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366 devotional readings that will unlock the secret power to Abiding In Christ

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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

"Faith that Cannot be Denied "

By Pastor Reimar Schultze

  “And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon , and entered into an house, and would have no man know it.”—Mark 7:24  “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But he answered her not a word.  And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she cried after us.  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel . Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.  But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs.  And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”—Matthew 15:22-28

     The first thing we observe here is that Jesus is trying to get away.  It says, “From thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon and entered into an house, and would have no man know it.”

     Jesus by now had experienced a tremendous amount of criticism from the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees.  It is indeed no great blessing to be criticized over and over again.  That is why preachers need to have times when they can get away, because they face a lot of criticism, at times, even from members of their own congregations.  For the sake of rest, emotional and spiritual renewal, they need to get away.  So Jesus, literally, left town and went as far as entering Gentile territory to find rest. He kept his destination secret.  It says in vs. 24 that he would have no man know it.  Now Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived.  When he decided to hide somewhere, how difficult would it be for anyone to find him?  It says here, “he entered into an house.”  It is unknown to us whose house he entered. So what we have here is God hiding Himself.  Jesus made Himself unavailable and unapproachable to humankind so it was impossible for anyone to find him.  Do you ever feel that God is hiding from you?  Did you ever have a problem that sorely vexed you and you just couldn’t find God nor the preacher?  I think most of us have been in such a place.  The point I am trying to make here is that Jesus said, “I’m going to a place where I cannot be reached.  I don’t want to be reached, but if somebody is really desperate enough, persevering enough, they will find a way to reach me.”  It is so wonderful to read and read and re-read the Gospels to get to know the nature of Christ.  If you’ve done so, you find that our Lord always welcomes the desperate.  Yes, Jesus and his Father can always be reached even when he is hiding himself and that is brought to us by the prophet, Jeremiah who said, “And ye shall seek me, and find me when you shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).  Don’t ever say, “I can’t get hold of God, I can’t get hold of Jesus!”  If you seek him, as it says here in the Word, with all your heart you shall find him every single time.

     The Bible has nothing encouraging to say to people who give up easily, who try a little prayer here and a little prayer there.  It has nothing encouraging to say to people who give it a little push here or there to have their prayers answered; to be sanctified; to be filled with the Spirit; or to get the promises of God to work for them.  The Bible says that God always hears a desperate man or woman.  He hears the people who are unstoppable; chasing after God with all their might, who do not accept “no” from a God whose name is “yes.”  I’m not talking about your wanting something for your own pleasure.  I’m talking about your getting something from God that God wants you to have, something that God is holding back until you have come to the point of earnest, sincere, prevailing faith and prevailing prayer.  If you want the walls that imprison your ministry to break down, it will often take more than a little pounding with a household hammer, it will take a persistent pounding with a sledge hammer day after day and then God will answer in power.

     This whole story was written for us, so that we all would get the spirit of this Syrophenician woman; who, more than all stories, demonstrates the passage where Jesus says, “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” ”Ask, “seek” and “knock” as used here in the Greek are best translated “Keep asking, seeking, and knocking”. 

     Jesus was here in this house of rest.  He needed to be alone with his Father in Heaven.  He was, so to speak, on the telephone with his Lord.  He was communing with him, receiving a refreshing touch from God.  You could say, perhaps, that there was a sign on the door that said, “Please do not disturb!”  Oh, my friend, when you are really serious about finding somebody, there are ways to investigate and, by the grace of God, you will find what you are seeking. “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me,” God says, “when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

     So this woman found the house where Jesus was and I suspect that she knocked on the door.  She ignored the sign that said, “Do not disturb.”  And I can see the disciples coming to the door and telling her, “Haven’t you read the sign?  Jesus is in communion with his Father, he doesn’t have time for you!”  Then I hear Jesus in the front room calling to his disciples, “Let her in, let her in.”  How else would she have gotten in unless Jesus himself would have said, “Let her in?”  You see the disciples were always extremely protective of Jesus.  For example, they did not want little children to come to him, nor did they want blind Bartimaeus to be heard by him. 

     But this woman broke down every barrier to come into the presence of the Lord.  She came with a noble cause and she knew it.  For she knew that what she was for, Jesus was for and she knew that what He was against, she was against.  What she was for, my Friend, was the deliverance of a child from demon possession.  She was tired of having the devil in her house, ruining every day of her life! This was a good request and she knew Jesus was for it, too. Here is one reason why so many prayers go unanswered.  Too many people come to Jesus in prayer wanting something that he is not for.  Or on the other hand, they have one or two things in their lives that Jesus is against, but they will not remove them.  You have to be for all, I say all, that Jesus is for, and be against all, I say all, that Jesus is against, if you want to get through to Jesus.  Are you tired of having the devil ruin every day of your life?  My Friend, if so, this is why this story is in the Bible.  If you are as desperate as this Syrophenician woman was, then you will be able to get to Jesus and get rid of demonic depression and obsession and become free!

     Look at how the woman came.  It says in Mark 7:25, “When she came into the house, she fell at Jesus’ feet.”  That means, first, that she was desperate and not to be denied; and secondly, she acknowledged that Jesus was her only hope.  Thirdly, she surrendered herself to him as an obedient servant, willing to do whatever he would ask her to do.  I want to stop at this last point.  Many times people do not receive deliverance simply because they have not accepted the Lordship of Jesus.  They have not fallen at his feet with an attitude of brokenness.  When they come to Jesus, they do not come with a clean heart but with resentful attitudes towards brothers, mothers, sisters, preachers or with bitterness in their soul.  They may have adulterous affairs, or fornications of which they have not repented. Perhaps they have not been faithful in the house of the Lord, or in prayer, or tithing, or witnessing, so they fall at Jesus’ feet unsurrendered.  My friend, you must come to Jesus, broken, surrendered, and repentant if you want deliverance from the devil.  We have three things now, one is desperation, the second is a noble request, and the third one is a totally surrendered will to do whatever Jesus asks us to do.

       Let’s look at Jesus’ response in Mark 7:27.  Knowing exactly what He was going to do, Jesus fired up her faith even more.  He said, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it unto dogs.”   This is where some people get a wrong impression of Jesus.  The key to this verse is in the word, ‘first’.  If you put ‘first’ in the context of the whole Bible, you know that Jesus fully intended to deliver this woman’s daughter.  Why did he let her into the house? It says, “for this purpose the Son of God was manifest that he would destroy the works of the devil! (1 John 3:8)  In Genesis chapter 12, God says that through Abraham’s seed, the whole world shall be blessed, including the Gentiles.  It is not a question of “whether” it is only a question of “when”.  First the Jews, second the Gentiles, but all of us in time. ( Rom. 1:16)

     The woman says, “Yes, Lord.”  She agrees with Him, but then she appeals to Him to make an exception.  She says, “yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.”  Hallelujah!  This woman would not take no for an answer.  The woman did not ask for a whole meal, she said, all right then, I’m not a Jew, I’m not a gentile, You say I’m a puppy.  I do not expect you to break your Jew, Gentile formula.  I am, as suggested, opting out of the human race to be a puppy dog and so I’m doing nothing to make you change the word of God.  Yes, the crumbs belong to puppies, let me have just one.  Hallelujah!

     She drew a picture of a family eating at a table with puppy dogs waiting below for the children to drop a few little crumbs.  She said, I’m asking for something that falls off the table that no one will miss.   Again, she didn’t ask for anyone’s meal, she just asked for what ends up on the floor anyway.  She was willing to take her place under the table.  Are you?  Most people that I know of, would be offended if someone would call them a dog; if anyone would call them anything other than what they think themselves to be.  Can you see that pride is a great hindrance in getting what God has for us?  Pride was the first sin ever committed when Lucifer, the great leading angel, wanted to be equal with God.  Oh this devilish, devilish sin of pride.  Jesus probed her heart for any residue of pride, and He found none whatsoever.  He found a true saint of God who could not be offended. Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.  And so Jesus, finding this woman of no offense, of great faith and perseverance, said unto her, “For this saying go thy way, the devil is gone out of your daughter.”  

     Jesus went away to have a vacation but a woman had a need.  It was a noble need, and she left no stone unturned until she found Him. He would not deny her faith.  So, my friend, sometimes God hides himself from you.  But remember the words in Jeremiah, “And ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.