We have moved to www.martinamcgowan.com

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Touch Test , Mark 5:25-34

Sermon Notes

Mark 5:25-34 (New International Version, ©2011)

25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.

33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

God’s Word is a Rhema word, which means that it could have meant something yesterday and something brand new today; look at life with new lenses.

God is a breathing Spirit in contact with our lives on a daily basis.

Right now context for a right now problem.

Men can find a place in this message; it is not gender-specific.

Right now context: When I look at the Body of Christ (everywhere), I am saddened and disquieted within my soul. There is a lack of spiritual awareness on the part of God’s people. Many say they know God, but lack spiritual awareness of their circumstances in Him. We must understand that although we feel we know God, we are on a sinking ship. You (we) need help! We go to and fro, church to church, conference to conference searching for God, when we need to find Him in our situation.

You should be careful when people speak over your life and don’t know anything about you. This is spiritual voodoo. They are speaking out of their circumstance, not yours.

Embrace the touch test. There are people who insist that their spirituality revolves around their external circumstances. When all is well, I trust God. When it is not, I don’t. God never changes! We need to touch our lives with the finger of the Word.

In the midst of failure, she (the woman with the issue of blood) pushed her way through her problems, her current circumstance, to reach out to touch Jesus.

The place where you first met God was probably not at your peak, on the mountain-top. Ezekiel spoke to the bones only after they had lain dry and dusty in the valley.

Spiritual awareness often comes to us on the sea of calamity. We have to go through some things to find God. It is difficult to find our spiritual identity in the midst of personal prosperity. Matthew 19:26, Jesus uses the illustration of the rich man and the Kingdom of God.

In the midst of prosperity, you need to be careful. The mechanics of spiritual maturity are such that, with prosperity, we get comfortable in our condition, which can lead to carelessness, because this can become the major focus of our spiritual eye. We become concerned with self-enlargement. Be careful what you pray for. Prosperity and wealth bring with it responsibility. If you are not careful, you will squander you stuff.

Illustration: a tiny snowball rolling down a hill, can lead to an avalanche.

We must be willing to seek help. At her lowest point, the woman in the story presses through the crowd. Even though she is out of place, she pushes forward. She is broken and busted, but is willing to go through the touch test. If you have tried everything else, and it has all failed you, touch Jesus. Pinch, beat, touch, pray for yourself to check you reality. When everything else has fallen by the wayside, focus on this moment…let go and Let God.

He may be able to break through and lift you out of your life.

What qualifies us to know if we are on the plus side of the ledger?

We must possess proof of a personal passion for the Prince of Peace. Do you really love Jesus? He has paid the price for you on Calvary.

We should bear marks of the Master. These marks are not fancy cars, furs, bling. It is what is down on the inside.

Illustration: Hare Krishna. We cannot truly be comfortable with everything in this life. There are some areas of your life that you should be concerned about. We must be willing to put in the work to be able to pass the touch test in our lives.

There are ways we can begin to see what’s on the inside. We must lift the spiritual fog we walk in.

The secret to passing the test is that you must know who you are in Him. We cannot get anything from God if we don’t know who we are. We need to get comfortable with our spiritual identity.

What makes up your spiritual personality? What kind of faith engine drives you?
Each of us is unique in God. We speak and hear from God in different ways.

Many of us want to imitate others rather than being our own unique selves. Statement: “I am a person of faith!”

What kind of faith do you operate in? There are 3:

1. Like a sponge

a. Consider Mary and Martha. Mary had sponge-like faith. She sat at Jesus’ feet and absorbed what He said, and let it ruminate in her soul and spirit.

b. She just needed to be present/

2. Fisherman faith

a. You cast your net, and pull in some stuff. You look at it.

b. If it is to your liking, you eat, absorb, take it in

c. If it is not to your liking, you discard it

d. The key is that you must examine and discern what you have caught to determine what is useful.

e. These people are focused in where they throw their rod

3. Magnetic faith, as demonstrated in this passage

a. When she focused, she was able to draw out of what was going on around her, and pull it to herself

b. These people can draw stuff from people, and what they draw they can absorb and it becomes a part of them

c. These people can make it on their own

Learn how to get something from God for yourself. She could correct her circumstance because she could operate in faith. Faith is what allows the power of God to operate in your life. Press toward the mark.

When we lose people who we feel are vital and pivotal to our existence, it can be a tumultuous transition for many. At this stage, many will have to determine who their faith is in. The man (in this case, pastor) or in God? Will we continue to shine when that happens?

If we don’t shine for the Lord, the Devil will shine on without us.

At the end of the passage, the woman is trying to sink back into the shadows, to go unnoticed. But she cannot, as Jesus proclaims, “Somebody touched me!” Her life is now changed, forever, because of her faith.


Anonymous said...

This message touched on so many areas for me. Awareness of how much value I've been putting on past experiences and the importance I'd put on things that will and can fade away. This message was setting me up for a heart that would be tender to what He was going to show me. And boy, He's been showing me some things in the past few weeks. For the first time, I understand what is meant by "Be careful what you pray for." Thank you God for growth.

Doc said...

I am happy that the message spoke to you. I completely agree with you. Sometimes God has to tenderize our hearts, so we can listen to Him. He is always speaking, but we are not always listening.