Our evening prayer meeting was very good. It is wonderful to see humble and faithful believers sitting at the feet of Jesus, expecting to be blessed by God’s Word and ready to pray. We are in a season of spiritual warfare. Today we learned more how to prevail against the evil spirit of unbelief. We preached from the Book of Mark 9:14-32.
Jesus went up the Mountain of Transfiguration with His closest disciples: Peter, James and John. They saw the Kingdom of God coming down with power. They saw the Lord in His glory. Coming down the mountain, they met a crowd, arguing and quarrelling. A man wanted to take advantage of the healing power of Jesus and brought his sick son to the disciples for prayer. The son should have been a young man by now. From ‘childhood’ he was afflicted by a dumb evil spirit that manifested from time to time as epileptic convulsions. The disciples tried to cast the demon out, but they could not. This is the general background of the scene that Jesus and His three disciples met at the foot of the mountain.
The devil manifests in this story as an evil spirit of unbelief. Unbelief is defined as lack of total faith In Jesus Christ or lack of obedience to His Word. Unbelief is the poison that destroys the chance to experience miracles (Mk 6:5, 6). We need to identify, fight and prevail against the demon of unbelief. The battle is done in the name of Jesus! The victory is achieved only in the name of Jesus!
In this story there are three types of unbelief:
THE UNBELIEF OF THE SCRIBES
The failure of the disciples to cast out the demon ignited strong arguments between them and the religious scribes. They ‘questioned’ the disciples. .In Greek, this word means to investigate, to dispute or to question another. This is the first lesson: The devil will argue with you, trying to prove that you can never be successful in casting him out. He will oppose you and intimidate you. This opposition comes mostly from religious spirits. The scribes had a spirit of proud, incurable unbelief in Jesus and His ministry of miracles. They become judges of the disciples, mocking them as failures in ministry. The same religious demon discouraged the father saying that there is no hope or solution for his son. This religious unbelief is the worst of all. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders by calling them ‘a faithless generation’. This unbelief, if un-repented, it will send you to hell! God forbid!
THE UNBELIEF OF THE DISCIPLES
Jesus often rebuked His disciples for their unbelief, lack of faith or too small faith. The nine disciples tried but failed to deliver the boy. Jesus said that it was because of their unbelief. This unbelief is not as bad as that of the scribes. The root of this unbelief is forgetfulness and distraction. They knew that Jesus can do all things. In the past, they had a successful ministry. They had cast out demons and healed people. But this time they took it for granted that they can come and do warfare in their own wisdom and power. That is religious pride. That is why they failed. This is a big lesson: going to confront the devil in your power will end in failure in ministry. If you go in flesh to do spiritual warfare, the demons will either refuse to cooperate or they will attack you. That is why we need to be in the spirit especially during warfare prayers. That is why we need to fast from time to time, as lead by the Holy Spirit. Fasting makes us weak physically. That is a good reminder to pray for the strength of the Holy Spirit. If you are strong in the flesh, you will be weak in the spirit. Remember that the nine disciples who failed in this deliverance exercise were not with Jesus up the mountain. Peter James and John saw Jesus in His glory! It is much easier to exercise faith once you have seen and experienced the glory of Jesus! Another lesson is this: Pray that you may see the glory of Jesus!! That is the final cure of unbelief!
THE FATHER’S UNBELIEF
This type of unbelief is ‘the best’ spiritually speaking. It is the easiest to be cast out and changed into faith. The father was attacked by the religious scribes and disappointed by the disciples. Because of his son, he too had suffered for many years. The little faith he had was enough to bring his son to Jesus. There was trouble but eventually his son was healed. That is a great lesson. If all men fail, Jesus never fails. The father is the only one who humbled himself to acknowledge his unbelief and prayed for deliverance and for faith. This is great lesson: be honest about your doubts. Doubts deceive! Acknowledge them and fight against them. If you are a child of God, you believe that Jesus is Lord. But you may have problems in believing that God will grant you a miracle of healing, for example. Do not ignore your failures. Pray for a change of mind and heart. Your heart will change before the situation will change. Like the father, pray specific prayers, not just general requests! Do not allow doubts to overcome you! Victory is possible! In the name of Jesus! Another lesson is this: we need to continue in battle until there is victory. Discouragement should be fought too. The devil is not defeated until the end of the battle! Pray until you can freely praise, for the victory has come! “Lord, help my unbelief!”