Updated: Jun 15, 2018
One day, Jesus’ disciples were going along healing everybody left and right when they came across a boy who was demon possessed (apparently having seizures). So they exercised their faith as they had been doing all morning, and with complete boldness in front of the crowds they commanded healing. Uh-oh. Nothing happened! The boy continued to writhe on the ground, moaning and foaming at the mouth, while his horrified father watched on and the crowds pointed and shook their heads.
How embarrassing! The boy’s father brought his son to Jesus, explaining that his disciples were not able to heal him. Poor disciples. It would sort of be like someone exposing your ineffective workmanship to your boss and accusing you of doing shoddy work.
But wait a minute. How could it be that they had been healing people for days and weeks on end when suddenly they hit a roadblock? How can they possibly have run out of faith? If anything, they should have had more faith and moreconfidence based on past successes. Jesus’ reprimand is telling:
19 And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” — Mark 9:19 NASB
Notice he zeroed in on their unbelief. It may be a subtle difference, but it is not quite the same as faith. Faith is a noun, a substance. Believe is an action word. The disciples were challenged by a demon. Their faith was strong, but their belief wavered when the miracle of healing did not take place immediately as they had been accustomed to seeing. That demon started manifesting, daring them to continue, and they couldn’t make it stop. To top it off, crowds of people were watching and waiting. But the demon was no match for Jesus:
20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21
Look what a show the demon presented. Scary stuff. How often do we have the head knowledge that we can be healed but, when results are not evident, we lack the conviction that anything will happen when we pray?
And He (Jesus) asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
From my bed-bound vantage point, I can really identify with this father. I have seen enough healing with my own eyes to know that it is real and that it happens today. What I need is to exercise my faith by believing once and for all for my own healing to manifest. It’s not so easy when I tell my leg to move and it just sits there mocking me.
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” 26 After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.
Can you imagine the drama of this entire scene playing out? If it were to happen during a healing service today, and the command was made for a deaf and mute spirit to leave and not come back — but then the demon made the person go into terrible convulsions with foaming at the mouth and then appeared to kill the person — it would set the stage for a wave of fear and unbelief to grip the hearts of everyone present. There would have to be solid faith and unquestioning belief, without fear and without wavering, to handle a demon like that. It looks scary but at the name of Jesus, it has to bow. It can manifest all it wants but ultimately it has no choice because there is power in the name of Jesus to overtake any demon. When we see the impossible it comes down to this: We believe, but we need help with our unbelief!
28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
You may be familiar with this verse ending in “prayer and fasting.” But did you know that the part about fasting is not included in all manuscripts? It appears to have been tacked on.
What about prayer? What I think Jesus is saying here is that we need a rich prayer life and intimacy with God to build up our spiritual muscles and equip us with armor for the battle. I really don’t know if this is correct, but my guess is that the disciples were so busy healing people (and understandably excited and motivated to do so) that they failed to take adequate time to worship God in personal prayer and devotion. Perhaps they needed to be reminded where the power was coming from.
Of course I’m referring to private prayer life. We can, and certainly should, pray for the sick. But Jesus said, “heal the sick.” He gave us the authority to directly heal someone in His name. If we follow His model, we see that He spoke healing into people. He said it, and it was so. There is no sense in begging and pleading for God to do something that He already did when He took the stripes on His back for our healing (Isaiah 53:5). A true blood-washed child of God can confidently lay hands on the sick and say, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.”
Here is where prayer comes in. Paul basically said, look. Just quit worrying about stuff. Pray, tell God what you need, and be thankful the whole time. That’s how you’re going to find peace. That’s how you’re going to guard your heart.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7, NASB
You may recall that in the last newsletter (part one), I quoted from Psalm 42. It expresses the jumble of emotions that accompanies someone who loves God deeply yet can’t help but sometimes wonder, why all the struggles? King David started out in despair and discouragement, too, but he discovered that being in God’s presence was the breakthrough he needed. Verse 11 is his victory shout and response to the enemy who mocks and taunts him with his wounding words: “Where is this God of yours?” David’s faith-filled response reflects his unwavering belief in God’s own faithfulness and goodness. Here is how it reads in the Passion Bible:
So I say to my soul, “Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disturbed. For I know my God will break through for me.” Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise Him all over again. Yea, living before His face is my saving grace! — Psalms 42:11, Passion Bible
So be like David and talk to your soul. Tell it not to be discouraged. It’s just a matter of time before God will break through for you, too. We can have faith in this and defeat the devil in our lives. I’m counting on it! What a testimony you and I will have if we refuse to doubt and patiently wait on Him!
Isn’t it time you experienced Christ’s healing power in your body? If you are suffering from illness, pain (physical, spiritual, or emotional), or if circumstances are overwhelming you, please don’t wait. Call the Clearwater Healing House at (727) 461-1100 today and schedule an appointment. There is no charge.
Let us love you with the love that never fails. A love that never fails means we do not quit until your healing is manifested. Our motto is: Broken? Guaranteed to leave changed!