Do you need a breakthrough in your relationships? Miraculous intervention to smooth things with a friend or make your marriage better? You’re craving closer relationships—but you don’t know how to get there. There are two stories back-to-back in the Bible that give a stark portrayal of two types of people: those who receive their breakthrough and—those who don’t. Let’s take a look at what made the difference in their destiny.
Luke 8 tells the story of a demonized man in the Gerasenes. The Bible tells us that “this spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power” (Luke 8:29 NLT).
Can you imagine living with that kind of man in your community?
The man met Jesus on the shore of the Lake of Galilee. Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out of him and he was miraculously set free! The legion of demons was allowed to enter a herd of pigs who immediately dashed themselves to their death, drowning in the lake.
As was the case whenever Jesus performed the miraculous, a crowd quickly gathered. People from the nearby town came out to see what had happened. There was the demonized man, clothed and in his right mind—and the Bible tells us the people were afraid. They literally begged Jesus to leave!
Not one to hang around where He wasn’t wanted, Jesus and His disciples got back into their boat and sailed away.
Now on the other side of the lake was another group of people. This crowd had been waiting to see Jesus and welcomed Him with open arms. It was there that Jairus’ daughter was raised to life and the woman with a 12-year issue of blood was instantaneously healed.
Miracles. Breakthroughs. Impossible situations turned around.
It makes you wonder what the people of the Gerasenes would have experienced if instead of begging Jesus to leave, they had pleaded with Him to stay, inviting Him into their lives, into their homes.
What were they afraid of? The man who had terrorized their town was healed. You would think it would be cause for celebration.
Were they afraid that Jesus would see inside their hearts? They may not have had as many demons as the man, naked and cutting himself in the wilderness, but what were they hiding? What secret sins were they possibly afraid to have brought into the light? Their fear robbed them of a great blessing that day.
Fear can rob us of our blessing too. If we don’t understand the nature of God and His good plan for our lives, we’ll run in fear when we see Him coming.
We’ll close our hearts and our homes when He gets uncomfortably close. We’ll hold him at arm’s length—perhaps, we tell ourselves, just until I get my act cleaned up or just until I can quit overeating or overwatching the things I really shouldn’t be looking at. Just until I get past this time of the month or season of life when I can’t seem to control my tongue. Maybe then I’ll let Him in. Maybe when I feel better about myself and who I am, I’ll let Him close.
Or… we could remind ourselves that our “righteousness” will always fall short of God’s glory. Any self-righteousness we can muster is like filthy rags in His presence. (Isaiah 64:6)
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23 NLT).
The God who sees all and knows all—already knows your secrets and your sins. He loves you, right here, right now. He’s not waiting for you to clean your life up. He’s waiting for you to open your arms and let Him do what He came to do: to heal, cleanse, set free.
Here’s the miraculous part: when your life is open to God’s presence and power—there is nothing to hide. The walls of self-defense and self-protection can come down. Where relationships have been stilted and constrained, as you trust God and open your life to Him, you will also be able to open your heart to others—your friends, your children, your spouse.
Relationships will take on a new dimension, rich with open and honest conversations. The wedges will melt away and you’ll enjoy a depth in your relationships you’ve been longing for.
Don’t be afraid. Open your life to God and your breakthroughs will happen.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” (Proverbs 3:5)