Monday, November 28, 2011
LIVING WITH RESTRICTIONS
By Odon Bulamba (16th November 2011)
“They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” Mark 8:22-26
Jesus puts restrictions on us and we want to follow those rules and live as Christians and we want to live a life like Jesus but there is a big division among us which is denominations and so Catholics don’t like Baptists and Baptists don’t like Brethren etc. However, the Bible says that at the end times everyone will come to together to fight against Jesus and today we can see the beginning of this by the World Parliament and the World Court System and other institutions that are outside of the UN and these are becoming more and more powerful and will one day oppose Jesus. Therefore, we will one day see Muslims, Catholics and Christians joining together.
In Mark 8, Jesus came to Bethsaida (the same village he cursed 2 times) and some people brought a blind man for Jesus to touch him. Jesus took this man outside of the village; he didn’t heal him in the village. This man would have been very familiar with the village because every day he was begging in the streets but Jesus told him to not go back to the village but to go home (meaning his home was not the Bethsaida).
Today we Christians try to interact with people of Bethsaida (sinners) and we want to live like pagans and to live with them, sharing everything and behaving like people who have never known God. Sometimes we should ask ourselves, “am I a friend of myself?” and if yes, what do you offer yourself?
This blind man enjoyed the life of Bethsaida in the same way today, me and you enjoy the company of sinners and we know that it’s a sin but to please those people, we do it and justify it by saying, “it’s ok, no one is perfect” and we think we shouldn’t be extremist.
Jesus didn’t discuss with the blind man, He just led him. The blind man also didn’t discuss but kept silent and followed the Master. When you do things that you like and you know it is a sin but you do it anyway and your conscience speaks, do you follow Jesus Christ out of that situation or do you discuss?
In order to get healing the man had to be pulled out of the village first and in order for us to get answer to our prayers, we need to first move away from our sin.
The men who brought the blind man to Jesus stayed behind in the village and sometimes we also stay behind; we encourage others to pray, or to serve God or to read the Bible but we don’t do it ourselves.
Jesus used saliva and asked “what do you see?” and he answered, “I see people that look like trees walking”. At this point he doesn’t see clearly and sometimes we are the same when we discuss the Bible, we don’t really see clearly and we think the message is for others and we push it away and don’t accept it for ourselves and this creates confusion in our lives (in the same way the man was confused seeing men as trees).
Preachers today preach 50:50. They don’t want to touch people’s nerves so they can’t talk about everything and so things are blurred and not clear.
If we want to lose weight, we have to be tough on ourselves; eat the right food and not too much while exercising hard. How often do we train ourselves spiritually? How often are we tough on ourselves spiritually? If you want to smoke, God won’t come out of heaven and stop you, God knows you can make a personal decision to stop by yourself.
Have you ever been confused in your life like the man seeing trees? Do you start to doubt God? Do you start to ask yourself, “why am I going through this? Why only me?” do you feel like God has rejected you. Don’t give up, God is holding your hand (like the blind man) and He is taking you outside of the environment you are in and once you decide to leave your old lifestyle, sin and friends, God will give you sight but God gives you the restriction to not go back and to not tell anyone (as He did with the blind man).
Don’t go back because things will be worse and don’t tell people, “I’m not like you”. we have to stop and ask ourselves, ‘is what I’m doing pleasing God?’ Most of the time, we put God in our wallet so that people only see Him when we need Him but most of the time, people don’t see God in us. God should be like our head which can’t be hidden and goes everywhere with us.
How many restrictions has God given you since you were born again? He tells us not to lie (for example) but we continue to lie.
At home we are free to do what we want, eat when we like, sleep when we like, we can even wear our pyjamas all day if we want but we would never go out like that. We are free at home but not free when we visit someone else’s home; at their house we won’t sleep properly or feel free to eat. Where is your home? As Christians our home should be the relationship we have with Jesus Christ. He said, ‘you have to live in me’, not in the church but in Jesus.
When I bring this can of coke in front of you, you don’t find it a problem but if I shake it and try to take off the lid, you will be afraid and run. Coke is like our bodies; satan can tempt us without fear but if we have faith with prayer, it’s like shaking the can of coke in front of satan, he won’t want to come close, he will run away. Do you make satan run or are you shaken by satan?
To make satan shake, we just have to read the Word of God, respect it and obey it and then satan will flee from us. Satan can’t force us to sin. We can decide not to sin and satan won’t push us. Why does satan make us look weak while we are not? If you want to please God, make a decision to belong to God 100%, not only when you need something, but everytime.
Remember, God is tough with us (giving us restrictions) in the same way that a parent is tough with their children. God is tougher with His own children in the same way that a parent is tougher on their own children than someone else’s child. Remember, there will be a judgement day, and God will judge us more toughly.