Some Must Stay

“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.”
(Luk 8:38-39)

This passage struck me the other day as I was reading it, especially in light of the church plant in Claremont and those that are praying about joining. I pray these thoughts will free you to love the call the go and love the CALL TO STAY.

IT MAKES SENSE TO GO

This demon healed man requested something of Jesus that made absolute sense: LET ME GO WITH YOU. It makes all the sense to me that he would ask this, as Luke 8 starts off describing how Jesus was going from town to town doing ministry and there were a group of disciples and a group of women following Him. This man wanted to join that group and it made great sense – (1) It was an expression of his gratitude (2) Which of the disciples had a testimony like this man?  (3) I think this man must have thought “How can I stay. I don’t fit here.” Luke tells us he used to run around naked in the tombs and the people would shackle him up in chains and he would break free from that. Try living with that history and overcoming the suspicions and whispers even after you are healed.

So it makes sense to me that this man wanted to go.

JESUS COMMANDS HIM TO STAY

This man wanted to go with Jesus, but the only place Jesus wanted this man to go was to go home. In other words, stay where you are at. If he went he would be proclaiming the works of God. If he stayed, he was to proclaim the works of God. Same work, different location, and only one person determines where the work is to be done – Jesus.

THE MAN THRIVES IN THE FREEDOM TO STAY

Jesus said go home (Greek word: oy’-kos, meaning dwelling, implying family). Go to your family and proclaim.  Stay. And in that command and empowering this man was free NOT TO GO and instead stayed where he was at. And in staying and in obeying, this man not only proclaimed to his family, Luke tells us he proclaimed “to the whole city”.

The call to go and start new is not greater than the call to stay and push on.

My deep prayer for each of you that reads this and are still asking to “go” is that you simply hear the voice of Jesus and live in the freedom of obedience to do His will with JOY!

4 comments

  1. How painful yet encouraging this is to my perplexed heart these days. Never did I think the battle and heart searching season would be what it currently is for us. Trusting God has a plan and knowing that He loves us, walking in faith of His goodness in all things no matter how difficult they are.
    THANKS FOR SHARING THIS TONY!!!!
    Praying daily for this work of God and blessed like crazy to be any part at all.

  2. My heart greatly desires to sacrifice all for the sake of making Christ’s love known along with you guys, yet my most greatest sacrifice is my own desires, my will. I patiently wait for God’s answer trusting His plan is perfect & not about me. Thank you so much for this very encouraging perspective. Praying for His Spirit to anoint you for this great work! Thy will be done! Amen.

  3. I am so thankful you had the courage to share this difficult post. My heart rejoiced as I believe it really dispells any attempt of satan to whisper lies of condemnation. It is so easy in an endeavor such as this, to spiritualize the sacrifice of leaving, when in all reality the sacrifice of staying could be as equally painful. Thank you for recognizing the importance of obedience above all else and having such a heart of unity despite your own personal cost involved in saying such a thing!! 🙂

  4. Awesome post and great perspective. Thank you for sharing and as always being most concerned with the Lord’s Will. I love that about you Brother.

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