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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Lifted Up

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. (Mark 9:25-27, NIV)

Jesus has returned from the Mountain of Transfiguration only to find His disciples helpless in casting out a demon from a boy. Jesus takes father and son apart from a large crowd to talk privately.

Within moments, the crowd reconnects visually where Jesus is and races toward Him. Jesus is no grandstander. He chooses not to do the exorcism with a horde of witnesses, casting out the demon before the throng arrives on the scene.

Jesus’ voice had been obeyed by wind and waves (4:35ff). Demons and sickness fled at His orders. The word of Christ is all-powerful, and everything must yield before His spoken word. That’s true for your life as well. Demons and elements must obey His voice, but He has given us the choice to disobey. But to all who say “yes” to Him, life forever changes for the better!

The deliverance Jesus brings is not a temporary one. The demon is commanded to never enter the boy again. What great hope for the sufferer! Jesus is the only One who brings permanent deliverance — from sin, sickness, hell and the grave.

I remember as a child hearing an evangelist say, “When I cast out a demon, if you’re not right with God it will enter you.” I was scared spitless. I notice however in the Gospels that when Jesus cast out a demon He never said anything like that. We never see Jesus permitting demons to enter someone else.

The demon acted upon this boy like the devil acts upon each human being. The evil one causes us to behave other than our true selves, other than the image of God in which we were created. He shakes us, and when he’s sucked everything out of us, we’re left for dead.

The verdict of the crowd, in fact, is that the boy is dead. But appearances are deceiving. Actually, as the boy lies there motionless he’s more alive than he’s ever been because he’s been set free.

When Jesus touches our lives we no longer are out of control. We do not shriek or convulse violently. He brings peace rather than disruption.

There may be occasions when you falsely assume that someone or some work of God is “dead.” It appears lifeless, and your tendency may be to write it off as did this crowd. But it could be that at the very moment you thought things were hopeless, the tide has turned.

The enemy throws down and disables. He leaves us as dead. It’s more difficult to pull someone up than down. But Jesus has strength. It was not just the physical lift that Jesus gave to the boy; it was the power that infused his body with life. Once Jesus’ hand grabbed him and lifted him to his feet, the boy could be limp and lifeless no longer.

It’s the same with you and me. Jesus lifts us and stands us up on our feet!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I was knocked down and out by the enemy. I did not have the strength to rise. I was crushed beyond all measure. But Your strong hand reached down and lifted me! I am grateful!

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


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