Please read Mark 9:14-29
Belief is defined as acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; trust, faith or confidence in someone of something. Pistevo is Greek, it is a verb meaning persuasion, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation. I love that it is an action word in the Greek language meaning it is not passive but something that is chosen. It is a great reminder that even if something doesn’t feel like it is true, when we know it is, we can push past our flesh and choose to believe. Growing in faith is a daily process of renewing our trust in Jesus.
I know sometimes we read the stories in the bible and pass quick judgment about someone’s struggles or wonder what they were thinking, forgetting that we have insight because these things have occurred. Hindsight is 20/20 and even so the Word of God is active and alive (Hebrews 4:12)so fresh revelation can happen all the time. I have to say I am quite encouraged by the fact that these chosen people had struggles and we can learn from them.
I preach to myself often as I am writing, I am quite aware I am far from perfect. Even this week as I write about how we believe, being shameless as God’s child, in His righteousness, in surrender, in trust and yet there are areas of my life that I struggleto fully give to Him. My 10 lbs that needs to be 30, that seems to want to be my friend and stay. My eating habits that so quickly cave to unhealthy, my discipline, or lack of it with spending money and in time writing. Do I believe that God can help me to fully engage with the self-discipline fruit of the Spirit that He has implanted in me? Obviously not completely! These are areas that I continually need to surrender and trust that I am redeemed in these places and choose to believe that, going forward, one painful but necessary step at a time.
My heart is for these things but as Joyce Meyer so lovingly says, ‘We don’t need a wishbone, we need a backbone.’ So I cry out, Lord I do believe, help me in my unbelief and step toward Him and my goals. And yes it takes our co-operation to ignite the gifts He has given us, we need to be willing. This is why the story that is told in 3 of the gospels about Jesus healing a demon possessed boy encourages me. We can want something with our hearts but can be aware there are parts that aren’t fully believing it.
Mark is the only gospel writer that tells the part of the story of the boy’s father. The anguish he was experiencing watching his son possessed must have been unimaginable. With great desperation, he cried out for Jesus to do something, adding ‘if you can’. “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Aware of his own doubt –“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed,” I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:23,24
Imagine the grace Jesus extended in this situation, not only did He heal this boy and bring a new level of trust and surrender to this man, but He encouraged and taught his disciples. They had been unable to drive this demon out and Jesus had called them an unbelieving generation, the very ones who had been experiencing the life of Jesus, walking with Him.
These are the stories that encourage my heart, that my condition of unbelief is common to man but that Jesus does great and amazing things in people’s hearts. And we don’t have to stay there. We can engage in the daily process of renewing, being faithful and obedient and desiring more. I have heard often that Jesus loves us the way we are but He loves us too much to leave us there.
In Elijah House ministry training , co-founder John Sandford says the inner healing they teach is to ‘evangelize the unbelieving areas of the believers’ heart.’ I learned in this training that there are many ways that we protect our hearts from hurt and sometimes those things close us off from fully engaging in relationships and life. But as Jesus said, ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’
I can trust Him in my areas of discipline, you can trust Him to come and meet you in whatever area you are having trouble believing for. Sit with Him and seek out what parts need persuasion. Be honest in surrendering your struggles (He knows them anyway)
Pray with me please;
Lord, you know us better than anyone. Please come Father and highlight these areas that we are not fully believing you. Please help us to surrender the things that keep us stuck in our unbelief. Lord we cannot do this without you and you say that everything is possible for those who believe. To the best of our abilities we believe but we need you to evangelize those unbelieving parts with your truth Lord. Please come Lord Jesus and meet with us. Thank you that you are for us and not against us and your heart is to make us more like you. So take these molds of clay and form us Lord, heal us, let us be displays of your glory. In Jesus’ name. AMEN