Choose The Inner Circle
"Then they began to plead with him to depart from their region." Mark 5:17 The context: Jesus went to a town called Gadara and there was a man there totally demonized, who lived outside among the tombs. This man was known by all the residents nearby. He had been constrained in the past, but had super-human strength and broke out of any chains they put on him. So Jesus casts the demons out of the man, and the man is instantly healed. The demons fled into a herd of pigs and the pigs ran violently over the cliff and were drowned in the sea. A case in point here to anyone who doesn't believe there are such things as real demons: These were not "attitudes" or mental illnesses, they were demons. Attitudes and mental illnesses don't run violently over cliffs. When the residents of that area saw the man sitting at Jesus' feet totally healed and in his right mind, they were shaken and asked him to get out of the area. They asked Jesus to LEAVE ...!!! Many people just want the status quo. Their lives are set up, they go to work, come home and watch tv. On weekends they run errands, then do the things they like to do or maybe work around the house. They like it that way. So when anything out of the ordinary happens, they just don't want to go there. Walking with the Lord and creator of the universe is quite an adventure. You'll reach the highs and the lows in life. You'll be scared out of your wits, but on the other hand you'll be left in total awe when the Lord works his works so amazingly in your life. Don't run from him. All his works in the lives of his people are specifically and uniquely designed for each one, to grow them up to maturity and to bring about the blessings he so desires to bring to them. But that's only for those who totally sell out to him. It's for those willing to obey him in trying circumstances, no matter what. It's for those who don't ask him to leave when unusual things happen. (And they will!) Your salvation doesn't depend on walking closely with the Lord. Salvation is a free gift no matter what. But you can go deeper if you're willing to face the challenge of walking by faith. When Jesus walked this earth many followed him but there were only twelve who walked closely with him, and of that twelve there were only three, Peter, James, and John, who were in his inner circle. You can choose whether you want to just take salvation but remain on the outside, or whether you're willing to take the deeper walk and be closer to him. It will depend on your level of faith and your love for him. And it will depend on your understanding of how what we do in this life will affect our standing in eternity. At one point in my life, just before an extremely traumatic story was about to begin, the Lord came to me in my livingroom and asked, "Do you REALLY trust me?" He asked it in a tone of voice that made me really think about it before answering, and I thought about it long and hard. Then I said, "Yes, Lord, I do." And shortly afterwards that story began in which I probably wouldn't have been able to make it had he not personally spoken to me beforehand. But knowing that - gave me the courage to walk through it WITH HIM. And now when I look back, I realize that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, because of what it created in me, and the depth of intimacy I entered into by following close to HIM. Was it worth it? Yes, a thousand times over. I learned that God is to be trusted no matter what, because he is trustworthy, he is faithful. And those are absolutes. Trust him. Dare to ask him to take you deeper, to bring you closer. You'll never regret it. And for all eternity you will be thankful that you made that choice.