Sometimes change is necessary. Yet change can be scary, even terrifying. Most of us remember the account of Jesus and the Gadarene Demoniac found in the gospels of Mark chapter 5 and both Matthew and Luke chapter 8. The story of this man is telling of the love, mercy, and faithfulness of our heavenly Father. Without a doubt, today, this man would have been kept in a padded room where he would have surely been heavily medicated. That being said, there is no level of brokenness that God cannot heal, no depth of bondage from which he cannot set us free. The Bible is clear. Though many had tried, none could offer any solution to the depth of this man’s torment. Yet when he saw Jesus, he ran and bowed before him. Ultimately, Jesus healed this man and freed him from his suffering.
Until this time, everyone in the surrounding areas lived day to day in the habit of life as was common them. They were aware of this man. One gospel even says (as it records two men) that they were so fierce that none could pass that way. Yet the peoples of the region went about life as ‘normal.’ They had learned to live with this dysfunction as though it were completely functional, even though they were hindered from one whole area of their region. “They could not pass that way.”
When Jesus healed one of these men, it threw the whole region into fear and a state of panic. Sometimes, dysfunction can become so commonplace in our lives that when God attempts to bring change, we reject it. In other words, it is more comfortable to live in a state of dysfunction than to endure the discomfort of healthy change that leads to wholeness. More times than not, function as God intended it, challenges our comfort zone because we are not accustomed to it. The people of this area had become completely accustomed to living in fear of this man (or these men as Matthew records it), avoiding the area where he wandered and his violent behavior. Jesus came to restore function to a dysfunctional situation. He came to bring peace to chaos, light amid darkness and freedom from bondage, and it scared them. The bible tells us that when the people of the region heard what had happened and saw this man sitting, fully clothed and in his right mind they became frightened and asked Jesus to leave their region. Yet how many more miracles could have been done in the lives of these individuals had they invited Jesus to stay rather than ask him to leave.
I wonder how many of us have closed the door to an area of dysfunction in our lives that God is trying to bring into a state of function simply because we are fearful or uncomfortable? Is God dealing with you on about your health, your finances, certain life habits, outlooks or ungodly worldviews that are creating places of dysfunction in your life? The reality is that change is not easy and by nature, most human beings resist it. But Jesus did not grace this earth with his presence for us to remain living in situations that are not his best for our lives. He came because he wants to set us free to live lives where we are wholly from the inside out. If the Holy Spirit has been dealing with you about an area of your life he wants to change, don’t resist push him away. Instead invite him into that broken area. Only in this way, will you ever experience the ‘fullness’ of life he came reveal to every one of us.
Check out Matthew and Luke chapter 8 and Mark 5.
May God bless you and speak to you continually in the coming week.