Rise Up and Witness

Can a man haunted by demons and living among tombs teach us something profound about our own journey from death to life? At first glance, when reading about the demoniac in Mark 5 who was healed from a legion of demons, we might not see many parallels between his life and ours. I was humbled to find we had several similarities. 

This man was living in burial caves. He was literally residing among the dead. After his encounter with Jesus, we see a drastic transformation as he rejoins other living people in his hometown. Isn’t that just what Jesus does? He brings every one of us from death to life. Before encountering Him, we are dead to sins. We know nothing of a life apart from sin. After receiving His boundless grace, we experience life. We indeed know what it is to go from death to life and from shame to freedom. 

In Mark 5:19, Jesus instructs this man, “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.” This man is instructed to go and be a witness for Christ. The word witness can feel intimidating, but it really is simple. It’s telling others about the evidence of Christ in your life. Jesus’ command to this once demoniac and now healed man should sound familiar to us. It parallels His command to all of us in Acts 1:8, to go out and be His witnesses. If you feel that you don’t currently have a purpose, may you be reassured that you do. Your purpose today is to tell others about the ways God has worked and moved in your life. How He has helped and healed you. Tell about when He brought hope and joy to your dreariest of days. Share how His peace persisted in the midst of your chaos. Talk about how, despite your long list of faults, His grace has never known an end. I know you can do it.

Just like this man, we each have a story of how God brought us from death to life. May we have the boldness to share it with others today. Your actions could change the course of eternity for someone else. God’s power is at work in you.

Bold Steps of Faith

Not long ago, I experienced a great deliverance from a painful period of emotional and spiritual distress. Along with other trying circumstances, I grieved the death of my father from lung cancer, my husband’s unexpected diagnosis of throat cancer, and the death of my father-in-law due to heart failure—all within a year span. That mourning remained resounding like an echo in the years to come, leaving me completely broken. Sadness clouded my faith and my calling. It was as if a great blanket of grief and sorrow had settled over me, preventing me from moving forward.

I was desperate for healing, so I took bold steps of faith, which led me, without shortcuts, to the only source of freedom and peace—my Lord Jesus. He came to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, and to give sight to the blind. I qualified in all of those categories. Only Jesus could do His perfect work in me once again. Despite feeling embarrassed, I chose to be brave enough to ask for expert help for me to heal and see things from a gospel perspective again.

The woman with the blood issue from Mark 5 is someone I can greatly identify with. She was an afflicted woman. And what an affliction! She went through a trial that was not short; Scripture says that it lasted 12 years! We can infer that she had become poor because she spent all her resources to be treated by many doctors without success (Mark 5:25–26). Adding to her physical scourge, she was called “impure,” which practically impeded her from touching anything. Everything would be impure because of her—the bed, the chair, the sheet, the people she touched (Lev. 15: 19–33). Can you imagine what that would do to her soul year after year? Even more pain—a soul kind of pain! But soon she would put an end to all that by bravely deciding to go, overcoming all protocol, to reach the Healer.

Just like this woman, Jesus continues to be powerful, to heal the “impure” of our present. Many broken souls need to run to Jesus and touch Him now. So, rise up and go as if nothing else exists around you. Go and overcome all social, legalistic, religious, emotional, and even spiritual obstacles. Now is the time to navigate through the “crowds,” of personal excuses, lack of faith or time, unbelief, sin, and many other obstacles‚—even worrying about what people may think or say about you. All of that will just prevent the long-awaited encounter. Verse 34 tells us that Jesus heals in response to faith: “Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in Me] has restored you to health; go in peace and be [permanently] healed from your suffering” (AMP).Can you imagine how she felt after such an encounter? Not only was she healthy in body but also in soul; her affliction was over! Jesus’ peace filled her. She was truly freed from the “scourge” of her body, and verse 29 says: “Immediately her flow of blood was dried up; and she felt in her body [and knew without any doubt] that she was healed of her suffering” (AMP).

So, beloved, will you rise up and dare to touch Jesus’ robe? Just do it for you. You have to want it. Lower the volume of any legalistic voices that try to hinder your path to Jesus, voices that deceive you and tell you that Jesus is too busy healing or resurrecting others. In Mark 5, Jesus was on His way to resurrect Jairus’ daughter (interestingly, Jairus in Hebrew is Ya’ir, which means Will God illuminate? Will He shine? Will He awaken?). Yes, all of that! Jesus is perfectly capable of healing as He awakens others! He wants and is willing to pause in His journey to give YOU the attention you have desired for years. You are not an interruption to His agenda. You are part of His divine agenda!

Proverbs 13:12 encourages with this declaration: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” She encountered the tree of life, Jesus Himself, and her faith helped her find the peace and healing she had long awaited in Jesus, the Resurrection, and the source of life.

Would you rise up and touch Him now?