Sunday, 25 August 2019

M Michele's Musings

Pressing through the Madness


Recently I was praying fervently for people I love.  I thought that if they would just push past all the things that hold them back from serving Jesus and allow His work to be done in their life that they could be made whole.  Suddenly it hit me that unless we do press through the things of this life then we won’t be made whole because Jesus can’t make us whole without our will being actively involved in that desire.  We have to truly want to be made whole, then strive and work for it.  The story of the woman with the issue of blood popped into my mind and I saw the story from a completely different light that I hadn’t thought about before.  I could hear the words of Nicole C. Mullen’s beautiful song, One Touch - Press, playing a tune to my heart....

If I could just touch the hem of His garment
I know I’d be made whole…
If I could just press my way through this madness
His love would heal my soul…


Tears streamed down my face and my heart was overwhelmed with the truth of really touching the heart of Jesus; allowing Him to make us whole and His love healing our very souls.

The story of this woman is found in three of the gospels (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-47) and is one of my favorite stories in the entire New Testament.  The Bible tells us that she had this problem for twelve years and that she had spent everything she had in trying to be healed.  Due to Jewish laws this problem affected every single area of her life.  She was basically an outcast from society.  In short, her life was a total mess and the problem had driven her to poverty.

Our lives, prior to our redemption, are much like this woman’s life was.  We are lost in the problem of sin.  We go through life spending everything we have to try and bring some semblance of happiness to our lives.  We spend our time and our money on the pursuits that this world has to offer trying to reach some sort of goal in life that will fulfill us.  We all have “addictions” that fulfill us for a season and we spend all we have in both time and money to meet the desires we have.  We can spend it either in good and innocent ways or we can spend it in destructive and harmful ways.  Some of these pursuits are “bad” pursuits, such as sexual, alcohol and drug addictions.  These pursuits bring people short-term “happiness” but empty their pockets and bring them to poverty and destruction.  However, even innocent or good pursuits can distract us from God.  The woman in this story spent her money and her time for a good purpose to try and reach the goal of being healed.  We too pursue things that would not be termed as “bad” but they are still emptying our pockets, taking our time and they are not directed toward God and toward His plan for our lives.  The woman’s circumstances of being an outcast caused her to stay away from God which was the place she needed to go to in order to be healed.  In her pursuit of healing she went everywhere but to God.  In our pursuit of fulfillment and the “perfect life” we go everywhere but to God.  Material pursuits, happy circumstances, good times, good relationships; only brings a short-term fulfillment because ultimately we need God to bring true fulfillment and meaning to our lives.

 

The woman eventually came to poverty in her pursuit of healing.  She came to a place where she knew she needed God and His intervention to receive that healing and wholeness.  The first step in being made whole by God is a “poverty of spirit,” a willingness to humble ourselves before God and admit that we need Him and His touch in our lives.  Until we come to that place we will never allow His work in our lives and He won’t do one thing without our permission.  The Bible tells us to “Draw near unto God and He will draw near unto us.”  You may think, “Well, God can do anything,” and yes, He can, but He won’t step past the bounds of our will.  Therefore, we must draw near to Him with a desire to be touched as the woman in this story did.    

That poverty brought the woman to a place that she was willing to push past every single thing that ever stopped her from going to God.  She “pressed” her way through the madness of her life to get a touch of Him in her life.  She pressed past all the memories of yesterday, all the fears that held her captive for years and made a determination in her heart that she was going to God.  He had what she needed.  She pressed through the very people that wanted to stop her from reaching Jesus and the very people that had power in her life to do her harm because of Jewish law.

Can you imagine the thoughts going through the woman’s mind as she pressed her way through the madness of the crowd?  Because of my own experiences with thoughts that are not from God, I can almost hear the Enemy’s snickering voice whispering to her: “You’re not worthy!” “You’ll never make it!” “Stop now!” “Quit!” “He doesn’t love you!” “He doesn’t care!” “What makes you think when you get there He will even see you?” “What makes you think that He will heal you when you do get there?” “Better watch out, if they find out your in this crowd they’ll turn on you, they might even stone you and then you’ll be dead!” “You’d be better off dead anyway, look at you!” “Look, there is Mean Joe, the ole bully from school; if he sees you he’ll make fun of you for going after Jesus!”  

Despite the woman’s thoughts, her prior life, her prior pursuits, her feelings of unworthiness, her failings, the crowd, the lies, the accusations, she pressed through to get to Jesus.  When she finally made it through she humbled herself and bowed low to touch the hem of His garment.  We must humble ourselves in acknowledgement that we need Him and His touch in our lives.  When the woman touched Him something miraculous happened and she knew it instantly!  Do you remember how many people were all around Him, touching Him, yet we don’t read of any other miraculous things happening at that time?  There was a difference between the woman and the other people there that day; a difference that lay deep within the heart of each one.  Unlike the others in that crowd, the woman had come to the place of complete poverty and a deep desire to touch Him.  Nothing was going to stop her from reaching Him and in her heart she knew that if she could just touch Him something in her life was going to change.  She wanted change, she wanted healing, she wanted wholeness and she knew in her heart that Jesus could help her.

So as I prayed this morning I realized that not everyone truly desires wholeness; at least not enough to pursue it and press through all the things that are in the way of wholeness.  In truth we want to hold on to our old “comfort” places.  We don’t want to let go of what we think makes us happy.  We don’t want to stop “spending” our time and our money on the pursuits we have been pursuing and switch directions to truly go toward God.  We do not want to actively pursue wholeness and a relationship with Him.  Then it hit me that when our heart is not truly bent toward being made whole; it makes it very difficult for God to help us because He will not pass the boundaries of our own free will.  God is so unlike the devil in that way.  He will not lie, trick or deceive you, unlike Satan who does all those and more to try and twist your will to his will.

So, where are you?  Do you continue to “spend” everything you have on other pursuits?  Do you continue to let the lies of the enemy and people in your life stop you from following God?  Do you continue to hold onto old “comfort” areas that you know God wants you to let go of but are afraid to let them go?  Do you truly desire wholeness?  Do you truly believe that God is the only one that can bring that wholeness?  Are you willing to press through the madness; all the things that have held you back from pursuing wholeness?  

Only you can answer these questions.  Only you can decide where your heart truly lies in this matter.  However, if your desire is truly to be made whole, God is there to meet you.  He is waiting for you to get to that place of submission and humbleness knowing He is the only way to wholeness.  He is waiting for you to take those steps filled with trust toward Him.  He is waiting for your heart to be meshed with His so that he can make you whole.  He is completely able to make you whole if your will is intertwined with His and you are saying to Him “Yes, make me whole” just as this woman was saying in her heart....

If I could just touch the hem of His garment
I know I’d be made whole…
If I could just press my way through this madness
His love would heal my soul…


He can make the miraculous happen just as he did for this woman.  He has done it in my life and I know that He can do it in yours.  There is no touch like the touch of God.  There is nothing in this life that can bring total fulfillment other than God.  His love for you is beyond anything you can ever imagine.  He has a plan for your life and wholeness is part of that plan.  When God makes us whole He can begin to use us for His glory on this earth and we can make a difference in this world.  We can be a light in the midst of the darkness.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Love in Christ, Michele
Copyright October 2009 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire

Columnist: Michele's Musings

Picture Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  micheles.musings@gmail.com

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