Jumping off of three passages in Matthew (17), Mark (9) and Luke (9), all about a demoniac boy and Jesus casting out the demon, I came across some interesting observations studying for our Sunday sermon. I have often wondered why we see so few miraculous things…healings and exorcist type displays of God’s power. And, as I launched out to discover why Jesus said certain species of demon only come out by prayer and fasting, I uncovered a startling truth about the powerlessness of today’s church in America: unbelief.
We no longer KNOW a God that is powerful over disease and devils. We get to know God in a carefully plotted out system of religion and through a flat portrayal of His character as we engage in theological rhetoric. But we remain faithless and perverse in our ways and overall–unbelieving. Funny, this is usually a term we reserve for the LOST. But Jesus reserved it for us, when we do not believe who He really is. I feel we must make the strengthening and growth of our faith the utmost of our pursuit, so that God will further prove His might and wonders through us to a lost and dying world.
I will further explore these topics, as I feel I have kicked over a rock to find it swarming with spiritual life, but here are some tidbits and points for further Scriptural digging…and soul-searching.
Prayer &’Fasting: The weapons of our warfare are mighty in God. (2Cory 10:4)
Why do we not see the most amazing, life-altering miracles and movements of God? Because we are faithless. But if you believe, Mark 9:23 says, ALL things are possible to him who believes. A faithless and bottled Christianity sees nothing of the power and might of God. He won’t work in us and through us until He has a clean and trusty vessel to use. He will not use an unsurrendered man to reach an unsurrendered world.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6
LORD, HELP MY UNBELIEF….
Matthew–13:53-58…unbelief. Verse 58 says: and (Jesus) did not many mighty works there because of their UNBELIEF.
Matthew 14:31…ye of little faith…as soon as faith faltered, Peter began to sink.
POWER=dynamis, dunamis in the Greek: used 120 times in New Testament.
Ephesians 1:17-18, Acts 3:12, Romans 1:16, 1Cory 2:4-5, 1Cory 4:20, eph 3:20, Phil 3:10, 2Timothy 1:7-8, 1 Peter 1:5, just to name a few.
The power & faith. The problem is unbelief…the supernatural aspect of Christianity is nothing without these. Lord, I believe…. Help my unbelief. Pry me out of this waste. Bring me under fresh conviction of the Spirit. Help me to be prepared. Rebuke Satan and help my unbelief. Give me a fresh taste of the Word.
His power is related to His majesty. Matthew 17. The word for God displaying His power in this account should better be translated “majesty.” They were in awe, not only of His sheer power and command of spirits, but His kingly Majesty.
Through these verses, we realize that a pure denial of self and a seeking after God are tied to the faith and belief in God’s power and supernatural ability. We don’t know the Spirit of Power until we submit. Prayer and fastings are great ways to learn submission because they give power to God and not us.
The disciples seemed to know little of this power prior to Pentecost because they couldn’t stay awake and pray through the night and were actually told not to fast while Jesus was still with them. On the other side of Pentecost we see the reliance on Spirit power and the Majesty of Christ at every turn.
Let us reckon with our unbelief…for it renders us powerless.
When we dogmatically or theologically vie for any doctrine stripping power from the Holy Ghost, we might as well quit all godly pursuits. We have nothing and are nothing AND apart for Him, we can do nothing. Do we see how powerless we truly are?
When we realize and wrangle with how supremely pathetic we honestly are, we can be able to see Him in His rightful transfigured place…even IN the demon-possessed valley. We will then see Him as never-changing, with no shadow of turning.
Your strength truly is made perfect through my weakness, just like You said.