If we were all to just tell the truth to shame the devil, we would have to admit that there are some days that for as much as we appear to have it all together, for as much we look like we have life all worked out there is still some stuff, some circumstances, some situations that come into our lives that shake us at our core, that threaten to knock us off our feet, that brings tears to our eyes and trembling to our hearts. There are some things that come into our lives that have us questioning whether we can really make it through, if there really is sunshine after rain, if joy really does follow the weeping, if we really have the stuff in us to be what God has said we can be and do what God has said that we can do. WE reach places in our lives where it seems that our limitations as physical beings overshadow our boundless possibilities as spiritual beings. Yet, in spite of all our human frailties, God has given us power in His Name. God has given us the authority, the birthright through which victory is ours. Know that even when it looks like everything is falling apart all around you that there is still something in you and on you that God can and will use to His glory. Know that if you have been redeemed, if you’ve been saved, if you have been washed in the blood of the sanctified lamb, if you’ve been covered by the presence of the Holy Spirit there is some stuff on you and in you that the world didn’t give you and the world can’t take away.
As we look at our text this evening, we find that Jesus descended to the valley following his mountain top experience at Mount Hermon where he had been transfigured before the eyes of Peter, James and John. And now with these three disciples in tow, he joins up with the other disciples and the multitude that had gathered there. As he joins the group, he is approached by a certain man . Now this man was coming to Jesus, not because his life was all happy, happy joy, joy, but instead he is coming to Jesus because he had some issues that needed Jesus’ attention. He had a mountain in his life that he needed to be moved, a devil, a stronghold that had plagued his life and the life of his child that he needed Jesus to speak to.
Now the timing of this incident is interesting in that it occurs just a short time following Jesus’ mountaintop experience. What it shows us is that you can be on the mountaintop right now and still find that there are some devils to fight in the valley later on. You can find yourself praising God in the morning and yet find that you’re fighting your way through in the afternoon or as Beyonce’ put it… You can go to bed on top of the world and wake up finding that the world is on top of you. In fact, scripture tells is to count it not strange that we face the fiery trials for as the bible tells us the devil is roaming to and fro seeking whom he can devour and destroy.
But here Jesus is after having this awesome mountaintop experience being approached by this brother with issues. Now Jesus being Jesus hears this father’s humble cry. Unlike some folks, Jesus, after having been on top of the mountain, at the pinnacle was still humble enough to hear the cries from the valley.
I have to digress here because the reality of the situation is that some of us, when we hit our mountain top, when we reach our pinnacle of success, when we get to our high point, we get so high pullutin’ , so saididy acting, so up in the air with ourselves that we can no longer reach back down to the valley. We get deaf ears to those who seem to be beneath us and don’t respond to the cries of those still hanging in the valleys. But Jesus, there was something on Jesus that allowed him to hear and respond to the needs of this desperate father.
Now this father was coming to Jesus on behalf of his son who the scripture refers to as a lunatic. Now this phrase lunatic was used here not as an insult or a put down, but instead it was used to describe the son’s condition which was that he was continually falling. In fact, in some translations they used the word epilepsy instead of lunatic. Nevertheless, his son was continually falling and sometimes the falls were into fire and sometimes into water and so he was referred to as a lunatic.
Now I ain’t calling nobody out of their names and I’m sure we don’t have any here at Mt. Moriah, because we are all saved, sanctified and holy ghost filled but I’m sure some of you know someone who knows someone who like this boy keeps falling into the same ole mess – sometimes into the fire that burns and sometimes into the water that can drown. Slipping and falling into the same ole type of situation and circumstances. Falling into the same ole depressions, same ole debts, same ole relationships, same ole arguments, same ole stressors and according to this definition they might be a lunatic. But what a joy it is that a Saint is just a sinner who fell down and got back up. Though we stumble and fall, we can’t fall so low that God can’t pick us back up for while we were yet sinners Christ gave his life for us. He came to us that we may have life and have it more abundantly. But even still know that God will not be mocked and be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Forget those things tat came before and press on toward the mark of the high calling, which is in Christ Jesus. Let God do a new thing in you and for you. Come before the alter of God laying your burdens there because there is nothing, no person that can come before the presence of God that cannot be changed.
And this poor father had to have known this because as he presents his son before Jesus he tells him that I took him first before the disciples and they were unable to cure him. Know there some stuff that other folks can’t do for you and nothing but a touch from God will do. Know that there some stuff that only God can loose and some burdens that only he can bare. See there was something on this father that made him understand that even when all else fails there is still healing at the feet of Jesus. Something on him that made him understand that even in our hours of despair if we but seek the face of Jesus There was something on this father that made him keep the faith that even when others have counted you out there is nothing too hard for God.
In response to this act of faith, Jesus in his tender mercy calls for the boy to be brought to him and the child was instantly healed. So the boy is healed and we can assume the man went away praising God for the wonderful things he has done So Jesus is left standing with his disciples and they pull him aside and ask Him why it is they were unable to heal the child which brings us to the crux of the matter.
Jesus response to them was simple. He explains that it was a matter of their unbelief. It was a lack of belief in their ability to achieve the seemingly impossible. It was an inability to move in the authority given to them by God to trample on serpents and cast out devils and have dominion over the earth. It was their inability to believe that God can do the miraculous with the seemingly impossible and use them as an instrument to bring it to pass. It was an issue of their Faith!!! Those who were walking beside him day after day were suffering from weak Faith. They were limited in their ability to do what was needed for them to do because of their weak faith.
Truth to be told, there are sometimes that even the most saved of us experience weak faith. See it’s easy to have strong faith when the sun is shining, but it is difficult at best when the storms are raging in our lives, when heart ache has come our way, when tribulations and trials seemed to be our constant companion. It is difficult when we are sending up our timber toward heaven and it feels that even heaven’s ears have closed to our cries.
It begs the question. If indeed we can have a faith that can move mountains, if we can posses a faith that allows us to overcome obstacles, an authority over the adversary; if indeed the promises of God are yea and amen – Why is that as we stand in here in 2005, over 2000 years after this authority has been given to us – why is is that there are so many in the Body of Christ still struggling, still warring, still loosing the battle of life. How is it then that we who are called by his name, we who are washed in the blood of the sanctified lamb, we who are called out, singled out, ordained and consecrated for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God, for the purpose of being an example unto the world of what it is to have faith, to walk with God and dwell with God. How is it that our prayers hold no power, our words hold no anointing, our lives are lived with no authority and our hands hold no healing. How is it then that we still have folks who come into the church house Sunday after Sunday, sit in the same pew, shout at he same part, go to the alter with the same burdens and walk out feelin’ the same way. What is the problem here. What have we left out of the recipe. Why are we missing the mark.
First of all, it’s a mind thing in that we many of us in the body of Christ have been infec6ed with a bit of spiritual schizophrenia. We have accepted the idea of living this Christian life with convoluted convictions – that it’s okay to be double minded. We have gotten to a place where too many of us have accepted the idea that it’s okay to live with one foot in and one foot out. To be in the world and in the church. But the scripture tell us, Choose ye this day who ye will serve. How long halt you between two opinions. If God be God then serve Him. If God be God then put your hands in His hand. If God be God trust, obey and never doubt that He is a God that can bring you out.
If you want to know why it is that you can’t seem to get a prayer through. If you want to know why the adversary can just have his way with you. If you don’t understand how it is that you’ve been saved from the cradle to today and yet every storm that rages has the potential to knock you off your feet and throw you out of line with God’s plan for your life…It is because of weak faith. Understand that you are the temple, the house of God, the dwelling place of His Spirit and a house divided against itself can not stand. God is saying to many of us in the church that yeah your body is here with me, but your mind is on the other side of town. And as long as we live this way we find ourselves in the predicament of having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof. We find ourselves in the predicament of being neither hot nor cold, but being somewhere around luke warm. We find ourselves, like the disciples who were trying to heal the young boy, in the predicament of being Christians with a lack of ability to effect change in our lives or anyone else’s. We find ourselves in the predicament of having no power. We find ourselves having no authority. Our power and authority are only present as we line our walk up with God’s word.
Secondly, it’s in that we suffer from a spiritual identity crisis. See, we fail to recognize who we really are. Scripture tells us that we are the heirs to the Kingdom of God. The scripture also tells us be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Understand, that a lot of the reason that we fail to walk in the full power of God, under the full authority that has been granted to us is that we hold on to our self defined definition of who and what we are instead of allowing God to define us for us. We have yet to be transformed into the image of what God has called us to be. Too many of our chained to our past. Too many of us define ourselves by the baggage that we picked up on the way to salvation. But the scripture says, come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Though we don’t confess it with our mouths, we have received it in our spirits and act it our in our walk that once lost always lost. But the devil is a liar. Because the God I serve says that He dwells with us and in us and that where the spirit is there is liberty.
Ya know, I was talking on yesterday with one of my best friends and we were discussing our children. I was bemoaning that fact that my son, James, who is six, was coming home everyday with a head full of sand. Apparently, James and a few of his classmates have decided that the sand on the playground at school is perfect for throwing and it ends up in his hair. If you have ever had to get sand out of a child’s hair then you know why I’m fussing. The stuff does not come out by simply washing their hair. You have to scrub it out. I find myself having to lay him in my lap and brush it and comb it and scratch it out. And then we wash his hair and even then if I search real hard I’ll find that that there is still some on him.
That’s kinda how our faith is. We find that life shakes us, we find that life bristles us, we find that life scratches at our faith but if you look down deep there is still something on you and as long as there is still a little something on you – as long as you got a little something left in you, if you can just hold on and maintain faith the size of a mustard seed Then you can speak to the mountains and say be thou removed. When you have just mustard seed faith you can speak to the obstacles in your life and know that they will be changed. With mustard seed faith you can keep pressing when it appears all hope is gone. With mustard seed faith your spirit can shout thou they slay me yet will I trust Him. With mustard seed faith, you can know that you know that you know that you know that there is no weapon formed against you that can prosper. With just a grain of faith you can keep on trusting, keep on believing, keeping on holding to the hands of Jesus