“And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” – Mark 1:32-38
Let this passage come alive in your mind for a minute. Jesus preached the gospel, healed the sick, and cast out devils all evening. Probably even into the night. I’m sure he was tired, but how exciting! The people were believing and receiving and coming to see Him!
He retreats for the night and they all get a few hours sleep. A moments rest from this busy blessing and move of the Spirit! When morning comes the disciples look for Him but he has been out praying alone in the quiet, preparing for the day ahead.
The disciples come to Him and inform Him that many people are there waiting! There is a crowd that excepts Him there ready to hear Him, to be taught and delivered! He has a following here! This is starting to look and feel like revival! Or what we think it should look and feel like anyway…
So what does Jesus say? “It’s time to leave. I’m going to preach in an other city.” Perhaps the disciples may have thought, “wait, what, why? Isn’t this what we are here to do? The people here love You. They believe You. They understand that they need You? Why go to an other place and start over?”
The Bible tells us that there is a way that seems right to a man and that we ought to let God order our steps because His ways or not our ways nor does He think the way we think. Jesus then tells them that He is going to a new place to preach and to teach because that is why He came. You see the fact that he was excepted and that all men came to see Him was not a reason to stop and build a cathedral, following, or movement there. He was not here to build temporal kingdoms but an eternal and invisible one laid on a foundation of truth. He had preached and spoken the truth here backed up by miracles, signs, and wonders, healings and deliverances. The truth had been spoken, the territory had been taken, He had born witness to them of the Words of God. Now it was time for Him to move on. To go share that same mission and mercy to the next towns.
There were times when He was not so well received but never the less that was His mission. To be God’s Faithful Witness. So did he continue to rise early, steal away and pray, and go where the Father said to go that day. True revival doesn’t build cathedrals, it builds the Kingdom of Heaven. Not by the works of men’s hands or by huge followings but by yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead you and speak through you the foundations of Biblical truths. Because it is the truth that sets men free when they believe it. Not a man or a ministry. Faith in a person never saved anyone, except for faith in the person of Jesus. So don’t seek to build people’s faith in you, simply do the work that God sent you to do and then move.
Many a temple to men has been constructed for those who chose to sit in the spot where God first used them. To stay in that place where all men believed them, where they had a following. But the commission that we have been given says to go, and to preach, and to tell others all that Jesus taught us, and if we do this then He will be with us.
Don’t grow stagnant, be obedient when the command to go comes. Whether that be in the physical or in revelation, don’t simply stay where men except you. The next place God brings you might not be so easy. Go none the less, it’s part of the mission. Be willing to be sent.
Yes there are times when God calls us to stay. Like the demoniac that was delivered of legion. He wanted to go with Jesus but Jesus told him to stay and to tell others what had been done for Him. But imagine if he had only told one person and they believed him and he was satisfied with that territory. What if he told only his family? No, Jesus said to go and tell everyone. Every new person to hears and believes is new territory taken from the enemy. So don’t sit content with the few who believe you. Rise up early and seek the Lord while He may be found that you might clearly hear when the order comes that it’s time to go preach to the next town.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20