Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be Prepared

Matthew 17:15-21 –vs 21- But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting.
When I was thirteen or fourteen years old I joined the Boy scouts of America. I did not stay long because of sports and other activities (girls), but during my time in the scouts I learned much.  If I had to pick one thing that stuck with me after leaving the scouts it would be the motto, “Be Prepared.” There is loads of information packed into those two words. It is applicable for every situation that a person will encounter in life.  The most important message that the motto communicates is “I am accountable for what happens to me”. It is no one else’s fault when things go the wrong way and I suffer, I only have myself to blame.  Of course not everything that happens can be planned for, but the majority of the time forethought and planning will save the day.
While reading the scriptures, I came across a passage that fits the idea of being prepared. In the book of Matthew, the seventeenth chapter and starting in the fifteenth verse Jesus is addressed by a man with a problem. This man, as Matthew calls him, comes to Jesus on his knees and begs for the Lords help. The man had a son who was an epileptic intensified by demon possession. Evidently the son suffered seizures quite frequently, and often he would fall into the fire or into water. The man was at his wits end trying to keep his son from harm.  He tells Jesus that he had come to the disciples but they were unable to help. Jesus expresses his disappointment and tells the man to bring the child to Him. Jesus cast out the demon and the child was cured.
There is much to be learned through this event, but I want to focus in on one thing, and that is what Jesus told the disciples’ when they came to Him scratching their heads. The disciples came to Jesus apart from everyone and asked “”Why could we not cast it out?” The answer may not have been what they expected. Jesus said it is because of your lack of faith, and Jesus adds, “But this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.” The problem with the disciples lay in their lack of faith which prevented them from being prepared for the unexpected.  I am sure there are many reasons for the disciple’s lack of faith at that time, but the bottom line is they were not prepared, and Jesus was.
Since the disciples offer no argument, it is safe to say they got it, and Jesus was right.  The lesson is, by faith keep yourself prepared.  The basic preparation of the Christian is prayer and fasting.  Go where the power is. In the end we know that the disciples did get it, and went on to do more wonderful miracles through faith in Christ. The power still exists and it is still only a prayer away. Jesus said in verse twenty, “If ye have the faith of a mustard seed ye shall say into this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”   God through our Lord Jesus has all power waiting for you. Are you facing a challenge in your life that just won’t go away? Well, maybe verse twenty one is for you, “But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting.”  I have something’s in my life that needs that kind of power. Do you?  Will you commit with me to give them over to the Lord with prayer and fasting and watch Gods power make small work of our challenges? I will be praying for you. May the Lord Bless.