|Posted on October 17, 2021 at 12:00 AM|
In Mark 9 we read about a man who came to Jesus to ask for healing for his son who, as scripture describes it, “has a mute spirit.” Later, Jesus says the boy is possessed by an “unclean” spirit. We know from other scripture passages that an unclean spirit can affect its host in many physical and emotional ways.
It’s more than just the Hollywood portrayal we’ve seen. There is true warfare going on around us right now – both on earth and in the heavenlies -- and Satan is vying for our attention in any way he can. More than anything the Enemy would like to make us deaf and mute. Deaf so we can’t even hear God’s voice, and mute so that if we do happen to catch a whisper we can’t speak it out and infect those around us with hope.
We are looking at an unprecedented time in our world. Hate and distrust has spread like a wildfire – not just through our neighborhood, city or state – but through the entire planet. The battle is heating up, and we’re not the only ones armoring up for the fight.
It’s so easy to resort to anger when we view the state of our world. The anger really comes because it’s more manageable than fear, and the truth is we are terrified on many levels. Let me encourage you, that feeling of helpless rage is not an ungodly emotion and it’s certainly not an indicator of a lack of faith in God. It’s simply a human response to a very real threat.
What we must fight is allowing our emotion to become a consuming spirit within us – and one that causes us to become deaf to the direction that God is telling us we need to take. While the anger may not be possessing us, it can certainly control us if we give it that authority. And that makes it a spiritual stronghold that has to be broken.
Argentinian evangelist and author Ed Silvoso defines a spiritual stronghold as “a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept as unchangeable, situations we know are contrary to the will of God.” Isn’t that a perfect description of what is happening to us today? We are so overcome with fear, something we manifest as anger, that we are becoming hopeless and unable to hear God’s calming voice telling us that He is still in control of the situation.
But let’s go back to the angry and fearful father we read about in Mark 9. The disciples had done everything they could to try and rid the boy of the unclean spirit but had not had any success. Just picture this youngster and his frantic dad. The boy was likely covered in burns and scars from throwing himself into fires and water, probably disfigured and close to death, he’d been shunned by everyone around him (again a response to fear), and since it had been going on from early childhood, stripped of hope for a life or a future.
Jesus steps onto the scene and this bereft man tries one last time to get help for his child. The Savior tells the man “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” I can’t help but wonder what this dad’s thought process was. Perhaps, as we sometimes get, he was weary from begging God for the same thing over and over. It’s even possible he was starting to doubt whether God existed or even cared about him and his son. Certainly, the disciples who were Jesus’ emissaries, had been incapable of providing any relief.
So the man, in a fit of complete desperation and honesty says “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Instead of responding in anger because the father had admitted he had doubt, Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit, and reaches out a hand to the boy who has collapsed at His feet.
You see, God isn’t angry at our unbelief. He doesn’t punish us for our ‘lack of faith,’ as some would imply. He doesn’t even stop working on our behalf when we are feeling disbelieving, angry or afraid. If we think that miracles won’t happen simply because we are uncertain, then we really have no idea where our deliverance is coming from. And we surely don’t understand the incredible love that God has for us, let alone His limitless power.
So it’s okay to let the Lord know when we’re feeling overwhelmed. But let’s not forget to allow that little sliver of hope into our hearts and ask God to deliver us from our circumstance and our doubts. It’s a great big scary and overwhelming world we live in, full of so much chaos and strife. Satan wants to use every bit of that to keep us bound up and unable to hear God through the clamor. But even he has no real idea of the vast and unmatched power of the God we serve, and who calls us His child. He will help us, and He will even help our unbelief.
Be blessed, my Friend. God is on the throne!
Comments are disabled.