Impact Devotional ~ Day Six

Pardon The Interruption

John Cole

How many times a day are we interrupted by Facebook, Twitter & Instagram?  Those little notifications that pop-up on our smart phones demanding our every attention.  We suddenly feel the need, the draw, the pull-to satisfy “self” and check the number of likes, messages, comments or retweets that we have. Yet how easy is it to view others in need as an inconvenience?  The homeless man on the corner, the single mom who has to choose between groceries or gas, the church-goer who secretly struggles with an addiction or the store clerk in need of healing.  Many of us have jobs and responsibilities that allow us to become contributing citizens of the world in which we live.  But since when did our own agenda or to-do list trump the very opportunities and blessings of God?

Jesus, The Lord himself, was always on mission and headed to his destination with purpose.  He knew that the Father’s work had to be done and there were many truths to be taught.  But even then, Jesus saw an inconvenience as an opportunity to bring His Father glory.  He understood the heart of God and the impact that could be made by serving someone at an inconvenient time.

While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through that entire region. As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” (Matthew 9:18-33 NIV)

Here we see that Jesus, at one of His best philosophical moments, in the discussion of fasting and wineskins, gets interrupted by a need that seemed to be helpless and hopeless.  It would have been easy to hesitate based on what He was currently doing or to reason that things were just too far-gone.  I mean, after all, the woman had already died and he’s trying to teach a lesson.  But what was the response of Jesus?  Was it to say “thanks, but no thanks,” “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “if I bring this woman back to life, I may be rejected and associated with satan?” No, the scripture says, “Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.”  Jesus knew that the heart of God valued people over personal satisfaction and pursuit of knowledge. People today still may not fully understand fasting or wineskins, but what we do know is that Jesus’ choice to serve someone when it was inconvenient led to five healings on four consecutive occasions.  The impact that He made was incredible.  By choosing to serve one person, He was able to change the lives of not one, two, or three, but five people.  Needless to say, living a life not afraid of interruption and inconvenience places you in a position to experience the supernatural and make an impact for Jesus.  It may even take you to your destiny.

As you continue to pray for and serve with Project 919, begin to ask the Holy Spirit to stretch you in your giving and in your serving.  Be bold enough to ask for inconvenient opportunities and involve yourself in someone else’s life.  Ask that God would begin to align your heart with His and the things of heaven, then ask Him how you can respond.  You’ll be surprised and what He might impress upon you.

One of the principal rules of religion is to lose no occasion of serving God.   Since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us. John Wesley

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 ESV)