When I was in my early 20’s, the Lord took me off the fence of faith to show me how to walk more closely to Him as His disciple. Though I still struggle and fall short in so many ways, that began a journey in discipleship that continues to this day, and the drive behind my heart in women’s ministry.
In my study of Mary Magdalene through the LifeWay Women’s Devoted Bible study, I was struck by the contrast this woman lived as she went from being tormented by 7 demons to worshiping Jesus (Mark 16:9). We shouldn’t be surprised because, isn’t that what we also experience through salvation?
Aren’t our souls tormented by seeking something that completely satisfies? Earthly things are presented to us as that one thing that will do the trick. A new car, the perfect house, that long awaited trip, a better job. Perhaps even a new and better friend or family. Not that these things are bad and not to be enjoyed at times, but the kind of satisfaction our soul longs for only Jesus can satisfy.
When we think about Israel in the Old Testament, we repeatedly see that even kings, spiritual leaders, and priests had “other gods”. Sometimes it was a created god such as the calf that just “jumped out of the fire” when Moses was up on the mountain getting the 10 commandments from God and Aaron was left in charge (Exodus 32). Other times even good leaders fell away because of immoral lusts (2 Samuel 11, 1 Kings 11), pride (2 Kings 20), or the desire for more wealth and possessions (Mark 14:10-11).
We think we’d never seek other gods, yet our hearts often turn to earthly things to satisfy. Mary Magdalene was not fooled. Her torment was released forever by the one who could remove the evil spirits within her so that Jesus could fill her up with His love.
She worshiped Jesus and showed her gratefulness by traveling with Him as she supported His ministry with finances (Luke 8:1-3), watched Him die on the cross and went to the tomb on Resurrection day looking for His body (Matthew 27-28). She became the first disciple to run tell the rest that He had risen (Mark 16)!
She gave up her tormented past and lesser things to follow and worship Jesus as the one who fully satisfied her soul. She believed, obeyed, adored, worshiped, followed, ministered, and told others. She went from torment to worship.
Like Mary, we were dead and destined for a tormented eternity. We have now been given life. What are you looking for to satisfy yours? Do you, and do I, follow as she did?