Fear Exposed. Day fourteen...
Not all the promises God has given me have happened yet. And I have moments of anxiousness—not so much that I don't believe what God said, but that I just don't see how those promises “can” happen.
I suppose it must be the same for you. Maybe the promise is one from the Bible you've made your own. Or maybe the promise is a more specific one, just for you, that God has planted in your heart. Either way, it's easy enough to slip into an “I'm just waiting on the Lord” mindset—a mindset that's really nothing more than a breeding ground for fear.
A desperate father came to Jesus for help with his son, who was unable to talk because of an evil spirit. He had first gone to Jesus' disciples, who were unable to help the son.
One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won't let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn't do it.” (Mark 9:17–18 NLT)
The father had obviously heard about the miracles performed by Jesus, and had the hope that getting his son to Jesus or His disciples would bring healing to his son. But when the disciples were unable to help the son, the father sought out Jesus Himself.
Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long
must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy's father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can'?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:19–23 NLT)
The father wanted to believe what had been said about Jesus' power over evil spirits, but his belief was at the same time filled with unbelief.
This is what fear does. We believe… but we don't believe… and yet we want to believe… but something keeps us from fully believing.
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NLT)
Jesus went on to heal the boy, and to explain to His disciples why they couldn't.
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29 NKJV)
I believe “this kind” is a double reference. While the demon being cast out is the obvious reference, “this kind” is also referencing, on a deeper level, what is behind the ability to cast out demons. At a deeper level, what needs to “come out” (or “go out” as used in Matthew 17:21) is unbelief.
When we cast out the unbelief from our belief, then we have the ability to cast out anything that's not from God.
The obvious question is: “How can belief contain unbelief?”
We believe with our spiritual nature. We don't believe with our human nature. While our spiritual nature elevates God and His ability to deliver on His promises, our human nature doubts God can or will deliver on those promises. Our spiritual nature fills us with confidence, and says, “All things are possible with God.” Our human nature fills us with doubt and fear, and says, “Oh, really?”
When the father said, “I believe,” he “believed” with his spiritual nature. When the father said, “Help me overcome my unbelief,” he “did not believe” with his human nature.
Jesus told His disciples that prayer and fasting get rid of unbelief, which opens the door to God's supernatural power in our life. When we pray and fast, we are tuning in to the very nature of God. We are strengthened in our faith and any unbelief is simply crowded out.
Please note: Some translations delete the “fasting” portion of Mark 9:29 and the entire text of Matthew 17:21. I don't agree with this omission. Fasting has great value when it's not done as religious ceremony. Don't think of fasting as a ritual to impress or persuade God. God already wants better for you, and those you love, than you do. Think of fasting as a way to control your own human nature so you have the spiritual and mental ability to silence your human nature when it wants to rise up in unbelief.
Don't freak out when you believe and don't believe at the same time.
Just consider the source. God is promoting the believing and the devil is promoting the unbelieving. God says, “I can and I will.” Satan says, “God can't and He won't.”
As we increase in our understanding of the true nature of God, we become a harder and harder sell for the unbelief of the devil, because we know God both can and will keep His promises.
Have a good day,