“For we (Gad) will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this eastern side of the Jordan.””
Numbers 32:19 NKJV
“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.”
Mark 5:1-4, 16-17 NKJV
There was a point where I had a choice to make. Either I would cross the spiritual Jordan of my life or not. I was back in the book of Mark this morning, and I happened on the account of the Demoniac, a man possessed by a legion of demons. This man had been enslaved by unclean spirits and relegated to living in the tombs. He was caught up in sin and surrounded by death.
As I read the passage I was reminded of the historical reference, of the tribe of Gad, that chose to not cross the Jordan and remained on the eastern shore. From the reading of the text in Mark, I caught a glimpse of what had happened to them years after their fateful choice to not cross the Jordan with the other tribes and receive the Promise.
In my own spiritual life, I chose to cross the Jordan. I left my old life behind, as I eschewed the habits of the past. I crossed over into God’s rest, surrendering my life, my rights, and my future. The children of Israel are a type and shadow of life for the believer. Just as God had given the promised land to them as an inheritance, we who call upon the Lord, have been given promises Jesus, complete in Him.
The temptation is to try and straddle the Jordan, to not fully cross over. We seek to embrace the world, and not separate from it. We end up all wet. Most choose to just settle in, close to the will of God, but not quite.
Because we have not practiced that biblical separation, we are under the influence of those who do not know the Lord. The tribe of Gad had received the law of God, including all the dietary restrictions, but they had been influence as we find that there is a herd of swine.
Those of us who choose to not cross over, can find ourselves influenced, drawn into worldly values and customs that do not belong in the life of one saved by the blood of Jesus.
We lose that contrast, that peculiarity, that sets us apart from the world. We are called to be ambassadors of Jesus, bringing the Good News of salvation. We show the change that Jesus brings. If we are no different than the world, how are they going to see the Lord in us.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
I John 2:15-17 NKJV
I like the fact that Jesus took His disciples to the Gadarenes on a mission trip, as He took the Gospel to those people of His Father, who had not chosen the Promise. In saving the demon possesed man, Jesus demonstrated the power to save. There is no one too far gone, that the Holy Spirit can’t reach, and save.
Salvation brings change, it brings clarity, as sins in us are confronted, and driven from us. Just as the unkosher swine were driven into the sea, God deals with the uncleaness in us.
I have noticed time and time again, that when people are converted, others are convicted, people can become intolerant. The public becomes upset, at how the person has been changed. Some hearts are hardened towards God as loss is felt and grieving begins.
Rather than rejoicing at the deliverance of the man in Mark, the people became afraid and demanded that Jesus leave, as He had upset the status quo.
Brothers and sisters, we are seeing our world become more and more unstable. I watched a protest last night in Portland, and I was amused as the demonstrators adjusted their chants from F*** Trump, to F*** Biden.
Our nation is on a collision course with destruction regardless of who the leader is. It is time for us, who have sought to hang on to the eastern shore, to finally pack up and cross into the rest of Jesus.
“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
Hebrews 4:8-10 NKJV
There is peace in the promised land of God. Let us make the crossing, and know the fullness of His blessing. Let us not settle for fire insurance, but full assurance. We cease striving and we know that God is in control.
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