There are those days when you sit down and read the bible and things are at peace, but as soon as you get out the door, the world is there waiting. Whether it's frustrations, insecurities, selfishness, or just struggling to interact with people, it always seems like it would be easier to just be alone with God.
I was reading in Luke 8 today, where Jesus casts out a demon from a man. That in itself is a wild thing, but it gets even stranger. Starting in verse 38 it says:
The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
I sat for awhile today thinking about the first part of those verses. Why wouldn't Jesus let the man go with him? I could kind of empathize with this guy. He had been literally battling a demon inside of him for who knows how long. Then, Jesus comes along and releases him from that bondage. That guy probably feels amazing right now!! The weight and struggle finally gone! Of course he wants to go with Jesus! Going with Jesus means security! It means that if anything happens to him again, Jesus is right there to help him! Staying with Jesus probably means a lot of comfort to this guy!
But Jesus sent him away.
On my own I fail at a lot of things. I'm a horrible friend, a selfish child, and a prideful woman. When I'm alone, spending time with God, I feel at peace. I go through phases where I just want to run to my fortress of solitude and avoid other people completely. I have to force myself to interact with other people! Staying with Jesus means security and comfort to me. I can relate to the guy in Luke 8.
But there's something Jesus had to teach both of us. We're not called to live in a spiritual huddle! He sent the man back to the town to tell how much God had done for him.
Yes, we have to spend time with God. He is the wellspring of life for us! We have to be filled up by him!
Then we have to go out.
We are called to go out and tell others. We can't stay on our desert island.
Honestly, this is hard for me. I have to ask God to give me a heart for people. I have to ask him to help me not get focused on fixing myself but on following him! I'm learning to be okay with asking him for that!
It seems like such a simple idea, but I know there are times in my own life when the temptation is to isolate myself. To not be in fellowship with other believers or even tell others about Christ. That's when we have to rely on his grace to be sufficient to cover our weaknesses. While I may struggle to serve people, Christ served them even in death and I know he will give me the grace to love them.
I'll end this by saying that I don't have it all together. I fail at a lot of things. I get down on myself for not being able to "get it together" or for continually bringing problems to people. It's a continual process for me to surrender myself and my struggles to Jesus. The only time I ever have anything to write about is when God has brought me through something. I want him to redeem my struggles for his glory. That's why it's not always easy. That's why it's not always comfortable. It's not about me!