And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Mark 7:33
Have you ever gotten direction from the Holy Spirit that didn’t seem to make sense at the time? I sure have! Once when we were in a situation with our neighbors to get a land easement required to buy our house, they were not willing to cooperate. We looked at many options such as cutting a new access point down the middle of our property, taking them to court or looking for another home to buy. Each of these options came with a high price and much more time that we didn’t have. One morning during this process, I had a nudge in my spirit to bake a cake and take it to the neighbors and talk with them. Honestly, I didn’t really want to, but I did anyway. It was an amazing thing, as I baked and prepared, I actually got excited inside because I was able to do something and even if I didn’t get the results I wanted, I was going to be blessing someone who was probably scared and hurt in some way. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my husband, so you can imagine his surprise when they called that afternoon to sign the paperwork. Such a simple kind act that saved thousands of dollars and countless hours. Not to mention the years of peace and friendship with the neighbors that could have easily ended up being enemies. God is smart! Once I was in a court battle and it was very stressful and tedious. It was also putting a strain on many important relationships to me and high costs. The Holy Spirit directed me to get the matter out of the court system and let Him handle it. This did not look like the way any other normal person in the world would handle it. Yet when I obeyed, I had such peace and over time was healed of a big wound. In the moment it looked like I was going to lose financially and precious time to me, but now 15 years later, it was the smartest and wisest thing I could have done! I am so thankful.
If you look at the instructions in scripture that God gave His people, many seem like the opposite of what you would naturally do. Jesus taught things like to be exulted, you have to humble yourself. To be a receiver, you need to give. If you want to be great, you have to be the servant of all and if you want to live, first you must die.
God gave the people of Israel plans that were so far out there many times that it is amazing they actually obeyed. Like when He told Joshua to lead his army to march around the city for seven days. That wasn’t really a common strategy in that day. Or when He told Abraham to pack up to move to a place that He would show Him later? Not too many people do that. They would be considered irresponsible if they did. How about when He told Noah to build an ark when a drop of rain had never fallen.
Today’s reading is another one of those instances. Jesus didn’t seem to do the same thing twice. It was almost like when you came to Him for healing or deliverance of some kind, you should not expect that you know the direction He will give. In the case of this man who was deaf and couldn’t speak, Jesus took him away from the people and then He put His fingers in his ears and touched his tongue. Doesn’t seem too odd since those where the affected areas, but then Jesus told the man not to tell anyone? That was pretty much impossible. The man was practically turned into another person that could speak and hear, certainly others were going to notice.
Here’s my point: When you go to your Father in heaven with a request, don’t even imagine how He will answer it. You will never get it right. His way is supernatural, and His way will probably be the opposite of what you would think. However, you can trust Him! You may have to follow some unusual instructions, but if you obey, you will not be disappointed. When I look back and think about the directions, He has given me over the years, I am so thankful that I listened. It has changed the course of my life forever and has led me to a path of purpose and fulfilment. I haven’t always gotten it perfect and it is obvious, but I do get excited now when He leads me in an opposite way because I know something good is going to result from it.
Today I want to encourage you to consider the things you are talking to Him about right now. Think about how you would like to see the answer come and then think about what the opposite response would be. If you are struggling in your finances and are barely keeping your head above water, His instruction would be to tithe (give 10%) giving Him full access to your finances. If you feel like someone owes you an apology and should come to you to ask forgiveness, your Heavenly Father will probably want you to humble yourself and go make it right. If someone hates you and is trying to sabotage your life, His instructions will be to love them and do good to them. When you do see the opposite thing to do or hear in your spirit a direction that may not make sense to you, take the step of faith and do it anyway. Then trust that God knows what He is doing and watch for the results to be miraculous. His ways are higher than ours, so don’t expect that you can ever understand them.
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 7:31-37
31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.
32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.
33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.
34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.
36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.
37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”