The Big If
Mark 9:23 (CSB)
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can? Everything is possible for the one who believes.'”
It seems we are always and forever saying to Jesus, “but if You can do anything…” and He is saying to us, “If you can believe…”
We often don’t have the courage to believe God for good things.
Maybe we think we don’t deserve it.
We don’t think it’s within the realm of possibility.
We don’t want to get our hopes up.
We don’t want to get someone else’s hopes up.
We. Me. Them.
And therein lies our problem, eh?
The focus is on us and them, when it should be on Him.
With a focus shift, we would see and experience spectacular things. I think in our country of abundance and materialism, we are disadvantaged in the faith department. We have so much we don’t really need to ask God for. There’s less reason for us to rely on Him, than those who live in countries without our super-abundance.
Back to Mark 9: 22-23. Go ahead and get your beautiful Bible in front of you and read this portion please.
You’ll see Jesus set this guy straight about whose “if” was relevant. The scribe offered a piddling, unbelieving, “but if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.”
Jesus returned, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
You know, God is so gracious, that even in the matter of our faith, we aren’t on our own. It doesn’t fall to us alone, thank goodness. Let’s thank God, literally, that Jesus is the source and sustainer of our faith. I’m positive we would be in much more difficulty if faith depended solely upon us.
Read verse 24 again, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!’”
This narrative ends with Jesus explaining to His disciples the reason for their failure in casting out the boy’s demon: “This kind only come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (V. 29)
So, denial of ourselves for a bit is necessary for fruitful works against darkness? Yes, I think so.
If we focus less on us, less on circumstances, and less on what seems impossible, and trade out for a clear headed focus on Jesus, we have faith in action.
I’m a believer. I identify as a believer in Jesus Christ and a woman of the word.
I can’t just say this though. I can’t just read it. Faith requires action. Belief is an action.
Is there anything you know you need more faith to believe God for? Ask Him, and start with, God, I believe you are able, not with, if you can…
Read the verse below and let the words sink in deep and nourish your faith, notice the qualifier- if you remain in Jesus and His words, your prayers will be acted on.
“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (NKJV)