Mark 5:15 – And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
Mark 5:16 – And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
Mark 5:17 – And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
Hello readers, today I’m talking about being scared of what God might do with your life. It’s an interesting thought, and I was thinking about that fact recently. The more I thought about it, the more profound this became to me. Often we wish in life that God would do something in our lives, and with our lives… but do we really want it?
The truth is, we say and think we would like God to do something in our lives. But we don’t really want God to do with our life what he wants to do, no, we want him to do it how we want, and for his working in our lives to conform with our lives. Following Jesus Christ is sacrificial, because it’s not him conforming to us, but us following him.
When God doesn’t do anything in our lives because we don’t let him, we have no room for him in our busy schedule, we then think God is nowhere and God is letting us down. So we don’t really want God to do anything with our lives because our life is pretty neat, and then we’ll blame God for not doing anything.
Does God have free course in your life? Often we’ve got him on a tight leash. He’s very limited in what we allow him to do. Oh, he’s welcome to be our Santa Claus and deliver for us like a genie out a bottle, but outside of that, we’ve got our life and don’t interfere with that. Don’t upset the apple cart.
We like a life that is in our control. Rather than forsaking all and following Christ, we expect Christ to follow us and an that attachment and optional extra that we can count on when needed. What we’ve always known, what we’ve always thought, what we’ve always done, they’re all very strong factors in why we are scared of truly surrendering to God’s will for our lives.
The truth is, God can do a lot more in our lives than we can handle. Just we are not willing to let him do more in our lives. We have our life worked out. We have what we know and want and God’s gotta fit to that. That’s the truth. If we really obeyed God, and pushed out from shore with him into the deep water, we’d have more on our plate than we can deal with. Just like when Jesus pushed out with the disciples into the deep water in Luke 5, and they caught so much fish it broke their nets and started sinking their ships.
Think about that, so many people were on the shore wanting to hear the word of God, not very many wanted to push out from the shore. See, you’re wanting your shoreline Christianity but not deep water. You’ve got intellectual belief, not heart belief. You’ve got a belief of truths that you assent to, but it’s not yet changed your walk or your life. You know it’s a good idea to have faith, but you’re not willing to have faith in your own life.
Often in the gospels you see some unusual reactions from people to Jesus Christ. And here is one that was quoted at the start. The situation is that Jesus Christ has just healed the guy possessed with the Legion of devils. The town comes out to see Jesus, having heard what was done, and you know what they do… they tell him to get lost. It seems crazy to think that after what Jesus had done, they’d say please leave, and leave now Jesus.
You think this city was a case for “scared of what God might do?”. Of course. It wasn’t Jesus wasn’t there and he couldn’t be in their city and lives, just they didn’t want him there. Imagine God actually doing something in my life and changing my life. That’s pretty scary! I’m so comfortable here, I like my norm! We are creatures of habit. We like to stick with what we know. Recently I’ve been thinking about my own life and really it’s more a case of being scared about what God might do with my life more than the fact he’s doing nothing with my life. He can fill our net up and give us more than we can handle anytime we want to push out by faith with him in the boat.
The truth is, what we’ve always known plays a very powerful part in our lives. Recently I was also thinking about when David became king of all Israel in 2 Samuel 5, and the very first thing he did was he went up to Jerusalem to capture it from the Jebusites. Jerusalem was such a vital city in Israel, it was important strategically and it was the heart of Israel. But the Jebusites have it. How could David lead and rule the nation without owning Jerusalem, the most important place in the whole land?
We would do well to think about this in our own lives. It’s a bit like how can God rule your life if he doesn’t have your heart? You’re trying to do all these Christian things or be a good person, but inside, in the core of your being, it’s enemy territory. Until your heart is the place from which Jesus Christ rules and reigns, just like David in Jerusalem… you’re sunk. The heart is the battleground, but often for all of us it’s where the most well established enemy stronghold is.
It’s quite a fight for God to get our heart. You see God as a man wrestling with Jacob in Genesis 32 and an interesting statement “and when he saw that he prevailed not against him” in verse 25. You’d think God would be strong and able enough to beat Jacob. Yet the Bible says he prevailed not against him. We put up a pretty good resistance to God’s working in our lives. We put up a pretty good fight AGAINST believing God and obeying him. I think about my own life, and I’ve been the biggest opponent of Jesus Christ’s working in my life I know of. The biggest battle God has is with us, and getting us out of joint with a life of sin and unbelief and changing our walk… quite literally in Jacob’s sense.
But the point was the Jebusites were used to having that place in Israel. They were so confident David wouldn’t take it, because they’d “always” had that place. It’s always been that case. Overcoming how it’s “always been” can be very hard in life. It can be a very tough stronghold that prevents us from believing and following God. It can be that stronghold which makes us scared to trust God to do something with our lives.
David did capture Jerusalem though. So things can change in your life. Maybe all you’ve known thus far is a life like you have right now. It’s a life of intellectual belief but not heart belief. It’s in your head but not your heart. It hasn’t changed your walk or your name like God did with Jacob. For so long Israel had so long accepted that Jerusalem is a place we just don’t have. The Jebusites knew it, and so did the nations of Israel. But nevertheless, the Bible says, David took the stronghold of Zion. The same is the city of David. Want to have a life like David? Want to have a relationship with God and be used of God like he was?
When thinking about what God might do in your life, there are strongholds that must be thrown down. And some of the strongest of the strongholds might not be what you think. There’s strongholds of lust and pride and so on, and they’re vital places of necessary deliverance, but there are other strongholds of the “comfort zone”, what we’ve always known, what we are familiar with, what we are used to, what we have accepted as the norm in life. Some of those things can keep us from every accepting Jesus into our hearts and lives.
All these Gadarenes knew was farming pigs and living a quite life out here on the other side of the Jordan. All they knew was a life of halfway Christianity. There was a comfort zone, there was familiarity, there was inertia, there was what we’ve always known and done… and Jesus wasn’t welcome there to change it up or do anything in their country. Maybe all you known is a life of halfway, you’ve crossed no Jordan, and you aren’t going to be.
I’m not sure if I’m making that much sense yet, but really, the thing is most people are scared of what God might do in their lives and what that might mean for them. The consequences that might have, the territory it might take them into. The new norm! The truth is that we like to have our lives in (what we think is) our control. We like to have life within our capacity and ability and ways and means. It was by what means that Jesus cast the devils out of that man that they rejected him. It cost them pigs, and that “means” wasn’t acceptable! Pigs over humans!
Here is something important to recognize… following Jesus Christ, obeying God and being used by him is faith ground. And that doesn’t come easily to us. We are scared, because God will take us beyond our capability and capacity to faith ground. He took Abraham there, and he’ll take every child of God there. I’m going to take this beyond you Abraham. Remember the example of Jacob at the place he’d look back on as Peniel… God fought him but it was only after God took his ability to wrestle that Jacob went from fighting to clinging on for dear life, and then he’d need God to bless him. Trust God, rather than your own ability.
He’d have to trust God to deliver when it came to meeting his brother Esau. That was a meeting he was TERRIFIED of. But at Peniel he trusted in God’s blessing on his life, I can’t do it God, bless me God, please bless me… and God blessed him there, and the sun rose upon him (what a wonderful statement) as he passed over Peniel, and the sun will rise on your life when you let go of the reins and your rubbish norms and all the less you’ve settled for in life and trust God in the way you’re going, in the way you’re walking and how you’re going to tackle the rest of your life with a new name given to you by God. Why does God have to fight us so bad for us to trust him!?
It’s a scary thing trusting God because it’s faith ground. You have to rely on God to deliver on his promises. You have to rely on God keeping his word. You have to rely on his grace being there for you. But the thing is, Jesus Christ is called Faithful and True for a reason. The issue isn’t his faithfulness, the issue is our lack of faith. How often we wrongly charge God, when we are the ones at fault. We charge him with not keeping his word and promises when really it is us not trusting him. We make him wrong to cover the fact we are. God is always is faithful to give us grace for whatever we face in life.
This city in the country of the Gadarenes were afraid of Jesus Christ changing their lives. See, they liked the way they had it. They liked the norm. They liked what they knew. They wanted to stick with what they were familiar with. Their fathers had “settled” for the land before Jordan, and they lived a life settling for far less than God could’ve done in their lives. They had that stronghold there. And that’s an incredibly strong stronghold, the stronghold of what we’ve known and what we do in life. And we don’t even want God upsetting that.
Maybe there’s a cost you don’t want to pay. There is a cost to following Jesus Christ. It might cost you some friends, some family, peer approval… whatever. In this case, Jesus had cost them some pigs. They cared more about the pigs than about a crazy man getting healed after a tortured and mental lifestyle. It’s like our society today. We’ve got a priorities in all the wrong areas. My country is going coronavirus crazy again, and they care more about a virus that has barely killed anyone than the pandemic of deaths from abortion, alcohol and drugs. We are at a time where animals are more important to people than human beings. That’s messed up.
Maybe you’re like the people that are content to hear and watch… but from their safety spot. When Elisha was going with Elijah on their final journey together in 2 Kings 2, there were fifty men of the sons of the prophets following them and watching from afar off. They had their safe space. See, they could watch and see what was going on, but they wouldn’t get involved in God’s work and the ministry themselves. They were afraid of having to trust God, of having to stand before the king, of having to deliver some tough messages that might get them hated in Israel. They were scared of what God might do and could do in their lives.
Safe place Christians have really cost our country and our society. We are meant to be salt and light in this world. God can and will use believers still. Just none of us want to be used because we want to stay in our safe place, our comfortable place. In Judges 6, God found a man who was doing something and would do something in Gideon. All the rest of them were hiding in their safe and comfortable places from the Midianites, but Gideon was willing to risk to obey God, he was willing to do something different from the norm and what was accepted and step outside what he knew to obey God and deliver Israel. When he threw down his dad’s altar to Baal that night, that was really changing it up wasn’t it.
So today we want to see that it’s not a case of God can’t do anything in your life or with your life. He can. He will. He’ll fill your net full. Too full for you to handle. It’s a case of we are scared and afraid and unwilling for God to do anything in our life. We want him to do in our life what we imagine he can do that won’t cost us at all, that will add to our lives as we see fit. We don’t want to follow Jesus Christ, we want God to follow us morelike.
Think about it, are you scared of what God might do in your life? Are you afraid of what it might mean for you? Many people won’t get saved or follow Jesus Christ because they’re afraid in different ways. Is fear of cost or consequence or what it means and what it looks like to you the real reason you’re in a holding pattern in your life? Are you in a holding pattern of unbelief, of not going anywhere in life? Those people in John 5 laid around by the pool of Bethesda for a long time. They had their conditions and issues, and so do we all. But Jesus has come to see you today. Just believe on him. With thou be made whole? That’s a good change for our life isn’t it? Sometimes we are so used to our condition we can’t imagine life without it. What a question to ask that man. And he didn’t even just say yes! Read what he said. Surely you say yes please straight away. People’s issues and conditions often become their friend and they can’t live without them. This society can’t live without being a victim. They can’t live without their excuses. Maybe you’ve grown of that prison of sin you’re in.
Are you willing to let go and rise from that life, rise out of your condition of sin and unbelief by faith in the Christ who can make you rise, take up your bed and walk? Today you can, today you can take those new steps of faith that that man took, and that Jacob took. Jacob was halting, but the grace of God was upon his life. Some battle scars are ok, some scars and that legacy of God’s fight with you are ok, because the sun has now risen on your life and you’ve now gone from night to day with God’s blessing on your life. May God bless your life and give you the grace to get up and go on in faith in his Son and his holy word.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)