1. We Want to See Life!
Recently I was chatting to someone who commented on the amount of empty stores and warehouses in Mackay region. It was said as a negative thing, because let’s face it, we all want to be part of a community that is full of life. How do we see life spring forward in our city?
2. There Is Confusion About What Will Bring Life
Over the last number of years I’ve noticed that more and more people are engaging with all sorts of alternative spiritualities. Yoga, meditation, crystals but also going to mediums, getting into tarot cards and even witchcraft. In fact around the time of Halloween last year, I read a post that was talking about how witches get such a bad wrap and that when people dress up as witches they have long ugly noses and are made to look mean. The article argued that we needed to rethink how we view witches, casting them in a more positive light.
I think this trend illustrates that there is confusion in our community about what will bring life. How will we prosper and get ahead as a community? Is there any great problem in engaging such alternative spiritualities?
3. There Is Confusion About Whether Jesus Will Bring Life
I believe that many people doubt that Jesus will bring the life they are looking for. Either, they have some idea of the morality that Jesus calls for, and that doesn’t sound like life to them. Maybe you’ve felt like this. It makes it difficult to consider looking at Jesus for life.
Alternatively, there can be followers of Christ, who none-the-less, are not convinced that Jesus will bring the life they want. They’ve heard of the sacrifices that other followers of Jesus have had to make in going to the mission field or giving up dreams that they had or walking through significant suffering. That’s not the life that they’re after. So they have reservations about following too closely after Jesus. Maybe, if you’re really honest with yourself, you have reservations about following Jesus too closely.
4. The Trajectory of Evil Is Death
The Bible tells us that there are only two spiritual forces in the world: those that flow from the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ or those that flow from Satan, the Father of Lies. In Mark 5, Jesus is confronted with a man who is consumed by the powers of Satan. He literally spent his days living amongst the dead and scraping himself with stones. When Jesus finally casts the legion of demons living inside of him into a herd of pigs, they all run headlong into a lake and are drowned. The trajectory of evil (which is all spiritual forces outside of those that flow from Jesus), is to death.
5. Jesus Conquers Evil
The good news is that evil is no match for Jesus. He casts out the demons from the demon possessed man, so that the man comes back to his right mind (Mark 5:15). Later in the same section of Mark, we read that where the forces of evil have overcome a little girl, he brings her back to life (5:41-42). For a lady who has been bleeding non-stop for 12 years, Jesus brings healing and life, her suffering ceases the moment she touches Jesus cloak (5:27-29). Jesus will ultimately walk through death, defeating the one power Satan has in his hands, and then coming out the other side into life, three days later. All who look to Jesus, have nothing to fear from the power of evil.
6. Have Faith In Jesus, Not Fear of Evil
So this really leaves us with a decision to make, will we have faith in Jesus, or will we continue to live in fear (and so give authority to evil in our lives)? A surprising thing happens when Jesus casts the legion of demons out of the man. You would think the towns people would be rejoicing. Here was a man that they had no control over - he would break even the chains they would place on him. Yet instead of placing their faith in Jesus, they are afraid and so they plead with Jesus to leave their region (5:15-17). Essentially, they allow the demons to remain and they ask Jesus to go. They have fear, not faith. Why?
We get an insight into the battle that goes on inside of us by watching the man whose daughter is raised from the dead. While his daughter is still alive, he goes in faith to Jesus to ask him to come and heal her. But then he gets news that she has died. Those who bring the news encourage the man to give up faith. Jesus perceptibly speaks to the battle in his heart, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.' (Mark 5:36)
We need to see that all spiritual power that lies outside of Jesus, will only lead to death. We need to see that Jesus has conquered evil and death and brings life. Whatever circumstances we are facing today, we need to continue in faith in Jesus, looking to him for the way forward. That is the only path to life.
What is the situation you’re facing today, that you need to bring to Jesus feet with faith?
About the Author
Jai Wright is a Christian Minister, who founded and leads MAKE Church in Mackay, Qld. He recently published the book, Life Plugged In: Connecting with the Source of Peace, Power and Purpose.
You might like to think a little bit more about your spiritual health, by taking the Spiritual Health Check Score Card here.