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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

The Shepherd's Heart: Moving Mountains

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is a story told in the scriptures where a man came to Jesus and begged Him to have mercy on his son, who was vexed with a demonic spirit. He told Jesus that his son often fell into the fire or water and that he suffered severely.

"So I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him," the man said.

After sending the demon scurrying on his way, Jesus was approached, privately, by His disciples. They asked why they had not been able to help the man's son.

"Because of your unbelief," Jesus answered. "Be sure of this, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. But, honestly, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

How much faith do you have?

Some of us come to God, just as the disciples came to Jesus at one point, and ask that He might increase our faith.

The truth is, according to Jesus, the amount of faith you have is not all that important. He said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed (that's pretty small) then you can move mountains.

Apparently, Jesus considered mountain moving faith as everyday faith for believers.

Have you moved any mountains lately?

Have you even spoken to any mountains lately?

Maybe the mountains aren't moving because we're not speaking to them?

In addition to everyday, mountain moving faith, Jesus also talks about another type of faith. The faith which will be incredibly effectual against demonic power and the wiles of the enemy must be a faith that is exercised in prayer and -- some translations say -- fasting.

You see, the work of the Church is still to cast out devils -- the unclean spirits of worldliness, selfishness, greed, infidelity, lust, intemperance, Sabbath-breaking.

These devils are stubborn -- they still defy the ordinary efforts and faith of God's people.

We seem to have faith enough for ordinary duties such as giving, holding prayer-meetings, or building churches.

But according to Jesus, there are tasks that ordinary faith cannot do.

How do we get that higher faith?

He says it comes through prayer and fasting.

Some victories can only be obtained by seeking God in such earnestness that we forget the needs of the body, put down the wants of our flesh, resist steadfastly the temptations of this life, and push past our lethargy and slothfulness.

Jesus tells His disciples -- and us as well -- that though nothing is impossible for faith, the height of faith required for some victories is not to be reached in a moment or without extraordinary effort -- either with God in prayer or with ourselves through denial of our flesh.

You want to see power in your life? Take time away from that thing or those things that keep your focus off of God.

You want to see your prodigal come running up the road to the Father's House? Take time away from fulfilling the desires of the flesh and get alone with God.

You want to know where God is leading you and what He is asking you to do with your future? Quit acting like a sponge and soaking up the things of the world and take time to soak in the Holy Spirit of God.

You want to see God heal a friend or loved one -- or yourself -- of some sickness or disease? Stop giving place to worry and doubt and go into your private place with God and stay there until you get an answer.

The Bible says that we have not because we ask not -- and it also says that many times we have not because we ask in the wrong mindset or attitude. What has been your attitude in prayer as of late?

When was the last time you cried out to God on behalf of someone else? When was the last time you brought your petitions before the throne of God expecting Him to hear your prayers and answer accordingly?

Where's your faith level at today? Remember -- it's not the amount of the faith you have, it's the type of faith.

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BOB G. STEWART, Columnist
The Shepherd's Heart