If you can…
I love this story of the boy who was deaf and mute, invaded by an evil spirit who caused him to fall to the floor and foam at the mouth whenever he tried to speak. What I love about the story is - of course- that the boy was healed, but I like what happened proceeding his healing.
The boy’s father spoke up in a crowd telling Jesus that Jesus’ disciples had tried to drive out the evil spirit but they could not. Jesus says, “O unbelieving nation how long shall I stay with you, how long shall I put up with you” (Mark 9:19). He then asks the boy’s father how long he’s been like this and the father tells him since birth. But the next part is what I love: the father says, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:21). I love what Jesus says:
He repeats the father’s statement in question form:
“‘if you can?’” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23)
I know in my own life, I’ve come to Jesus with the same meek mentality that the father had. I think we all do it. Because our circumstances are so “hopeless,” we meekly approach the throne of God and say in a doubtful, desperate, poor me - voice, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus must feel like he’s hearing a broken record. His children constantly come to Him in disbelief and ask for help. This is a contradiction in thinking, a polarization of power, a diluted faith, a “close your eyes, cross your fingers, hold your breath and give it one last shot” type of thinking that says, “Oh, it looks like a 50/50 gamble, but let’s go ahead and try even though we just might fall flat on our faces. We half expect our efforts fail. This reveals that we don’t believe in God’s power to handle the situation.
I’m not criticizing the father in Mark, and I’m not criticizing myself or you. I’m simply making a point that we don’t believe enough; as a result, our doubt dilutes our faith, our lives, and our potential victories in Christ.
When questioned how He pulled off a miracle after the disciples could not, Jesus answered, “This kind can only come out only by prayer.” (Mark 9:29).
And so we realize here that we must not only ask God to help, believing it will work out, but we must also pray! And when I mean pray, I mean PRAY! Pray constantly in the Word, with the Word, claim the Word, and claim the victory. A fellow Warrior said, “God already knows His Word. He wants to know that YOU know his Word!” Isn’t that awesome? He is our teacher; we are his students. I bet He feels like us with our kids sometimes when we encourage our children to read and study their notes so that they will be well prepared for tests. The same is true in regard to the lessons within His Word. They are there for us to study in order to be more prepared for the “tests” of this world. And I know it does His heart good to hear us recite back the lessons He gives us in His Word. Reciting God’s Word to Him shows Him that we are actively seeking, learning and believing Him AT HIS WORD! The more we do this, the more the Word becomes written on our hearts, seeping into the very fibers of our soul. Then, earthly strongholds fall off of us, and we are able to believe Jesus 100% (not 50/50) for victory in our situations.
May this story heal you of doubt today as you dive into His Word and commit yourself to prayer. I am so excited for you to receive the power of the Sword of the Spirit - which is the WORD OF GOD!
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.