Romans 12:17 tells us to, “not repay anyone evil for evil”…and I Corinthians 13:6 reminds us that, “Love doesn’t delight in evil.” The war of words is waged on a bloody battlefield… with many casualties and walking wounded that never recover from the pain inflicted by unkind and caustic words. When we simply take a moment and answer a mean verbal attack with kindness instead…it defuses the situation immediately…for we deprive the enemy of ammunition.
Jesus used His own saliva several times in the Bible to heal. In John 9:6 it says, “Having said this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” In Mark 8:23 it says, “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?’ ” So why did Jesus do this very primal act? We know that Jesus was fully man but also fully God…and within His saliva was His DNA. DNA that held His chromosomes…His genetic information. But the spit Jesus smeared on these men held something much more powerful… it held within it the very essence of God.
The Lord’s commission to “Feed My sheep” is without exception for all Believers. But for all of you who have been around livestock and done chores, you know that it can be very frustrating moving and feeding animals. They don’t want to go where you want them to…they’re noisy, dirty, stinky and pushy. And on top of that, daily chores are mundane, boring, and at times unnerving when the animals act up. You find yourself saying, “I wish someone else would do this!” But “Feed My sheep” means much more than just giving nourishment. For God, it means shepherding, tending, guarding and leading a group of at times unruly people. People that you can tenderly lead to (Living) water, but then watch as they refuse to drink. That’s when discouragement can set in, but remember it’s not about you, so don’t take it personally… just continue to do the chores you’ve been called to.
Jesus had just offered the Samaritan woman Living Water, but by her observation…He had no means of drawing water from Jacob’s well. We seem to quickly revert back to our humanness anytime we doubt that Jesus can really do what He says. We question if He’s in touch with reality or even realizes the gravity of our circumstances. Subjectively, our biased opinion says, “I can’t see how You can possibly do this Lord.” But if we put aside our humanness and instead take Jesus at His word…miracles will happen.
If you have ever been part of a marriage conference or counseling…they teach you the art of active listening. Each has the others undivided attention as they converse back and forth…repeating back to the person what they heard and asking, “Is this what you meant?” There is much more listening done than speaking, and more unselfish attention given than self-centeredness. Listening to the Lord is a lot like that. It is not blabbering on incessantly about our own feelings and emotions…it’s listening with all our being…taking the time to be quiet…hearing and then heeding His voice.
The Lord says to you today…come back. Turn around and face Me, for it’s only by Me that you can be delivered from all the evil that still clings to you. You may have accepted Me in the past, but you are still a slave to things you have not been able to give up. You have been set free of those things, but you either don’t fully realize it or just don’t want to leave them behind. Change directions today… for those chains that have bound you in the past have been broken off – you are no longer a victim…you are a victor.
Jesus taught the crowds that clamored around Him with parables…but when He was alone with His disciples, He would explain the meaning behind them. It tells us in Mark 4:10 that, “When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around Him asked Him about the parables.” Reading about God from some author isn’t the same as being alone with God yourself. Solitary time with God and His Word enables you to ask those tough questions you’re confused about. And as you probe deeper into His Word, that alone time with God becomes even more important…for it’s then that He can teach, edify, and exhort you.