Deliberately

 "And there was a woman in the crowd who had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors and could still could find no cure. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of His robe. Immediately the bleeding stopped. 'Who touched Me,' Jesus asked. Everyone denied it and Peter said, 'Master, the whole crowd is pressing up against You.' But Jesus told him, 'No, someone deliberately touched Me, for I felt healing power go out from Me.' "

 

I'm wondering; when it comes to my heart for Him this coming year, who will I most resemble? The crowd or the woman? It's a fair question. How will I answer? How have I been answering?

It's clear that there were a large number of people surrounding and pressing in on Christ. Surely some of them were curiosity seekers, wanting to get a glimpse of this man they'd heard so much about. But just as surely there had to be many more who truly wanted to receive something from Him. They were all touching Him in some way, so what was it that marked the touch of the woman, that made hers so different? I think the answer lies in what Jesus said. "No, someone deliberately touched Me." There were many seekers surrounding Christ, yet the woman's seeking differed from them all, and Christ immediately senses it. Could it be that though she, like so many around her, longed for healing, or deliverance, or some other deep need, she longed for something more? Something greater. Could it be that she longed not only for His help, but for His heart? For Christ Himself?
Could it be that all the others longed to lay hold of Him for themselves. She longed to lay hold of Him for Himself. Could it be that more than she longed for His blessing, she longed for His Life? Could it be that though she didn't want to leave this encounter without a healing, she also didn't want to leave it without Him? I think that this may well be what set her apart from the crowd. Does it set you and I apart as well.

Far too much of my life in Him has been spent in what a friend calls "results oriented" praying and seeking. I have a result, an end, a goal in mind that I wish for Him to bring about. I go after that end with all my heart. It is set on the result. It is not set on Him. I am content, though I may be unaware, to go away from Him with what I want, but without the fullness of His Life, which is the result He always desires for us. Even when it so often not ours. I want to touch Him, yes.  But it is not nearly so much to lay hold of Him as to lay hold of His blessing. I am far more like the crowd than I am the woman. Might you be as well?

Jesus told her that her faith had made her well. I believe He meant and gave something far more than a physical healing. He made her whole. I think her deliberate touch of Him caused Him to know that she sought something more than a result. She sought Him, and in the midst of a crowd filled with countless desires, He knew the difference, and He responded to it. Does He see and know that same difference in you and me? Will we go on just a part of the crowd that always wants everything from Him but Himself? Or, will we seek the wholeness and fullness that is found not just in His hand, but in His heart? All of us will be seeking in this coming year. Will we seek with the desire of the crowd or the woman? The result, or the Person? Will we just crowd in on Him, or seek Him.....deliberately?

 

Blessings,
Pastor O

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