Bring it to Jesus
Bring it to Jesus
Words of Faith 7-17-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.  A man in the crowd called out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.  I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not."
 "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,  "Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."  But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
Have you noticed that when there is a great revival, thousands may be saved, but the week after, the enemy will often have our eyes on the one who attended but left in despair?
We can be blessed with a great Youth Camp with so much victory you can hardly contain it, but a week later, there will be a focus on the person who was not reached. The things that were not accomplished seem to come to mind. You can have a fantastic mission trip with incredible victories and a spiritual high, but a week later the enemy will be discouraging you with all that you did not do, all that you could not reach, and all that did not get done.
Studies have shown that the hardest day for pastors is often on Monday. Mondays are not reputed to be a great day for anyone but they are particularly hard for pastors and a day when they are most likely to be depressed. Why is that? Isn't the glow of Sunday still around on Mondays?
The answer is that while Sunday may be a great day of victory, on Monday the enemy will remind the pastor of those who did not show up, the one who did not respond and the few who complained. The pastor will recall the person who walked out. It may have been for a an appointment or personal need, but the enemy will use that image.
Hundreds of people may be moved or touched by a message but on Monday the note of complaint dropped in the offering will come into the office. A pastor will work long hours and care for hundreds of people who are warm and appreciative, but left in his mind is the person that always seems continually dissatisfied. It is an attack of discouragement from the enemy.
But this pattern of attack is certainly not uniquely against pastors. Any of us can work hard with the Lord and accomplish a thousand tasks only to have the enemy remind us of the one call we did not return or the one thing left undone or the one person left untouched or not healed. It is a powerful tactic because it undermines faith. The disciples had seen hundreds and hundreds of people healed. They had seen power at their hands that they never had dreamed of. But now they were faced with that one situation where they prayed and nothing happened.
The Enemy will attack a church in the same way. A church can be moving and growing and ready to endeavor a great thing for God and someone will say, "You know, I remember that time when we failed. We had better rethink this." Or "I knew a church that tried this and failed..." A church can have incredible victories but there is usually someone willing to point out the failures. The attack comes. We become intimidated, filled with doubts, uncertain and reticent. We lose our passion and begin to say prayers that don't mean anything.
What is the answer? Jesus responded harshly to this situation. "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."
The scolding may have been because the disciples did not wait to bring the need to Him, or it may have been because the people did not have faith when the disciples attempted this ministry. We don't know.
Now that Jesus was with the man and the boy, this victory was swift, powerful and effective. Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
So what is the answer when we are attacked in the valley? When our faith is undermined? When we are approached by a need and we have no answers? The answer is to bring it to Jesus. Somehow we think that Jesus only wants our victories. We can bring our failures and apparent failures to Him as well. The answer was to bring the man and the boy to Jesus.
As a pastor, the hardest issue that I must face is that it is not my job to fix everyone. The most difficult issue that we must face as the Church is that it is not our responsibility to fix everyone. That is the Lord's job. And when we have failures, disappointments and unanswered prayers we are to bring those to the feet of our Lord. We are not to scatter, blend into the crowd, or cower at a distance.
You see, it is a strong faith that can trust Jesus to answer prayer. But it is a powerful and deep faith that can trust Jesus with unanswered prayer. It is a strong faith that can meet Jesus in the times of victory, but it is a powerful and deep faith that can entrust to Him our failures and disappointments.
It is a strong faith that can meet God on the mountaintop of transfiguration, but the measure of that transfiguration is found in how we walk with Him in the valley. If you are looking for a cotton candy Jesus you won't find Him in the valley. If you are looking reality and deep transformation, the valley is the right place.
Where are you today? Do you have a failure? Turn it over to Jesus. Do you have a doubt? Turn it over to Jesus. Has the enemy been telling you about all the ways that you have failed? Turn that over to Jesus, too. Some of us have failures that have haunted us for years. We have lived in the valley of self doubt, the valley of accusation or the valley of shadows. Some of us have events that have undermined our faith and trust in Jesus far too long. Some of us are regularly ambushed in the valley over the same things over and over again. It is time to come out of the hiding places and walk with Jesus. The valley is tough but Jesus is there. Lay it at His feet.
Father God, forgive me for the times I have scattered in the valley or hidden in the crowd. There are times that I just don't understand the failure in my life. But now, I come to You. I surrender to You both the victories and the failures and the apparent failures. I surrender to You my faith as well as my doubts. I lay at Your feet the people and the suffering circumstances that I do not understand. The valley is difficult, but I want to be with You and that is where You are. I want to be where You are. In Jesus' name.