Matthew 17:20-21 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
Coming back from a week of vacation is a daunting task. The rest and relaxation mode is all but gone with the smack of reality – and hundreds of emails to wade through. The smell of saltwater; the roar of waves crashing on the beach; the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets; the special company of my family on an elite opportunity to gather with my Dad for a week of memories – all have made for a once in a lifetime experience.
Now, as I welcome the routine and seemingly mundane task of ‘the daily grind’, I look forward with a renewed sense of purpose, a refreshed spirit and a desire to make a difference. But then, isn’t that what vacations are for? I see far too many return only to need a vacation from their vacation. Some are so activity driven, they pack events like sardines into their time away and never really “vacate” the mindset of busyness.
We all have mountains in our life that are daunting to look at – let alone tackle on our own. Often, we will allow that ‘mountain’ to suck the life out of the vacation from which we so recently returned. We might use that mountain to justify our need to push the vacation to the back burner – thinking we need to hold to the throttle because no one can do our job quite like us.
Christ gave His disciples the command to go out and do what He knew would exercise their faith. There were things that came easily and when confronted with a situation that required more, they were stymied. The parents of the demon-possessed boy came to Jesus saying:
Matthew 17:14-16 “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.”
Quite a predicament to be sure! Why is it that we give in or give up so easily when presented with an opportunity to exercise the faith we’ve been given? Jesus literally cuts throught the excuses and puts His finger on the problem – “…because of your unbelief”
Faith decisions are never easy. Often, they are simple, but at times they are not easy. That element of the unknown. The gnawing question of “What if…” that our enemy uses so subtily in our lives nags and gnaws at our mind when the actual decision is to simply trust and obey.
Our enemy is so ready to assault our mind with statements like; ‘Loser’, “Who do you think you are?’, ‘You’re not worthy…’ ‘Why would God love someone like you?’ or ‘How could God love someone who just did what you just did; said what you just said; went where you just went or failed to do what you knew was right?’
He IS the accuser of the brethren. It is a job skill he has honed over centuries. He knows just what it takes to stop most of us. But, when met with a person of faith, he has to use more energy, more strategy, more subtilty, to continue his assault.
Jesus addressed the situation with the disciples by giving them the key to success – your mustard seed sized faith coupled with prayer and fasting will break through the most impossible of situations. Faith bridges the gap between what we see as impossible and seeing Him who is invisible do the impossible.
So, today, as we all face Monday together, know that our Heavenly Father has not left us without the tools to make it through any and every day until we see Him in Heaven.
We will never do the will of God until we first walk with the One who commaded us to do that will in the first place. So, when things get more difficult, we must schedule a time of increased prayer and include fasting.
God’s recipe done God’s way yields great results!