Constrained – changing the course of God and man

But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Luke 24:29

Luke 24:29 gives clear picture of the disciples changing the course of the master. One cannot say that he was meant to stay so no change really occurred.

What they saw convinced them he intended to continue on his journey (vs 28). They, according to the writer, changed that. Luke was probably not there.

We can add to this pattern the Saviour’s amazement and turnaround when he saw the faith of the Syrophoenician woman who pleaded with him to rescue her child (Mark 7:26-29).

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

This is a powerful illustration of an insider trying to keep people away from the benefits of the group. Here we have to wonder why is it that people still think that only Christians or believers have the right to God’s gifts of healing and deliverance. It is a sucky and change-resistant attitude to maintain.

The case of Lydia illustrates the same thing. We must assume that the missionary team were not disposed to be the guest of a new convert. The new child of God changed their lodging plans.

And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:15

Feeling too set to change. Think again. What heights have we attained that signal we are through growing or learning?