Lord, If You Can…
Focus Scripture: Luke 9:37-43 ESV
37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
Read Mark’s version of this event:
21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Mark’s gospel records the father’s faith struggle.
“…if you can do anything…” (Mark 9:22).
The father’s words were recorded for us all to read.
What if we were to hear our thoughts,
our doubts, and our fears so clearly?
What if someone were to record the dialog
that goes on in our minds?
We probably would be shocked.
Jesus repeated his words,
“‘If you can!'” (Mark 9:23).
TAKING THE TRUTH TO HEART
How many times have we unknowingly thought,
“If you can…”
We know that you are God.
We know that you can do all things.
And yet our flesh is so weak.
Our minds are darkened with sin.
Sin lurks in the corners of our hearts and undermines our faith.
We don’t want to be unaware of those seemingly insignificant thoughts.
We don’t want to just brush them aside.
We need to take every thought captive.
What appears to be an inconsequential drone,
a trifling wisp, is the insidious,
treacherous, and crafty way of sin and darkness.
One rotten apple can destroy the whole bunch.
One wrong thought left unaddressed infects our thinking.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…
Be on the watch.
Be a watchman for your soul.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
guard your heart, your mind, and your soul.
Speak the truth in love to yourself.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me– practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
AND BRINGING IT TO LIFE
Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.
Lord, help us have only truth in our inward parts.
Thank you that you love us even in the midst of our faith struggle!
Thank you that you are faithful even when we are weak.