Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Bad Ideas (Part 21)
We Can't Do It!
'Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.'
Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.' And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?'
Matthew 17:15-19 (NKJV)*
We worry about unanswered prayer and challenges too big for us to bear. We wonder about the gifts from Jesus and the disciples who would follow Him. When they felt helpless, their Teacher was there. But why did they fail to cast out demons, and what if we fail in the Lord's work, too?
Jesus said they failed from a lack of faith. But as their faith grew, so did their power, as will ours when we're super-charged in God.
If faith is the fuel that drives God's engines, if His people have been idling at home, if they confront an urgent need for speed, their cars may run out of gas on the road. Consider some safe-driving instructions:
1. If Christian bodies could be called engines, if the Lord is our Manufacturer, then we have no existence without Him. If we don't maintain connection with Him, then we may forfeit His service contract. Jesus said, 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30).
2. If a dire situation arises, if we turn quickly to God in response--but we started this trip close to empty, forgetting to keep our faith tanks filled up, then His power may not come as we hope. Our cars were not test-driven properly to win the world's most important races.**
3. If fasting is like an engine cleaning, if our prayers become too shallow, then fasting is one way to go deeper. When we empty ourselves before the Lord, God cleanses us and comes to fill the void.*** Paul, the racer, was 'In castings often' (1 Corinthians 11:27).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Instead of race cars, you're airborne jets. You need even more faith to fuel you. When Christian cars stay parked in church lots and air travel seems scary to them, pray for their engines to be retuned, but don't allow them to hold you back.
What we can't do, God will do--through faith.
To Be Continued
* A Boy Is Healed (the entire story): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17%3A14-21&version=NKJV
** Paul the racer: Hebrews 12:1-2: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=heb+12%3A1-2&version=NASB; 1 Corinthians 9:24: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+9%3A24&version=NASB
*** See Ellicott's Commentary in regards to fasting referring to Matthew 17:21: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/17-21.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.