Resistance isn’t all that bad.
Resistance allows planes to fly.
Resistance allows boats to float.
Resistance could be worth it.
In Mark 4:35, Jesus has been preaching parables to a huge crowd by the lake. It’s now evening, and He says to His followers, “Let’s go over to the other side,” leaving the adoring crowd behind.
Can you imagine the push back from the Disciples? “But Jesus, things are going so well here. Finances are up! Numbers are up! The local affiliates have picked up the story, and the Twitter account is going crazy!” (Oops, got a little carried away.)
The Disciples are probably thinking: We’ve got it made over here, and Jesus wants to mess it all up and go to the other side. Doesn’t He know who lives over there?! Besides, if we leave now, a storm could come up, and then we would really be in trouble! So, let’s go back and ask Him again about just staying here because everything is under control, and our plans are all laid out.
Jesus didn’t waiver in His decision. Not thrilled with this prospect, they leave everything that was going so well to walk into the unknown, just because Jesus wanted to go to the other side for some reason.
So, everyone loads up, and the conversations on the boat are about the success of the ministry, the miracles, the bountiful supplies and food, even about the recent ballgame and who should have won if the guy wouldn’t have broken his ankle sliding into 2nd. (After all, the bases were probably made of stone in those days.)
They get a portion of the way across the lake, and their worst fears are realized. I can only imagine the panic that ensued as those fierce waves crashed over the boat. As the Disciples start freaking out, Jesus remains sound asleep. How can anyone sleep when there is such resistance against the boat? As they finally rouse Him, Jesus speaks with an unmistakable authority: “Hush, be still!” Immediately, the storm calms to peace, and He essentially asks, “What was your issue?” The Disciples must have been thinking: I’ll tell you our issue! We left the comfort and safety of the shore to go to the other side, and personally, I think you’re crazy.
As if that experience wasn’t enough, when the Disciples finally pull up to shore and begin to dock the boat, a madman starts running toward them with broken chains hanging from his naked body and begins shrieking at everyone. Possibly just as shocking, he calls out to Jesus by name and title. The Disciples must have been both scared and amazed.
How did the demons know Him? Do you suppose it was because Jesus Himself had created all those angels before the Fall? They knew Him because He had created them. Then Christ miraculously frees the man from “Legion,” and for the first time in his life, he is truly free.
How many times in our lives have we failed to take authority over the enemy and his demons? How many times have we let the enemy have his way? What has kept us from taking authority over the enemy? What are we afraid of?
In The Bondage Breaker, Neil T. Anderson reminds us that we have authority in Christ to stand against the evil one. We don’t have to cower or back down. Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ. Jesus Himself says multiple times throughout Scripture not to be afraid.
So, let’s start behaving and acting like we are the champions in this battle. Let’s stand in the authority of Christ!
Let’s take back churches, marriages, lives, hopes, and dreams that the enemy has stolen from us. We have allowed Satan to become a squatter on territory that is not his. It’s time to take back from the enemy what is ours from the Lord. In the name and authority of Christ, let’s live in total ‘Glorious Freedom,’ as the song says!
Getting back to our story, then Jesus calmly hugs the guy, and they end up at the local QuikTrip having a Dr. Pepper together. Well, more or less… you get the idea... the guy was grateful and really wanted to hang out. Christ told him to go to his hometown and tell everyone what He did for him. And what a testimony that man had at church the next Sabbath! Can you believe it? All this happened just because Jesus went to the other side, despite the resistance.
Maybe you are comfortable staying where you are. Maybe Jesus is asking you to “go to the other side.” I’m guessing what you’re really afraid of is the resistance on the way to the other side, isn’t it?
How many times have you missed the incredible things God has for you because you were afraid of the resistance, and you stayed where it was comfortable?
How many times did you miss what God wanted to do in and through you because you were worried about what others would think or say? How many times have you chosen comfort or security over obedience? When will you surrender your own hopes and dreams and go to the other side? Don’t you think that God is capable enough to take care of you and bring you fulfillment on the other side?
Will there be resistance? Of course! To reach the summit of a mountain, you have to overcome the narrow passes, sheer cliffs, and little oxygen. But when you reach that elusive summit, the breath-taking view combined with the feeling of victory is so sweet!
Remember, the plane can only fly and the boat can only float if they are met with resistance. Come on, Christians, take courage! Let’s go to the other side!