God is good and the devil is not. God is all powerful and the devil is the defeated foe. Why then do Christians fall under the devil’s limited power?
Our Friday afternoon Bible study read through Mark 11 yesterday, in the New King James Version.
After each section, I’d teach what it meant with God’s help and I also listened to the others’ opinions.
When we came near the end of the chapter at verse 19, we’re told they left the city in the evening.
In the beginning of the chapter Jesus looked through the leaves of a fig tree hoping for figs because He was hungry. It wasn’t the season for the fruit but I’ve heard that occasionally there is a second growth.
When the tree proved to be unfruitful, Jesus cursed the fig tree.
Mark 11:20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
Mar 11:21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
Mar 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
Mar 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Mar 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
I stopped a minute to think. How often do I pray with absolute, unshakable faith?
A few years back, I prayed for a pastor set to go in for surgery by the end of the week. In full faith, I told him God could heal him so he wouldn’t need the procedure. When he asked me to pray, my faith wavered. I did pray but he knew my confidence had fled.
Every month now, we pray for healing at our church. My faith rarely wavers and if it does, I ask God to give me faith, right in the middle of the praying and receive it. Sometimes God moves and answers our prayers. Other times, it seems as though people leave with their illnesses intact.
I don’t doubt God’s ability. I’ve seen too many answers to prayer and many healings.
Perhaps our sin hinders God’s response or we harbor bitterness against others. Maybe we’re in a Job situation.
When King David asked God to cleanse his heart and renew a right spirit within him, I believe he received what he asked for, a right standing with God. He also lived a life filled with consequences for previous sins.
When King David ignored his son’s sinful behavior and failed to punish him, as noted in 2 Samuel 13, Absalom, another son of David’s with a different mother, took vengeance. Things got worse from there.
I believe when we Christians live for ourselves and disregard God’s commands, we empower the devil to come against us and God allows consequences so hopefully, we’ll wake up and commit ourselves to follow God with all our being. The devil is defeated but he’s crafty and he lays traps for people.
May God bless you and me. I need Him more all the time.