to God for someone you know; someone in your realm of influence. Perhaps the person is crying out himself, pleading with God to have mercy—or crying out to the air because they are not sure if God is real, and if so, does He care….does He see…
You are their answer. You know Jesus. You know what He has done in your life. You have seen and heard what He has done for others. You can lead them to Christ. You can offer words of hope, truth and encouragement. You can be His hands that comfort and heal, feed and clothe. You can speak the truth that sets people free.
Be a willing vessel today. Allow the Lord to lead you to people who need and want His help. Something in your testimony, in your experience with God, will be a blessing to someone else today.
God bless you all!