Summary: Fear and doubt are your bestest enemies. Jesus shows us how to conquer fear and be proactive in the kingdom of God.
Enemy of the faith
After reading this passage, you would think this is a scene from “The exorcist” or “Intervention.”
Jesus and the disciples are right in the middle of ministry.
Ministry is not for the faint hearted.
There are two immediate keys to this verse.
The disciples were asked to pray for the demonic boy by a desperate father- and they could not do it. Jesus tells them that -
“This kind can only come from pray” KJV says “By prayer and fasting”
That will be another sermon on another day on the importance of prayer and the meaning of fasting.
Second key is the father bringing a desperate situation to the disciples and ultimately to Jesus.
“I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not”
Jesus acknowledges a generation of unbelievers, and tells the disciples and the father to bring the child to Him. Society of unbelievers today because we live in a society that does not believe in absolutes.
Jesus addresses the issue-
How long has he been like this? The father says from birth.
Father to Jesus- “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
If you can...said Jesus-
“Everything is possible for him who believes” immediately the boys father exclaimed, “I do believe Help me with my unbelief.”
The enemies of faith is doubt and unbelief. They are two separate things.
Another one is coming to Jesus with doubt that He is able to do anything.
Faith unlocks the riches of God. Doubt locks them.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrew 5:10)
There is no doubt in my mind this morning, that most sitting here:
Believe in Jesus, Believe the Bible, Believe in miracles.
Where it gets complicated and messy is when God asks us to do something that appears too large for us to handle. Looking at the task, we begin to doubt.
There is a movie clip of Star wars “Empire strikes back” to set the scene, Luke Skywalker, the hero of the story goes to seek out one who will train him to become a Jeti knight. He crashes his x-wing fighter on the swampy planet of Degobah. There he is shocked to find that the one who is to train him, is an old , small green guy named Yoda. Yodi is trying to convince Luke that he is capable to remove his craft from the swamp. Luke’s purpose and destiny in the movie is to become a Jeti Knight. In order to fulfill his destiny, he had to, as Yodi told him, “unlearn what he had learned”
We have all heard scriptures on faith, pastors that have preached messages on faith.
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”
“Have faith in God”.
“All things are possible to him that believes.”.
Most don’t question faith, they struggle with- How do I get it
Faith is foundational- you have to build on it. Start somewhere.
Faith is risky- God assurance, God’s redemption, God’s gifts, all equals spiritual growth.
That is why the Bible says we go from “faith to faith”. Situation to situation.
Opening the door so that we might obtain greater faith.
Worry never solved a problem.
Worry never paid a debt we had.
Worry never alleviated pain.
Worry never made an enemy a friend.
Worry never made a wrong-right.
The opposite of faith is fear some live in fear everyday.
Spurgeon says- “The snail reached the ark by crawling one centimeter at a time”
Fear is the devil’s best friend- paralyzes us, condemns us, discourages us, and steals our hope.
We brush our teeth everyday, but we only talk to God when we have a problem”
Fret not, Fear not, Forget not- boy that sounds east, doesn’t it?
Your life would be richer.
You would have peace.
The future would look brighter.
How do we do that?
That is the million dollar question- and most get it wrong.
Just like the father from the text this morning- “I do believe , help me with my unbelief”
Here are some things , there are more, but maybe you are willing to try some of these.
Write them down.
What unbelief does to you.
1. It causes you to lose your focus- lose your vision.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them. (Numbers 20:12)
lose your vision- lose your focus.
Lose your focus and you are always chasing your tail.