Search This Blog

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two Things that Change Me

“Because you have so little faith,” replied Jesus. “I assure you that if you have as much faith as a grain of mustard-seed you can say to this hill, ‘Up you get and move over there!’ and it will move—you will find nothing is impossible. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:20-21, J.B. Phillips).

Many versions of the Bible do not include verse 21 in Matthew 17–“this kind does not go out except my prayer and fasting.” Jesus has just been approached by a man whose son has been tormented by a demon since he was a child. The other disciples have been unable to help, and have they just asked Jesus why they were unable to rid the son of his demon. Jesus answers that it is because of their little faith. In that illusive verse 21, Jesus explains that faith—strong enough to cast out the son’s demon—is discovered through prayer and fasting. 

This verse is clear instruction how we can find a strong enough faith to rid ourselves of the “personal demons” of worry, fear, lack of confidence, lack of trust, and negativity! Prayer and fasting are the two things which will make a difference!

Prayer isn’t just telling God what I desire, but is about listening and understanding what He desires. Prayer doesn’t change God, but me. When I enter into deep personal communication with God, the Spirit of the Lord within me prays to the Holy Spirit. I have surrendered control (Romans 8:26). My heart prays and receives faith without the analytical perspective the mind attempts to interject. My “personal demons” can’t invade this depth of prayer.

Fasting focuses my mind on God's faithfulness. "Man doesn’t live on bread alone,” Jesus said, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Another time the disciples asked Jesus to eat, and he said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish His purpose" (John 4:34). When I fast and seek God's lasting spiritual nourishment instead of the temporary satisfaction of my own, my mind is focused on Him. Supernatural peace is discovered at the moment my mind surrenders control (Isaiah 26:3). The need for assurance is exchanged for His peace (Philippians 4:6-8).

When we surrender control to God—whether in prayer or food—we receive more of the Lord’s strength to handle life’s uncertainty. As we grow in these disciplines, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit increases, revealing our own inadequacy, and teaching us how to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). I want a strong enough faith move any mountain! Do you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

As Christ Has Loved Me

    What kind of love do I extend? Do I love with the love of Christ? Jesus said to love my enemies; do good to those who hate me; bless tho...