December 8

Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him… Mark 5:17-19

How far will I let Him go in my life?
There are two prayers in these verses – one that Jesus would go away, and one to be closer to Jesus. Both prayers are of course answered, but in different and surprising ways. The first prayer draws a line in the sand and pleads with God not to step over it. While we may assume that Jesus was reluctant to answer this prayer, there is no doubt that He instantly took these people of the Gadarene region seriously, and accepted their choice, even though it had tragic consequences for others. We are forced to ask: did these people have no demon-possessed or sick relatives, did they have no need of Him? But whatever their needs, they set the limits on how far He could go with them. Jesus always takes us seriously. Sometimes we are not conscious of deliberately hindering Him, but we have still set the limits and have determined how far He is useful to us. The scary thing is that He does take us seriously, and it is verses like these that challenge us to make sure that we are allowing Him free access to our entire life. The second prayer was beautiful, and yet Jesus declined to give the man what he asked for. If the man had insisted, Jesus would have yielded and the man would have limited Jesus in his life. But this man was praying from a place of surrender that allowed Jesus to answer as He wished. The man leaped for joy at the honour of representing Christ to others. He allowed Jesus free access to his life, to do with him whatever He wished. Give Him the free reign He seeks in your life; and remember, we determine how far we will allow Him to go.