Saturday, July 21, 2007

Walk in Wisdom - July 20, 2007Mark 9.14 And when they came to the disciples,they saw a great crowd around them, and scribesarguing with them. 15 And immediately all thecrowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazedand ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And heasked them, "What are you arguing about withthem?" 17 And someone from the crowd answeredhim, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he hasa spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever itseizes him, it throws him down, and he foams andgrinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked yourdisciples to cast it out, and mthey were not able..."25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came runningtogether, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,"You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, comeout of him and never enter him again." 26 And aftercrying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out,and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of themsaid, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus utook him by thehand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And whenhe had ventered the house, his disciples asked himprivately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29 And hesaid to them, "This kind cannot be driven out byanything but prayer."The quandary of the Disciples here is a reasonableone. Why indeed couldn't they cast this demon out?Luke's chronology shows us this event took placeAFTER they had already been commissioned andsent out two by two and gave "them power andauthority over all demons and to cure diseases."This fit clearly within the scope of that commission.Yet here they were, powerless, embarrassed andconfused. Jesus' answer to them is not much morehelp is it? "This kind cannot be driven out byanything but prayer (and some texts add - fasting).What is the deal?The lesson is simple, but stunningly profound.Especially for all who seek to labor in God's field inany capacity. And I believe it is this: No matter howgreat, how divinely given, how extraordinary our giftsmay be, there will always be situations where ourgifts are not sufficient to the task, and we are drivenback to the throne of grace in humility anddependence.One of the great pitfalls of giftedness, is a growingreliance upon the gift, above the Giver. And the Fatherin His infinite wisdom will always bring us face to facewith the things that exceed our gifts, lest we grow totrust them, more than Him. How good is our God!Maybe you are a teacher, preacher, counselor,musician, evangelist, deacon, etc. Whatever Godhas gifted you to do in your service to the Body,mark it well, you WILL come to the end of those gifts.You will - by His mercy - be caught up short. It is nota question of "if", but when. And in those places, it isnot that you have lost your gift, are not still God's manor woman, are somehow shelved or steeped in sin. Itis that the Father is wanting renewed focus upon Himselfboth to you, and through you. For that is what is bestboth for you, and those you minister to. This is the Fatherin grace, making sure you know that all still depends uponHim. That He is still the source from which all goodnessflows. That what you have, as good and excellent as itmay be, functions only by His grace, and must subsistupon His resting hand.Seasons of helplessness, are seasons of intimacy, ifwe use them to seek His face, rather than ponder howwe fared in the eyes of those who watched us fail. Inour text, the Disciples were forced to wait until theSavior came. And that left no question as to the realsource behind this glimpse of the Kingdom. Don't beafraid to fall upon your knees and beseech His help.Its not such a bad thing to let people see our inability,if it means they get to see Him better.Blessings: ReidDulcius Ex