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Jesus, Leave Me Alone!

(The following is the March 14 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 8 and pay close attention to verses 26-39.)

When Jesus commanded an unclean spirit to come out of a Gerasene man, the demons begged Jesus to let them enter a herd of pigs. Jesus allowed it, and the pigs rushed to their demise in the nearby lake. The townspeople were afraid and asked Jesus to leave them, so he did.

Humans tend to fear the unknown. The townspeople failed to grasp who Jesus was. They did not understand his power to heal the demoniac or what happened with the pigs. Their reaction was to fear him, so they asked him to go away.

Perhaps you have prayed many times for God to be present to guide, comfort, teach, strengthen, give you the right words to say, and lead you in his paths. Can you imagine telling Jesus, “Leave us alone!” as the Gerasenes did? Yet that happens daily as people dismiss Christ. By rejecting the gospel, God’s Word, the church, and faithful Christians, people essentially tell Jesus, “Leave me alone.” It is a request that God may well honor to their eternal destruction.

Spurgeon wrote about this incident: “These foolish people took up the same cry as the poor demoniac! Christ sometimes hears this kind of prayer. There is many a person who has entreated that his conscience might not be troubled any more and it never has been troubled again. But what an awful prayer for anyone to pray!”

Our heavenly Father loves us enough to get involved in our daily lives. He does so for our good and his glory. We should cherish his presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit and when he speaks through his Word. If we belong to Christ, we cannot escape him, nor do we want to. He sustains us and gives life meaning. Without him, we are like Peter, who asked, “Lord, to whom will we go?” (John 6:68).

Next Step:

Thank God for his presence and for not leaving you alone. Acknowledge your constant need for his guidance, wisdom, strength to resist temptation, and ability to live in ways that glorify him.

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