Good Life Journal - Luke 8
Concerning the demoniac: ""Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you." And he went away proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him." (v9)
Concerning the woman in the crowd: "And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; Go in peace." (v 48 )
Concerning the little girl who was dead: "And her spirit returned and she got up at once. (and) He directed that something should be given her to eat. (and) Her parents were amazed but He charged them to tell no one what had happened." (v55-56)
I sometimes wonder about the Bible's seemingly mixed messages. There are times that I can read something and think "Ok, what am I supposed to do? What direction do I engage in?" It's really very simple: Our consistency is found in responding to the Spirit's whisper alone...
The three circumstances I quoted above I saw this morning. Why did Jesus give three different directions concerning miracles? What can I take away from that?
Confusing isn't it? When we look at the Word for direction and inspiration there are times where I scratch my head and go "Huh? What do I do, then?"
It actually isn't confusing at all. It only becomes confusing if I try to lift a scriptural imperative/direction out of context.
The Scriptures are a whole-it is the Word of God, the written testimony of God Himself and His declaration of the Gospel. If I don't understand something, read some more-the Spirit of God will illuminate things. It may take a while (like years-be patient) but I have to keep at it. Take the long view is a phrase that my wife hears from me often-and it is true. One of the characteristics of God is being Eternal-therefore being patient and taking the "long view" may be as close as we can get in this mortal frame. By the way: the "long view" framework is entirely found in the Gospel and all those specific aspects.
Can I take the following direction away from this Chapter?:
One: If I have a demon tossed out of me, feel free to declare the Goodness of God? Or;
Two: If I have been healed of a private situation, be in peace and do what you will? Or;
Three: If I have been or involved with a 'raising from the dead' circumstance, keep my mouth shut and let the facts say everything needed?
If you are laughing at this analysis, you are not alone: I am too. Obviously it is not a cut and dried decision to make and if I think that it would be this easy, I am not paying attention.
As a disciple there are many things to develop in me. Without going through a large and comprehensive list, here are two: 1) Read and study. Spurgeon said this: "Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other mean's brains proves that he has no brains of his own..." 2) Try to develop a practice to talk and discuss the Scriptures and Doctrine with a few others brothers/sisters. There is nothing like it...
Paul wrote Timothy: "Practice these things, immerse yourself in them so that all may see your progress..." (1Tim 4:15) What a command...
Lord Jesus, help me continue with the fierce determination to immerse myself in Your Word as well as immerse myself in the process of being a disciple. Please let me hear Your whisper louder in my ear. Make my heart soft and please keep it from becoming hard through my neglect of paying attention. AMEN.