I literally laughed out loud, all by myself.
Every night, before I lay my head down on the pillow, I read the evening devotional by Charles Spurgeon. For some reason, the other night, I saw the most hilarious thing. Check out the first sentence.
"A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a dumb spirit."
Now, I don't know about the "demoniac" part, but man, have I seen some loved ones afflicted with dumb spirits.
I know, I know...the Greek word used in this translation means, speechless, wanting the faculty of speech. But I was struck funny by the modern day definition of dumb, of which I'm more familiar. "Lacking intelligence or good judgment." Dumb.
Have you ever had those times when you just cannot believe the lack of good judgment, the dumb decisions, the absence of common sense, that a loved one has? It may be a son, like this man in Mark 9: 14-29 KJV. It could be a daughter. Lest I sound like the arrogant tax collector in Luke's gospel, I have been an afflicted, dumb spirit, a time or two myself.
This the story of a father, desperately searching for someone to heal his son. A son afflicted with a dumb spirit. This has not been a temporary condition. When Jesus asked the father how long his son had been suffering, he answered, "from childhood." He was obviously not a child anymore, and was still afflicted. Some never grow up or grow out.
What are we to do? What can this passage of Scripture teach us when our child is afflicted?
Dumb spirits are sent to kill our children. This father told Jesus that when the spirit would come on his son, it would throw him into the fire or water "to kill him". (v. 22) In John 10:10, Jesus said that the enemy, the devil, comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. He would love nothing more than to kill our children, literally and spiritually. There is an all-out war for the souls of our children today. We are fighting an unseen enemy, but a vicious, destroying enemy, nonetheless. He is real and he is after your children. There is nothing random in the assault. It is carefully calculated and we must stand against it. But how?
Dumb spirits aren't driven out by ordinary means. Dr. Spock, and Dr. Phil, and Oprah and Dr. Whoever the expert of the day is, will not heal our sons and daughters. We are in the world, but we do not fight with the weapons of this world. The weapons we fight with are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-4) The disciples couldn't drive out the dumb spirit from this young man. Jesus said, "Bring the boy to me." (v. 19)
Dumb spirits must be brought to Jesus in belief. Do you believe that Jesus can save and deliver your child? Do you really believe? Or are you double-minded? Do you pray for the child and then search the internet for advice? Do you have one eye on Jesus and one ear to the world's methods? This father said to Jesus, "IF you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." (v. 22) IF???? The deliverance of your child from that dumb spirit depends on your faith! "Everything is possible for him who believes." (v. 23) EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE for him who BELIEVES!
Dumb spirits can come out only by prayer. (v. 29) I have personally been in the place of this father a few times. I can solemnly testify that prayer works. Down on the floor, face to the carpet, tears streaming, heart breaking prayer works. Prayer works, dear one. All of our pleading with the child, all of our lectures, all of our well-meaning advice, will never accomplish what the power of a praying parent can accomplish. If we can just love our child, right where they are, dumb spirit and all, and take it to the Lord in prayer, God will do what only He can do.
Dumb spirits may get worse before they get better. When Jesus rebuked the spirit in this son, it shrieked, convulsed the child violently, and left him looking like a corpse. So much so, that those around them were sure that he was dead. That situation with your child may look like it can't get any worse today. Oh, it can. You may feel that your prayers are hitting the ceiling, that God isn't hearing your cries for help, and that nothing is working. Don't give up. Don't give in. No matter what it looks like to your natural eyes. God is at work on behalf of those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 64:4) He is working every situation, every circumstance, every seemingly awful thing happening to your child for good. (Romans 8:28) They are all steps on the road to complete and total salvation and deliverance for your child. Walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7) Remember that Joseph was in a pit before he was in Potiphar's house. He was in a prison, before he ever made it to the palace. All the while, his father thought he was dead. But the Bible says that through it all, God was with Joseph. God is with your son or your daughter. No matter what it looks like.
Dumb spirits will submit to the commands of Jesus. Trust God to work this thing out His way, and in His time. It will be perfect. One sweet day will be THE day. The day that Jesus says to that spirit in your child, "I command you, come out of him (her) and NEVER enter him (her) again!" (v. 25)
Jesus will take your child by the hand, lift her up to her feet, and she will stand up. Whole. Healed. Delivered. Saved. Free. (v. 27)
Jesus loves him, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves him.
Yes, Jesus loves her.
Yes, Jesus loves them.
The Bible tells me so.
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