Press through in humility
But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Mark 7:27
Have you ever wanted something so badly, but something happened on the way to getting it that stole your hope? I’m sure we all have. In fact, I remember a time when we were trying to buy our home and complications kept setting in to slow down the process. It was almost like an offense to me and for sure a disappointment. When we were close to closing on the property, there was an unexpected death in the family that really put the whole thing in perspective. I had all but given up on the sale actually going through. I was becoming bitter and resentful because of all the struggles we were going through to get to the results.
This same disappointment threatens to happen to the women in today’s reading. She had come to Jesus from another land asking for Him to heal her daughter from demonic oppression. This is one time in His ministry that it looks like He actually tried to turn her away without her answer. On top of it all, He told her His ministry was to His own people and then He insulted her by referring to her people as dogs. These words could have become an offense to her when they fell on her ears, but she just humbly picked them up, took them on and agreed with Jesus but added them to her request. She was determined to get her daughter delivered no matter how long or how low she had to go. What happened next looks like Jesus changed His mind about releasing her daughter from the demons, but I believe it was giving her a heart check to see if she would take on the offense. Of course, she passed, but why would Jesus do that? Certainly, He knows our hearts and doesn’t need to see our reaction to discern where we are spiritually.
This happened to Naaman, in the Old Testament. He was a commander of an army in another country. He had great power in his own land and with that came much pride. However, when he went to the prophet in Israel to be healed of leprosy, he was given instructions to receive his healing. When he heard it, he was offended. He stormed away in anger because he felt the task was beneath him. Thankfully, someone spoke up in wisdom to him and he decided he would follow the direction because there was little risk involved, only his pride. (See 2 Kings 5)
How many times have we given up on prayers and request because they didn’t come when we thought they should or in the way we wanted them to? And how many times have we given up and became bitter and resentful when all the while we could have humbly pressed in to receive wisdom and direction.
So, it seems that Jesus turned the woman away to see her humility. Not to humiliate her, but so that she would continue to humbly come to Him. It also showed her what was in her own heart and actions. This is an extreme case, but the truth in this message is that we must humbly come before Him with our requests and not leave with pride. Faith is required to come into His presence, but humility is necessary to receive. When you get there, stay close with Him, be willing to humbly obey His direction and your answer will get through.
Today I want to encourage you to humbly bring your petitions and requests to Him. Don’t get discouraged if you do not see immediate results and don’t come to Him complaining about what is wrong about the situation. Simply hang on to Him and thank Him for receiving your words and working on them even when you don’t see what is going on in the spirit realm. Don’t let offense and disappointments knock you off course, and if you are impressed to take some action, take it quickly even if it doesn’t make sense or your pride speaks against it. Don’t let offense, resentment or pride steal the good things that God wants to do in your life and the lives of those you love, humble yourself today and He will lift you up!
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 7:24-30
24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.
25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.
26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”
29Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.