Pure Faith: A Study of What Faith Is and How to Live It Out Loud releases today! Today’s excerpt is a continuation of posts published on June 1st, 3rd, and 5th. Enjoy…and when you’re ready to order your copy or learn more, click here!
So the followers brought him to Jesus. As soon as the evil spirit saw Jesus, it made the boy lose control of himself, and he fell down and rolled on the ground, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been happening?”
The father answered, “Since he was very young. The spirit often throws him into a fire or into water to kill him. If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us.”
Jesus said to the father, “You said, ‘If you can!’ All things are possible for the one who believes.”
Immediately the father cried out, “I do believe! Help me to believe more!” (Mark 9:20-24)
We learn from Mark 9 that all things are possible. However, we must keep this truth in context. The truth that anything is possible for God (or the converse statement that nothing is impossible for God) first appears in Genesis 18:14 when the LORD speaks to Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! I will return to you at the right time a year from now, and Sarah will have a son.”
Mark 9 includes Jesus declaring, “All things are possible for the one who believes.” Just as the LORD reminds Abraham that God can do anything, that all things are possible, Jesus declares the same truth even in the context of the father’s belief. All things are possible not because of the father but because of belief. Faith determines the possibility, because faith is being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is the certainty, hope, and knowledge in God. We don’t have faith in ourselves. True faith is of, for, and from God. What is possible with faith cannot be separated from God because faith itself cannot be separated from God.
It’s important to accept that “all things possible” in the context of faith means just because something is possible doesn’t mean it’s God’s will. Just because it’s possible on earth, doesn’t mean you should pursue it. However, because possibility is tied to faith which cannot be separated from God, anything that is possible by biblical, spiritual standards is actually that which is of God. Of course, God is not limited, so the possibilities are not limited…except that God will never do anything contrary to his character and will. Some things are simply off the table.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to logically figure out or be able to grasp what is possible. What God requires of you is to be faithful, and the way to be faithful is to know him, obediently trusting him to live through us. Without God, we can do nothing: I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing. (John 15:5) With God, we can do anything: I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
Know God. Live God’s Word.
Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you, and write them on your doors and gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
To purchase Pure Faith: A Study of What Faith Is and How to Live It Out Loud, click here.