Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 12
In whatever struggle we are facing, the key to victory is faith.
Satan’s forces are at war with us
Satan doesn’t let go easily, this demon in this boy was difficult to cast out. It was constantly trying to torment him, and even kill him.
Satan is prowling around, looking for someone to devour.
Unbelief Cripples Us
Mark 3 – Jesus gave the disciples the authority to cast out demons.
Matthew 17:19-20 – The disciples seemed to struggle with a lack of faith. There are numerous places throughout the gospels where Jesus rebukes and chastises them for their lack of faith.
When we are faced with an obstacle that doesn’t move, it causes frustration and anger.
Unbelief is not a neutral force, it is empowering to Satan.
Faith Makes All Things Possible
A mountain is big. A mustard seed is very small. Its difficult to come up with two objects that are more different in size. The lesson here is that God can move powerfully even with only a small bit of faith.
Our faith needs to be alive and growing. Like a seed it should have the potential to grow into a large bush.
God is so powerful and so generous with his power. All we need to bring to the table is a mustard seed of faith.
Now, we do need to balance things here. Jesus is speaking directly to the power that God can and does give us to overcome our the obstacles in our lives.
Faith Needs Exercise in Prayer
Faith and prayer are tightly tied together. Prayer can strengthen faith, the two go hand in hand.
Persistence in prayer is necessary to get rid of obstacles. The father of this boy who is demon possessed has been persistently seeking help for years. He is also humble, he came to Jesus and fell on his knees before Jesus. In this desperate situation the father is also extremely honest. “Help me with my unbelief.”
Prayer needs to be persistent, humble and honest… it will have effect.
What About Fasting?
Jesus encourages fasting, he told his disciples that they should fast in such a way that didn’t draw attention to themselves.
Prayer and fasting is a consistent theme throughout the Bible. Fasting can strengthen our prayers.
Resistance against Satan isn’t futile. Without faith we are crippled, but with faith we can defeat the attacks of Satan.
When we are facing something tough, whether it be internal or external, instead of giving a spiritual shrug and giving into defeat we need to get on our knees… and stay on our knees.
God is capable of moving mountains. The question isn’t whether God can do something on our behalf, but rather, are we facing this obstacle with prayer and faith?