We will conclude our fast at the end of the service. I hope these past twenty-one days have been a time of you growing in greater intimacy with Jesus. I hope that you have had powerful dreams and visions that have given you a greater revelation of who Jesus is and how He wants to work in and through your life. I also pray that you are more familiar with the Holy Spirit and His leading. God wants to release His Kingdom and His promises in your life and in our city. I want to take a look at a lesson that Jesus taught the disciples about faith as we conclude this time of prayer and fasting.
I. A lesson on faith
Jesus was high up on a mountain with Peter, James, and John. He had a visit with Moses and Elijah. After the meeting they came back down the mountain to this situation:
Matthew 17:14-18: At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
This is an interesting story, because this the only time we see the disciples pray for someone that needed healing and they were not able to heal them.
Luke 9:6: So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
When we don’t see prayers answered, we try to come up with logical reasons for why they weren’t healed. We may even say that it wasn’t God’s will to heal them. If it wasn’t God’s will to heal this boy, then why was Jesus able to heal him?
Matthew 17:19-23: Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
The disciples were eager to find out what went wrong when they prayed for the boy. In verse 17 Jesus rebukes them by calling them, “You faithless and corrupt people!”
He is basically saying to them that they are thinking with a worldly mindset instead of a Kingdom mindset. Natural instead of supernatural. This boy had seizures and when they saw him shaking, it didn’t help their faith while praying for him.
Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV): So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
“Because of your unbelief” - Jesus is telling the disciples that they have little faith. They do not see the way He sees. How do we see they way Jesus sees? Through prayer and fasting, and through intimacy with Jesus.
Mark 11:22: Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”
This is the corresponding verse from the book of Mark. “Have faith in God” could be translated to “have the faith of God.” We need to see things through the eyes of Jesus.
II. Our mission
res · o · nate - to evoke or produce a movement of large and increasing impact from a single source.
John 12:24-26: I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
1. The cross brings life
1 Corinthians 1:18: The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
Romans 8:11: The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
We live through the power of the cross. His power resides within us and we should expect His Kingdom to grow through our lives.
2. We must die to self and live in Christ
Galatians 2:20: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17: Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
We now live seeing things from Jesus’ perspective. Jesus lives through us. We are an extension of Him.
3. Following Jesus means being where He is at and following Him.
John 5:19-21: So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants.
Jesus said it this way: I do only what the Father is doing and I say only what the Father is saying. Jesus set the example for us to follow. We need to do what the Father is doing and say what the Father is saying.
Acts 2:42-47: All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
The result is an unstoppable force that multiplies God’s Kingdom!
We obviously want to reach our city for Jesus. We want to see people saved, healed, delivered, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. We want to multiply our MC. We want to start new huddles. If we are going to do these things, then we need to do them through His power and in His way. That means we have to pursue Him, listen to Him and do what He tells us to do. We need His faith to grow in our lives so that we can see things the way that He sees them and then we will see breakthrough. Let’s go after Jesus like never before and see what He can do through us and in us!