Today’s sermon looks at the topic of unbelief or doubts from the story of the father of the demon possessed son. Like the father in the story, we need to learn to be brutally honest and say as this father said, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Jesus Meets the Father with a Demon Possessed Son
As Jesus is returning from the Mount of Transfiguration, He is met by His disciples, and a Father asking Him to heal his son.
Mark 9:17-18 (NLT) 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. 18 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.”
Jesus Heals the Son
Modern medical science would most likely diagnose this boy with a severe form of epilepsy, but Jesus’ words clearly show us that what was causing the boy’s condition wasn’t epilepsy, rather it was a demonic spirit.
Mark 9:20 (NLT) 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.
Mark 9:25-26 (NLT) When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, He rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” He said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.”
Jesus Addresses the Father’s Unbelief
Mark 9:23 (NLT) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father was completely honest with Jesus, he admitted he had unbelief – that he didn’t have complete faith and trust.
Why did Jesus heal this man’s son? I think it had everything to do with the father, not his faith, but rather his honesty. We all have doubts, and we need to get honest with God about our doubts.
Will We Believe?
Let’s look at four areas that need to be settled
- Will we believe… God Will Intervene – We have to believe that God knows & cares and He will come close & deliver us.
- Will we believe… When We Don’t See – Waiting is hard, but while we wait God does amazing things.
- Will we believe… God’s Word – Our obedience to God’s Word is the proof of whether or not we believe it.
- Will we believe… For The Impossible – Nothing is impossible when God is involved.
Prayer & Fasting
Now, let’s get to the end of our story and see how we can move forward in our deliverances. Besides getting honest with God, it is also important to note what Jesus told His disciples about prayer & fasting.
Mark 9:29 (NKJV) “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
Having the right tools and knowledge of their use is critical to success in any endeavor. This is especially true in prayer when it’s coupled with fasting. The combination increases our effectiveness as well as our spiritual powers by allowing us to know God’s will and calling.
Prayer and fasting are central in successfully navigating through the many struggles of life, including freedom from bondage (Isaiah 58:6), and deliverance in times of crisis (2 Chronicles 20).
If we want God to do a work in our lives, we need to be brutally honest and say as this father said, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Be honest about your doubts, it’s ok, He already knows them – then we will see God move in a mighty way.
Confess your doubts and unbelief and then begin the process of turning away from those doubts to belief and faith, that’s repentance.
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- How does God react when you have doubt and unbelief?
- When you freely admit that you have doubts, how does God bring belief back into your life?
- How does being honest with God change how you perceive a given situation?
- Would you consider a time of prayer and fasting to become closer to God?
- If you have fasted, what are some ways God has spoken to you?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?