This Little Light Of Mine!
Have you ever been discouraged with a door being shut, a rejected idea, or a simple response of “no”? Have you ever thought that because you cannot do things the way you want to do them, you might as well not do anything at all? It is sometimes so easy to be discouraged when things don’t go our way, when the elders say no or when what we have on our hearts does not come to fruition, but perhaps we can learn from the example given to us of a new disciple of Christ whose petition was denied by the Lord himself.
As the Lord Jesus sailed across the Sea of Galilee and arrived in the region of Decapolis, He was confronted by a man possessed by Demons (Mark 5:1-2). Totally depraved, this man was powerless under the control of Satan (vv.3-5). What a moment when the Lord delivers him from the chains of Satan and he is found by the people of the city sitting, clothed and in his right mind (v.15). Isn’t it wonderful to witness the grace of God in the deliverance of a soul? Can you not be thankful today that you yourself, dear believer, are a recipient of God’s wonderful grace as well?
If you were to review the story, you will find that on three occasions the Lord is pleaded with. First by the demons and secondly by the people of the city as they beg the Lord to leave their shores, to which both He complies (v.17). Perhaps though to our biggest surprise, the third time He is pleaded with when this new disciple begs the Lord to allow him to follow Him, the Lord answers NO, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you (v.18).”
How is it possible that the Lord would appease the cries of the demons and worldly people but not this new, sincere disciple who only wanted to follow him? Doesn’t that sound unreasonable or unfair? Wouldn’t that have been earth shattering to him to just give up, be discouraged and go on his way? Thank the Lord we read instead that “he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marvelled.” How wonderful that the next time the region of Decapolis is mentioned, there is a group of people not asking Jesus to leave but asking him instead to heal (7:31-32).
Dear believer there are times in life when our desires, prayers, motives and goals are sincere before the Lord and yet the answer is still “no.” How do we react in these situations? In your walk with the Lord do not let your service be hindered by closed doors or negative responses when there is so much more the Lord would have us focus on.
Food for thought: In a world that openly rejects Jesus, one of the greatest and least arguable truths that we hold is telling others “how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.”
Kyle Wilson is commended with his wife to full time service in Nicaragua, from the assembly that meets in Carleton Gospel Hall, Vancouver. He is in fellowship in the assembly in El Valle, and has two young children.