And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord had done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him, and all marveled. (Mark 5:18-20)
When Jesus delivered the man plagued by demons, the man knew what he must do. He must go with Jesus. It would seem to be the right and appropriate action going forward. What a testimony he could give to the crowds! Did not Jesus say to others, “Come, and follow Me.” But here, the Lord instructs the new convert to go – to go home and tell all your family and friends and neighbors what God has done on your behalf. The man did as the Lord said. And Jesus was proclaimed throughout the cities in the region of Decapolis.
When the evangelist, Philip, was preaching in Samaria “an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, ‘Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’” (Acts 8:26) There Philip encountered the Ethiopian treasurer under the queen, Candace. Philip testified of the Lord Jesus, and the man believed unto salvation. He then went on his way to Ethiopia and spread the gospel far and wide.
When the Apostle Peter was in the midst of a successful mission in Joppa, he had a vision in which “the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.’” (Acts 10:19-20) As a result, the Gentile household of Cornelius received Christ, and the Holy Spirit fell on them. From there the Gospel spread out.
When the Apostle Paul and his companions were on the way to Asia, “they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word” there. Afterward they “tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them”. After seeing a vision in which they were called to Macedonia, they “immediately sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Amazing things happened during their stay. (From Acts chap. 16)
The man set free from Legion desired to go on the road with Jesus. The Lord told him to go home. Philip was preaching in Samaria; the Lord told him to go south. Peter was ministering in Joppa; the Lord told him to go down and go with the men sent to him. Paul sought to go to Asia, and then Bithynia, instead, the Lord told him to go to Macedonia.
Where are we today? Are we where the Lord wants us to be? Would we recognize His call to go elsewhere? Would we go? One thing we do know, wherever He may send us – to go is to go forth into the abundant life.