Be Made Whole (Part 1)
Your faith has made you whole. Mark 5:34b
2 Corinthians 4:7 likens us to earthen vessels. So, visualize yourself as an empty vase or tea pitcher. The world tells us that we need to fill our lives with stuff; movies, music, sex, drugs, alcohol, cell phones, social media, etc. 1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” If you are filling your life with the things of the world, you are in sin. Jonah 2:8 takes it a step further and says, “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy.” This stuff that you are making idols of are causing you to forsake your Mercy. Mercy here is capitalized because it is referring to God. You are forsaking your God! Let’s make this stuff/idols/sin ping pong balls. Now fill your pitcher with these ping pong balls. Even though you may fill your pitcher/life to the very top with ping pong balls (idols, lusts, etc.), you will still have voids in your life. So how do we fill these voids in our life that are left from sin?
Jesus told a girl in Mark 5:34, “Your faith has made you whole.” Now cross reference faith with Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith comes from the Word of God. So, we could read Mark 5:34 as, “[The Word of God] has made you whole.” The only way to truly be made whole, without voids, is to put the Word of God in you. There is no other substitute. In our pitcher and ping pong balls example, let’s make water the word of God (John 4:14 and 7:38). Now fill the pitcher up with water. As the water level rises, the ping pong balls will fall out of the pitcher. The same is true in our walks with God. As we fill our hearts with God’s Word, sin will be removed from our lives. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” As you fill your pitcher/life up with water/the Word of God, the sin will be removed. Then you will no longer have any voids in your life. The water/Word will fill the pitcher up to the top leaving no empty space or voids.
Be Made Whole (Part 2)
Your faith has made you whole. Mark 5:34b
If you pour water into a pitcher full of ping pong balls, most of the ping pong balls will float to the top and fall out. However, there will be some stragglers, those few balls/sin that stay floating on the surface. Just knowing the Word and hiding it in your heart will not remove all sin. You have to put the Word into practice now (James 1:22). You can memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” However, that does not mean you have arrived. Now you have to do it! It may not come easy. You will have to discipline yourself (1 Corinthians 9:27). Say you get a flat tire. Rather than grumble you praise God! Lord what can I learn from this situation? Thank you for turning this around for good (Romans 8:28). As you do this, the sin floating on the surface will be removed.
There are some sins that you will have to attack with the Word of God. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” If you are not sure if the thoughts you are having are Godly, 1 John 4:1b says, “test the spirits, whether they are of God.” We do this by taking them to the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word is a discerner of our thoughts. The Word will help us see if our thoughts are in line with God’s plan. If they are not, Hebrews 4:12 also says the Word is our sword, our weapon. If you have a thought or desire to go to the bar, smoke a cigarette, mouth off to someone, disobey an authority figure, lustful thoughts of others, etc. you must take those thoughts captive. In Jesus’ name I command you to get out of my head. I bind you in the name of Jesus (Matthew 16:19) and I declare that I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). You overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21b), knock those last few sins/ping pong balls off that are floating on the top, and be made whole.
He Must Increase, I Must Decrease
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
You have one vessel to fill up. You cannot continue holding onto your sin and think you can just add God’s Word to it. You cannot take a 12-ounce coke can that is filled with coke and add 12 ounces of sprite to it. You must first remove the coke, so that you can fill the can with sprite. In order to walk in agreement with God’s Word, you must remove the sin. Oswald Chambers once said, “Either God or sin must die in my life.” If you try to hang on to both, your spirit side/God will die in your life. You will end up being double-minded (James 1:7-8) and lukewarm (Revelations 3:15-16), which according to God is worse than the sinner that does not have any of God’s Word. 2 Peter 2:21 says, “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.”
This is why most churches are in a mess today. They may know a little bit of the Word of God, but are trying to win the world over using the world’s tactics and not the Word of God. Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” If we as a church are trying to win the world by playing secular songs, luring people in with social activities, games, programs, plays, etc. and then give them one scripture, we will be the broken cistern Jeremiah 2:13 is talking about. Our cistern will be full of holes and not be able to even hold water/God’s Word. This is not what Peter was referring to in 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.” James 1:17 says, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” Yet churches are looking to the world for their sustenance. Now they cannot even contain God’s goodness, His Word, His anointing. This is why so many churchgoers are still living in bondage. Isaiah 10:27 says, “the yoke of bondage will be destroyed because of the anointing.” If churches cannot contain the anointing, how are they going to deliver the Word to set people free? We as a church must get back to the Word of God. After all Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). How can we say we know/love Jesus if His Word is not our focus? (John 14:21)