If Only We Obey Him

 

Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.  And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed Him.  And when He had gone a little farther thence, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.  And straightway He called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after Him.”  Mark 1:16-20

The four men written of here were the first apostles chosen by Christ.  Notice with me the submission to Him and His will portrayed here by the Holy Spirit, as having inspired Marcus (which is to say John Mark, who is also called Marcus) to write in His gospel.  Jesus called to them and they came after Him without question, argument, or grumbling.  They dropped all they were doing in their lives and forevermore change the course their lives were on to follow Him.  The Apostles would not always understand what they were experiencing with Jesus, but when He would give them instruction, even rebuke, they would obey.  Even the demons and devils submitted to Jesus.

And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee Who Thou art, the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.” Mark 1:23-26

This demon knew Jesus.  He knew Jesus was God!  Yet, it not being time to reveal this to everyone, Jesus tells him to “hold his peace,” meaning “say no more,” which this demon obeyed.  Yes, as he came out of the man, he tore him, and even screamed or yelled in a loud voice, but in actual words, this spirit said no more.  This becomes even clearer as Jesus continues to exorcise demons and telling them not to speak.

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.  And all the city was gathered together at the door.  And He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew Him.” Mark 1:32-34

It was not yet His time, and since these demons knew Him, that He was come to save the world, and it was not yet His plan to have men know, they were told not to speak of it, even at all, and they obeyed Him, for He is God.  Jesus was doing things as ordained by the Father, following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  All that He did was according to plan, and He did not wish for it to be revealed too soon.  On top of that, Jesus said that He was here to do the Will of the Father, which is an example to us of how we are supposed to live our lives.  We are to follow after Him, and do those things we are prompted to by the Holy Spirit, and bring glory and honor to the Father.  All things are done by Him, and we are to give Him all of the credit, in humble servitude.  It should be a simple enough thing to do, just following orders, but with free will involved, we see just how difficult this truly can be.

And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.  And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.  And He straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; and saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.  But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to Him from every quarter.” Mark 1:40-45

Jesus is God, and was in constant communication with the Father, through the Holy Spirit; so, He knew what was going to happen.  This did not stop Him from healing the leper, for He was moved with compassion.  He did tell the man, clearly, “say nothing to any man,” and was this what the man did?  Nope.  He was supposed to go to the priest, make an offering upon the altar according to the Law of Moses; yet, he went and told everyone who would listen, and the word swept through the city like wildfire.  This made it so difficult for Jesus to move within the city that His Work had to go outside of the city, and instead of coming to the people, the people now came to Him.  The people became so focused on the miracles, that they really did not care about Who Jesus was, and so wrong focus was executed, all by the disobedience to Christ’s command by the now healed leper.

We all get excited about Jesus and what He does for our lives.  It is a part of our testimony, and He tells us that we must go forth and share with others what we now have, namely, God with us.  But, we are not to place our focus on the results of the change in our lives so much as we are to focus on the God Who performs the change.  Such is how God would like our lives, surrendered to His perfect Will, and God focused.  Sometimes, it seems easier to follow our emotional response to the things around us, even those things He does for us, and step outside of His desire for our lives.  When we do that, we are following our flesh, which makes this life more difficult for us.

Of course, God does not tell us that we will walk the primrose path aplenty, without opposition from without and/or from within.  No, we clearly are told that we are in a battle.  He gives us the victory, to be sure, and it is found in the Cross which is where we are to keep our faith.  He tells us we must fight (Deut 2:24), but we must do it according to His orders.  His commands are designed for our protection, to keep us from harm, and for the possibility of capturing our enemies (who are prisoners of this spiritual war, just as we once were) for Christ, and neither bringing them to harm.  God tells us to stand (Eph 6:13), wearing the full armor of God (Eph 6:11-17), which is Jesus Christ (Rom 13:12-14).  We must remain in Jesus, hidden from the enemy, so we may remain in living the life more abundant which is promised to us.  Our greatest “weapon” in this is the Love of God (1 Cor 13), and as we witness through our lives of Him, in both word and deed (conversation), speaking the gospel of peace, we fulfill His Will for us in our lives and free more captives.  That is, if only we obey Him.

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