Mark: A Walk With Our Savior (Day 35)

Read Mark 9:14-29
   Why couldn’t the disciples cast out the evil spirit? In Mark 6:13 we read that they cast out demons while on their mission to the villages. Perhaps they had special authority only for that trip, or perhaps their faith was faltering. Mark tells this story to show that the battle with Satan is a difficult, ongoing struggle. Victory over sin and temptation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not through our own efforts. 

   Jesus’ words in verse 23 do not mean that we can automatically obtain anything we want if we just think positively. Jesus meant that anything is possible if we believe, because nothing is too difficult for God. We cannot have everything that we pray for as if by magic, but with faith, we can have everything we need to serve Him. 

   The attitude of trust and confidence that the Bible calls belief or faith (Hebrews 11) is not something we can obtain without help. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2). No matter how much faith we have, we never reach the point of being self-sufficient. Faith is not stored away like money in the bank. Growing in faith is a constant process of daily renewing our trust in Jesus. 

   The disciples would often face difficult situations that could be resolved only through prayer. Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our life. Effective prayer needs both an attitude: complete dependence, and action: asking. Prayer demonstrates our reliance on God as we humbly invite Him to fill us with faith and power. There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem impossible.