Joyfully Being Used???

Mark 6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

This is amazing. Jesus lands on the shore and was immediately mobbed. How did these people know Him so well? If I’m reading scripture right, He’d only been in Gennesaret once (or twice). How did they know to bring the sick? How did the entire countryside know of Jesus? Because of a man who obeyed when he didn’t want to…

Mark 5:18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

To this man nothing could be better than following Jesus. Nothing made more sense. Jesus had just healed him and delivered him from a legion of demons. What else could a person do but serve Him? I can see this man asking Jesus as he begins to climb into the boat. I can see the expectation in his face, of course Jesus would say yes. How confused the man must have been when Jesus told him no. Instead he was supposed to go home and tell his friends and family what God had done. How unglamorous (I don’t think that’s a word!)!!! You’ve been miraculously healed. You have your life back. You want to devote the rest of your life to serve the One who saved you. You want to be His most devoted follower. And Jesus accepts his offer…but, not the way the man was thinking. What went on in the man’s head as Jesus said no. Was he tempted to anger? Was he confused? Was he tempted to doubt? Amazingly, the Bible doesn’t record his temptations and/or sin. Did Jesus have to correct his attitude? Did the man pause? I’m once again amazed that Scripture isn’t emphasizing sin and failure, but the end result (grace and obedience). All it says is that he went and obeyed. I wonder if he wanted to? Was he disappointed?

But, he didn’t waver. He was given an assignment and he did it! When I read verse 20 I see a joyful and excited man. Running around, eager to share what God had done for him! Not only did he obey, but I bet he obeyed with joy. God was using him differently than he wanted, but his joy was found in obeying God. However God wanted to use him, he was happy. He had been saved from a life of torment and misery…he was happy to be used however the Savior chose. The end result? EVERYONE MARVELED. And this was the same region that Jesus came back to. When Jesus came back, they welcomed Him (they had sent him away the time before). He was mobbed with people. They brought their sick and they were healed. He was able to minister to many Gentiles…why? He used the obedience of one man.

Do you wonder why God has you where He has you? Do you wonder, grumble, and complain? Take heart! It’s okay to wonder (the Psalmist did all the time). But, do you submit and joyfully obey while you ask questions? It’s interesting in Psalm 16 the Psalmist says:

Psalm 16:5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

But, if you read the preceding verses, his life wasn’t easy and happy. Yet, his hope, his anchor, his refuge was in God. Not in understanding his circumstances. Not in having a perfect life. He clung to the truth of God’s Word and chose to joyfully obey, even when he didn’t understand. God gave him the grace and power to do this. He didn’t conjure up the feelings and performance. Even obedience is all of God’s amazing grace!!!

God uses the obedience of His people to do amazing things…even if they don’t seem amazing at the time!

 

So he supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming need, overwhelming grace. God’s grace has given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly. -John Blanchard

He will not err in any of His dealings with us. He will take away and give; He will afflict and bereave; He will move and He will settle, with . . . perfect wisdom, at the right time, in the right way. The great Shepherd of the sheep makes no mistakes! -J.C. Ryle

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