Your Place in His-Story by Faith
Mark 9:22-24, “if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." "’If you can’?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
God is accomplishing something through history! He sees the top-down picture; you can even say that he’s moving the chess pieces, fully knowing the whole game, and fully able and willing to win it all! We who only see the pieces around us cannot possibly know even one move into the future, or even our role in the moment, apart from the chess Grandmaster’s revelation of various stages as well as the assurances of the end result. Meanwhile we are reminded to trust His Master Hand with us, even if we are moved as a sacrifice toward the final victory!
The man who approached Jesus with the demon-possessed son in Mark 9 needed to come to the recognition of who he was speaking to! His vantage point was that of the failure of Jesus’ disciples to drive it out. Quite often our prayers do not seem to be much, and they are not, when they are not accompanied by faith. This faith is based upon the understanding that we are creatures of the All-powerful, all-knowing, and omnibenevolent Creator! Having the highest view of God aids us in our prayers: He cannot fail! (Isaiah 51:6, Lamentations 3:22, Zephaniah 3:5)
Jesus addressed a man who at least had the smidgen of faith to go to Him. He may have gone on the basis of 1st or 2nd hand testimony alone, but he did act upon it. We too show our faith by our actions; our active response to the circumstances around us, but the greater faith is demonstrated by living out a visible witness of trust in the unseen promises of God! Our Savior instructs us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 (Knowing that the Kingdom perfection is out there, existing in heaven, then vocalizing our longing for it to be seen on earth. Then, we act on this trust in the simplest of requests: 11 “Give us today our daily bread.” (I don’t know what the future may hold, but I trust in You for what I need today)
As Jesus reminded the disciples on the greater faith, “Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) This life of trust is no walk in the park for those of us who are so reliant on what we can see, and so God gives us another special resource: the past…namely the past faith & failures of men and God’s faithfulness as recorded in the Bible for our benefit! This is no mere “spiritual-speak”; look to 1 Corinthians 10 and by faith hear it speaking to you! 1 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (Hear Paul’s masterful use of allegory, and how God’s sustenance included the spiritual)
5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. (Now for its connection to us, and application for our lives: 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did— and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did— and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did— and were killed by the destroying angel.”
(Again, the purpose of scripture for us, as well as a great Word of hope: 11 “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” We have been given so much! The “fulfillment of the ages”, namely Jesus Christ, has been revealed to you, and we must respond with greater faith than the man with a possessed son. We must trust that we are a part of His-Story, and that we have a role to play in this adventure! We must believe that the darkness is greater before the dawn, but that the light is coming, and “He who promised is faithful!” (Hebrews 10:23)
Apply our God’s promises with faith: Habakkuk 2:3 “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” See it all point to Christ: Hebrews 10:37 “For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay.”
Know that His salvation leads to your deliverance, and His Glory! Isa 51:5-8 “My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. "Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations."