“And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” ( Mark 9:29, KJV).
In Uganda, at a certain point in her troubled history, the scariest thing in life was to meet a roadblock. Normally, you can’t penetrate from one point to the next, once you meet a roadblock. There are wrought with danger and anything can happen, including loss of life.
Road blocks can also be found in life, where one can’t proceed to the next level. Think of a person desirous for a job promotion. There can exist a roadblock in form of one person who persistently objects to the deserved promotion. Someone might desire to access a certain critical document or secure a certificate to move to another point, but a roadblock stands in the way.
Jesus encountered situations where people had faced roadblocks in life, There was once a man who had a child paralyzed with a crippling and demobilizing spirit ( Mark 9:14-29). On seeing its havoc, as it threw the boy into a convulsion, Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” ( vv 21). The boy’s father answered: “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” ( vv 22).
This father had a roadblock standing in his way. It is quite apparent that he had tried all manner of relief, perhaps spent some money elsewhere trying to find a cure. The roadblock stood tall and impenetrable. He certainly pleaded with the disciples who made some attempt, but to no avail. Finally the man got to Jesus. “When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again” ( 25). At that moment the boy was healed.
Amazed that where they could not Jesus had silenced this spirit, the disciples asked him how. This is when he said that kind only goes away, “by prayer and fasting” ( vv 29).
There are some roadblocks that come in our lives hindering us to progress to another level. We may try every effort known to us, yet to no avail. Yet, it may be of a spirit that can only be leveled down through “prayer and fasting!”
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, for that roadblock standing in my way, help me, as you have commanded overcome it through “prayer and fasting,” just as you healed the crippled boy, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!