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When Instead of Yes, God says Go

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

Luke 5:18-19 (NIV)

Picture it, next to Jesus there is a young man who is wearing someone else’ clothing, they probably looked big on him. His hair is messy, and he does not even know what day it is. Nevertheless, he is smiling from ear to ear. He was just set free from a legion of demons. Because of fear, the people of the region asked Jesus to go away. Before the poor man knew exactly what happened, the man who just gave him his life back got on a boat.

I wonder what went through his mind when he saw the Master leaving. He probably looked back at the tombs among which he had lived and thought, “I cannot stay here, and I cannot go back to my family either. What would people think? How can I explain my past behavior to them?” No, he thought, “There is nothing for me here”.

He ran towards the boat and begged Jesus to take him with Him, but Jesus told him NO. He did not allow this man to get on the boat with him. Instead of telling him yes come follow me, like he had said to the twelve disciples, He told him GO home. GO back to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.

Can you imagine how this man must have felt? To go with Jesus, to serve Him, to help Him, made sense. It was a good testimony, “demoniac gets set free and follows his deliverer”. It seemed good, except that Jesus was not into what seemed good or into what made sense. Jesus was and is all about doing the Father’s will. Jesus told him NO, but did not leave him without direction. He told him what to do.

Has Jesus ever turned down any of your ideas? Until a few years ago, I was an expert at telling Jesus what I thought we should do and was disappointed every time Jesus said NO. The good news is that to me, just like to the former demoniac, Jesus always tells me what to do next after every one of His NOs, and every time I do what He says, I get blessed. If God is saying NO to your present plans, do not lose your joy. Soon you will hear His GO, and when God says GO, blessings always follow.

Disappointed and sad the young man obeyed Christ. He went back to His people and told them all the Lord had done form him. The Bible tells us that when Christ returned to that area, people no longer feared Him. By then, many had heard of Him and received Him with joy. We may not understand why God tells us NO, but we can trust His plans for us. Follow in faith His GOs. I promise you; you will never regret it, and maybe your obedience will help many receive Jesus with joy.

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