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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing with them about?’ he asked. A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.’”—Mark 9:14–18 (NIV)
I’ve always liked the idea of driving a motorized vehicle, and my earliest memory of this is when I received a Power Wheels ride-on vehicle as a child. I remember I just wanted to drive it around and around and around. And then eventually, I’d come to a moment of frustration when it would start running slow and eventually not run at all. You see, these vehicles were battery powered, and you needed to make sure the battery was completely recharged before you would drive it.
After Jesus, Peter, James, and John came back from their glorious time on the mountain where Jesus’ transfiguration took place, they found the other nine disciples in a rough situation. They were unable to drive out a demon that had taken control over a boy, and the scribes were likely disputing with them because of their failure. Jesus had given His disciples authority to cast out demons and they had been previously successful at doing so (Mark 6:7, 13). However, their ministry to this boy didn’t seem to be having that effect. What happened to the disciples? Was the authority to cast out demons removed? Was this demon too powerful?
As Jesus came by with the other disciples, the focus came to Him. He found out what was going on and, as He does, stepped in to solve the problem. You see, although the disciples still had authority from the Lord, and no demon can overpower our Lord, as we keep studying along in this chapter, we come to realize that something had changed in the disciples from the time they were given authority to the time of this encounter—they forgot how to tap into their power source!
When we start being careless and stop tapping into our power source (our relationship with God), we will become weaker over sin or other evil influences in our life. However, our God is always there for us when we seek Him with all our heart (Jeremiah 29:12–13). Let need to always stay plugged into Him, because when we do, “He gives strength to the weary and increases power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29 NIV).
Pause: Is my usefulness to God hindered by a pitiful prayer time? Do I neglect my time and relationship with Him?
Practice: One of the best times for prayer is before we have to interact with people, including the ones in our own home. Set your alarm so you can get up early to pray. Don’t hit the snooze button, and don’t pick up your phone first thing when you wake up! Instead, start your day talking to God. It will make such an amazing difference in the rest of your day!
Pray: Dear Lord, sometimes I feel so weak over my circumstances that it becomes easy for me to find and look for things, distractions, that are not from You. Help me desire You more and to be more diligent in communicating with You and hearing from You from Your Word. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.