Daily Reflection – 2/20/2023
When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.” ( Mark 9:14-29)
Today’s scripture speaks of belief and unbelief, and faithfulness and unfaithfulness Experiences that have occurred in each of our lives.
Aren’t there times when we tentatively pray to God saying, “If you can do anything, have compassion on me and help me” (verse 22)? And doesn’t Jesus whisper to you “If you can believe, all things are possible for him who believes?” But somehow, we can’t summon up the power to believe totally.
But all of us are works in progress. That which God loves to see is that we continue to turn to Him, regardless of what our starting point is.
The disciples themselves teach us a second lesson about being more faithful in our prayer life. When Jesus casts out a demon which the disciples could not, the implication is not Jesus saying, “I’m God and you’re not, so of course you could never cast out a demon.” The implication rather is that while Jesus had been fasting and praying, the disciples had not been.
Another example that we all have been through. We pray the words, but we don’t bring the words to life in our actions and thoughts. Even worse is when we add a thought . . . “but if you will grant my prayer, I will”.
And now it’s your turn. Are there “demons,” difficulties, in your life that will not go away? Maybe the problem is lack of a fervent faith. Are you faithfully praying? Not just praying about the one great difficulty in your life but praying, by which I mean praying without ceasing and praying for all things?
Let me try and explain that. More than anything, Jesus wants an ongoing relationship with you.
Not one that is once a day. Certainly not one that is once a week.
Not one whose mark is a formulaic prayer said hurriedly.
Not one which is conditional. You know, it is something like this : “ Lord if you grant me thois request, then I promise to do this.”
That is not a relationship. That is not even a “casual friendship.”
A true relationship in life is ongoing, respectful, loving and ever desiring to be better.
Then why can’t we have that with Christ?
One where Christ is consciously in our left 24/7.
One where our respect for Him will means that if there is a cross between His will and our will, His will always wins.
One where our love for the gift of Himself is so overwhelming that we will never consciously do those things that would tarnish our love for him.
When all of that is present in our love then so is Jesus.
God is calling you to greater faith and faithfulness. Begin wherever you are but make a new beginning today. Turn to God more fully than you did yesterday.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet”.
There is no shame in being weak. In fact, God has chosen the weak things of the world that He might exalt them and humble the strong things. But there is shame and guilt for being weak and not crying out to God when you are weak. God’s judgment is not upon the weak but upon those who refuse to turn to Him for help.