Scripture: 20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 “The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can?'” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes." 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.”27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. [Mark 9:20-27 NLT] It was a scene I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. About a thousand people gathered in a sanctuary to praise God through worship. I had been in worship experiences with many more people than that before. It was not the number of people in worship that caught me. It was the spirit of the people that stopped me in my tracks. There was one very evident characteristic of the people and the experience that was rare. The characteristic was surrender. It was very clear that everyone in the room that night had surrendered their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The atmosphere in the room was thick with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. It was in that environment that the Holy Spirit got a hold of me and taught me something extremely valuable. At the time I was almost finished with seminary and I would be appointed to a church very soon. I was still wrestling with my readiness for this ministry. It could be said that I was still doubting God’s call on my life to follow and serve in this way. That night, in the environment where the Holy Spirit was clearly moving, God made something very clear to me. The Holy Spirit etched on my heart the fact that I didn’t need to doubt anymore, I needed to believe. At that moment in a sanctuary full of surrendered people, I joined their ranks. It was at that moment that I believe I fully surrendered to God’s will for my life. In the Scripture for today, a boy’s father asks Jesus to heal him from an ailment that had plagued him since he was very small. The father asks Jesus to heal him in a seemingly harmless way. The father says, “Do something if you can.” Jesus replies, “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Jesus is letting the father know that he needs to believe that Jesus can. He needs to remove the doubt from the equation and surrender to Jesus as the one who can heal. The father’s response is well known, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt.” If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you have never experienced doubt, that is rare. Most of us experience doubt from time to time. What we need to have no doubt is to surrender to Jesus and ask him to remove even our doubt. Today ask God to reveal your doubts to you. Once your doubts are revealed, ask God to remove them. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in believing without doubt today. Maybe you profess your faith in Jesus Christ, but doubt he can really provide for you financially. Maybe you profess your faith in Jesus Christ, but doubt that he can truly forgive you for things you have done in your past. Whatever your doubt, ask God to help you to have no doubt. Today surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ believing that he can. Whatever it is you need Jesus to do in your life he can! No doubt! Prayer: Merciful and all powerful God, thank you for your promise to always be there for us. You never leave us or turn away from us. Today help me to remove all doubt from my life. Help me to live in complete surrender and believe that you can. I thank you in advance for the ways in which you will reveal yourself to me today. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.