Monday, January 30, 2012

A Thought

Mark 9:14-29 tells the story of a man and his deaf-mute son who had been so afflicted since birth.  Jesus’ disciples were unable to cast out this demon, but Jesus told the boy’s father that through faith, “all things are possible to him who believes” (vs 23).  The father’s prayers asks Jesus to “help my unbelief” (vs 24).  Jesus finally commanded the spirit to leave the boy’s body, and so it was done.  Finally Jesus’ disciples asked Him why it was they could not cast out that demon.  Jesus answered them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (vs 29). 

We often forget that what is asked of us takes much more than a desire to see something happen; there must be resolve to see it through.  Gifts from above are given to each of us according to the Lord’s own purposes, so it stands to reason that we should not expect to be so richly endowed unless we can show the Lord we can be trusted with such remarkable gifts – because with such gifts come also enormous responsibility.  It is a lot like what we do with our children or employees; before we trust them with something really big, they have to show us they can be trusted.  They must earn that trust.  And it will take much more than a simple word or a promise.  So it is with our heavenly Father.

This is not about being or getting “saved”.  It is about “sanctification”, the pursuit of holiness; spiritual perfection.  It is not a one-time shot; it is a lifelong resolve and commitment to something much greater than personal happiness or fulfillment.  It is entirely about service to the Lord and His Church.  It is about building up the kingdom of Heaven, not “making the most of what we have while we’re here”.  It is about learning to reorient our “desire” to match the will of our Lord, learning to live and love as Jesus lived and loved while on this earth, testified to in His mighty works and perfected in His willingness to lay down His life for His beloved Church.

This will only be accomplished, however, by “nothing but prayer and fasting”; not one or the other as our time time allows.  So we ask ourselves: what exactly are we committed to?


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