God's Answer to Your Ineffectiveness

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

You Can Listen to The Audio Message Here

If I asked you what is doing the most damage to our culture, families, businesses, institutions, churches – would lack of faith and fasting make your list of reasons? They should be at the top!

Many with whom we live, work, serve, and socialize are molested and managed by forces set on their destruction and we may lack the power to effectively engage to make a difference.

Let’s look at two people who need to engage against powerful forces bent on destruction but lack spiritual effectiveness. One is a parent, the other a professing follower of Jesus. (From Mk 9:14-29):

1. The Encounter (14-16). We can encounter moments where Jesus’ glory is visible, accessible, amazing (v. 1-13). But then we come off that mountain and bump right into our spiritual limits!

We encounter a need only God can meet and find ourselves in over our head, fumbling spiritual opportunities and against opposition and come face to face with our own spiritual impotency.

2. The Experience (17-22). When brought to tears, exhausted, frustrated because of what those you love, or with whom you live, work, serve, and socialize experience, bring them to Jesus.

Jesus stands nearby and ready to engage with those being harassed, abused, imprisoned, hurt and destroyed by forces bigger than us (Lk 4:17-19, Heb. 4:15-16).

3. The Examination (23-24). God wants us empowered and uses pain and problems to reveal the true condition of our faith. Self-awareness can bring us to tears – and powerful confession:

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief! We don’t have to be a spiritual giant for Jesus to send help, we need to be spiritually genuine. Lord, help me move past my ineffectiveness, my lack…

4. The Engagement (25-27). Jesus is life-giving and lifechanging. To engage Him in your situation is to surrender control to God. Both the spiritual spectator and satanic spirit take note!

Wow! But Jesus revealed this power to the disciples three times (Mk. 8:31-32, 9:9-10, 31-32) and they witnessed His glory (9:1-8). Do you think we also lack understanding (Eph. 1:15-2:1)?

I’m like the dad who doesn’t know what to do but bring those I care about before Jesus. Yet I also find myself like the disciples: Ineffective but don’t know why. So, God gives v. 28-29.

5. The Empowerment (28-29). When tempted to ask God why I’m so ineffective on behalf of those I love, and with whom I live, work, serve, and socialize, fasting is a good place to start.

The context of Mk. 8:32-9:23 calls each of us to a faith that is empowered to affect the highest good for others not greedy gain for myself. And fasting feeds true faith.

Fasting is (self)denial of what we need/crave. What you starve dies; whatever you feed grows.

There are powerful forces doing damage in your life, mine, and those around us. They need to encounter the power of God by people who believe. God’s answer to our ineffectiveness is fasting.

My friend, pray, believe the resurrection, bask in God’s glory, have faith. Then get so hungry to see the God who can do what you cannot that you’ll feed the fires of your expectancy with fasting.

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