Do you believe that God has a plan for your life and that because of that you have a unique place at this particular moment in history? Long before Dr. Luke penned this book we are studying, the prophet Jeremiah wrote to the exiles in Babylon: “29:11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” The principle of that verse held true then as it holds true today—-God has a plan for each of us and it is one that He has uniquely designed to bring about His purpose.
Today in Luke 8, Jesus moves from a violent windstorm on a lake to a violent demonic storm within a person who had lost all hope, lost all idea of a future, lost his identity but Jesus had a plan to restore him and bring about the truth of Jer 29:11 in his life and to teach two principles: Every life is valuable to God and Jesus will not stay where he is not wanted. Whereas the disciples wondered, the demon within the man from the tombs proclaimed the answer that Jesus is the very Son of God, the Son of the Most High just as James later wrote: Jam 2:19 Even the demons believe [God is one]– and tremble with fear.
As Jesus commanded the evil spirits to leave their possession, a remarkable thing happened! The man was restored, resurrected in a way to a new life free from the power of sin. He had been dehumanized in many respects, ostracized and separated from people and God. After his encounter we see him clothed in his right mind sitting at the feet of Jesus listening. The townspeople do not praise God but instead become fearful and ask Jesus to leave. As Jesus began to leave our eyes are opened to God’s eternal plan for this former demon possessed man and in doing so show a third principle: once transformed you have a mission in life. For this man his mission was not to follow but to “Return to your home, and declare what God has done for you…” and he did. For the rest of his life he proudly wore the mantel of the man freed from demonic possession. He had a story that no one could top and that was Jesus restores one life at a time. He proclaimed it through the whole town and most likely beyond. He became the light that Jesus could not.
I really struggle with the throw away’s of society and what little I am doing for them. Do you also feel this way? I just feel uncomfortable and yet I do not know what to do about it. Secondly, I know that there are many principles and truths but the main one comes from Jer 29:11: God has a plan and we are part of it because we are valuable to Him seemed to resonate for me. I often find that one of the deadliest d’s for me is feeling less worthy and that I am not a real part of the jigsaw puzzle God is building. It is then that I have to remind myself that I am a part of a tapestry not a puzzle.
I am and you are to be His light and His word that others see or hear which comes about from being transformed by the power of Jesus.
What one truth has God taught you through this demon possessed man’s story for your own situation?