The Men in Christ's Life: Father of a Boy with an Evil Spirit
- Thursday, March 19, 2009
What I Have Learned from This Father:
1. As you grow closer to Christ, looking to him will come naturally.
I love how the disciples—and even the crowd—turned to Jesus when he walked up. They (including the father) turn not just quickly, but with wonder, and are overwhelmed. They knew who He was and what He could do. They had seen or experienced His power. They turned to Him because the disciples couldn't do what they wanted in healing this boy. Sometimes we can quickly make decisions based on past experiences with Christ—and that is good, but sometimes we can't and we need time to talk directly to God. Do we turn to Jesus when we do have questions, concerns, or troubles? How about when things are going great and we need to praise Him? Do we really seek Him for His direction? Do we do all of this with excitement because we trust His answers or do our feet drag, not wanting to hear what He has to say? Are we afraid of what he might say or tell us to do? As we draw closer to Christ, it will come naturally to keep going to Him. And not only will you grow, but others around you will as well.
When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
2. Not everything we ask for will be given to us, at least not in the way we think.
Sometimes we come to the Lord asking for healing, for encouragement, for help with finances, for God to bring us the love of our lives, the right job, etc. Sometimes God gives us what we want, and sometimes he doesn't. I believe God answers all prayer with yes, no, maybe and not now. This man came to find Jesus and his disciples, but when he got to where they were he encountered the disciples first. He asked that they would heal his son. Maybe it was because he had heard they had the power like Jesus or maybe the disciples told them they could. We know in some instances the disciples were also using their gifts to heal. But why not now? Why didn't it work? Because Jesus had a purpose in waiting to heal this child. And sometimes he has a purpose in having us wait, too. Wait to give us what we want. The new house, the perfect promotion, the healing of a loved one or the salvation of a loved one. Remember, God's timing is perfect. His purpose will always prevail. Sometimes we need to stop trying to make our lives happen. Why in the world would you want something God doesn't want for you? Why would you want to be out of His will?
"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked. A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
3. Jesus is frustrated with the father and with me, too.
Just like in Jesus' time, He was very frustrated with those around him. They (including this father) had seen His power, His miracles, His ability to heal and yet, they still had doubt. Each of us reading this right now has had the experiences of millions of peoples' testimony since Christ's birth. We actually have the Bible as our instruction book and yet, we act just like those did in relation to this little boy. As if we don't know why we are the way we are? Why we sin? Why we doubt or don't believe? And Jesus is asking me the same thing he asked the people standing around this possessed boy. How much longer shall he put up with me, with us? What is it going to take? What is it going to take to make you stop doing some of the things you know are wrong? What is it going to take for you to change? To reconcile a relationship? To ask forgiveness from someone? To stop lying to those you love? How long, how long?
"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
4. There are many people lost in our world, even possessed by the enemy.
If you are saved and have asked the Lord into your life then you have the light; the Holy Spirit is living in you. Understand that the enemy, the devil, cannot live in you anymore—although most of you know the enemy can still greatly influence you. This boy was possessed, lost and the enemy was in him, affecting him, controlling him to the point of trying to kill him whenever possible. Jesus, asked the father how long he had been this way to show the crowd that this behavior had been the same for many years. This would be a way to show the power of what Jesus could do in an instant. In an instant, God can heal us, fix us, provide for us, restore us, etc. It all comes from Him. This father had endured years of seeing his son in pain. Finally he learned where the healing came from. Praise the Lord for his healing!
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
5. Everything is possible for him who believes. It is possible, but it doesn't mean it will happen.
First of all, I was so excited to read this scripture again. Everything is possible. Anything I can dream of, think of, pray for, etc., is possible. I could be president. Well, not sure I would want that. I could invent a cure for cancer. Well, it would help if I was a doctor. Hmmm, I could write and teach the Word of God to tens of thousands of people, write Bible studies and travel around the world, without a seminary degree, and being a woman and over 40. Yes, everything is possible for him who believes, and I believe. But what is also important to learn here is just because I believe, it doesn't mean God will give it. It's about trusting him for what is best for me. It's about faith. It's about peace in His direction. It's also about allowing Him to equip me so that I can do whatever He wants me to do. This father would be able to see what the power of God could do.
But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." "If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
6. I learned about humility.
If you can do anything, take pity and help us. Not that he believed Christ couldn't but it came across to me as " if you want to do anything, please understand my situation ... I need your help." And the Lord helped him. Sometimes the Lord allows pain in our lives, situations and hurts so that we learn to grow in our relationship with Him. He may be trying to see if you are serious about making changes, about following Him and about serving Him. So what do you need to be humble about? What do you need to go to Christ about and lay before him? For what do you need to say I can't do this, and I need your help in my life?
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
7. This father taught me about courage.
I shared in my opening paragraph of how it's OK to ask for help. Help to even believe. We are the flesh and as a result we get turned around daily, hourly and even sometimes minute to minute. It takes courage like this father to say, "Help me to overcome by unbelief." He wasn't saying I dont' believe; he just needed continuous help to believe, because he sins and falls short. Sometimes we can get prideful when it comes to being around other believers. We don't want anyone to think that we aren't living this righteous life perfectly. That we would NEVER doubt God or say we don't believe sometimes. STOP and be honest with yourself. Every time you sin you are saying to God that you don't believe. But you know what is cool here? Each time we turn back from our sin, Jesus is there, waiting.
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