Summary: Even after the battle has raged - there is still something on you and in you that God can use to his glory. This was also preached (with slight modifications) for a preacher’s anniversary celebration.
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.