Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.”┬áMark 5:18

What would one expect from a person who had been dramatically delivered from his sins and transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ? The person in question “had been possessed with the devil.” As a matter of fact, many demons controlled this poor soul. Jesus drove the evil spirits from the man and transformed his life, making him a new creature. After this great miracle, the people of the community insisted that Jesus leave the area. As Jesus prepared to depart and was “come into the ship,” this new follower “prayed him that he might be with him.” The newly converted man wanted to be with Him. He wanted to be near the One who broke the bonds of his sin, brought him out of darkness into light, and gave him a chance to start over again. He wanted to be near Jesus, Who had given him hope and meaning.

This would be the expected response from a person who has been truly converted. He should want to be with Him. When we were converted, we may not have known much about the Lord; but we wanted to know more. We wanted to learn. Prior to the new birth, we had no real interest in being near the Son of God. We did not want to come near the light because our sins would be exposed. But, when we were saved, we were naturally drawn to the One who loved us when we were most unlovable.

There is something wrong when a person claims to know Him and has no hunger for spiritual things. This is the fruit of many false professions of faith in our day. We speak with people frequently who declare that they are God’s children but have no desire to be with Him. This is not the evidence of true Christianity. Those who love Him should want to be with Him. How is it that we might be with Him? We can spend time with Him in prayer and reading the Word of God. As we walk with Him in daily communion, we enjoy fellowship with Christ. He speaks to us from the pages of Scripture, comforts us in our needs, encourages us in our journey, and reproves us in our sins. We can also be with Him as we assemble with His church. He promised to be in the midst of His local congregations. When we gather with the church family, we are assured that He will be there. Thank God for all that He has done for us. Because of His great grace, we want to be with Him.