Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)
I read that verse for the ten thousandth time this weekend, and it struck me: if God can help my unbelief, can’t He help me with my other un-whatevers?
You’ll find a lot of funny made-up words in this message – on purpose. I hope they make the point. This message is NOT an exposition of Mark 9:24 so don’t read it that way. The verse just caused me to think about all the areas where I struggle with having a solid, confident, tangible level of faith-belief-victory.
My revelation/question may seem more like “duh!” to you, but for me it was very striking. Not just as a surface thought, but really down deep where I fail and struggle with various aspects of sanctification and discipline. I wondered, “if God can help the unbelief of a father and his dead child, will He not help me where I fall short deep down in the heart of my faith, discipline, wisdom and sanctification?”
Here’s some of the areas I considered:
Help me in my unbelief
Help me in my unbelief with regards to your promises guide to provide, protect, guide and overcome temptation. Help me in my unbelief that all things work together for good for those that love you. Help me in my unbelief that sacrifice now, is worth the eternal reward later.
Help me in my unforgiveness
Help me in my unforgiveness when I feel slighted and criticized by others. Help me in my unforgiveness when I am overlooked. Help me in my unforgiveness when someone takes advantage of me. Help me in my unforgiveness when I feel like it’s not my fault. Help me in my unforgiveness when I’m mad at the other person, and have a right to be. Help me in my unforgiveness even when I have every reason to withhold forgiveness, humanly speaking.
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)
Help me in my uncompassion
Help me in my uncompassion towards those who aren’t “helping themselves”. Help me in my uncompassion towards those I can’t see, but should be thinking about anyway. Help me in my uncompassion towards those who don’t do anything to earn it. Help me in my uncompassion when it hasn’t made any difference in the past. Help me in my uncompassion when I’m too busy thinking of my own problems. Help me in my uncompassion because I’m not paying attention or don’t care enough to care.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (NKJV)
Help me in my unpatience
Help me in my unpatience when I don’t think the other person is trying hard enough. Help me in my unpatience when I’m more concerned about what I want to do. Help me in my unpatience when I’m tired or don’t feel well. Help me in my unpatience caused by my own selfishness. Help me in my unpatience when it’s not something that is very important to me. Help me in my unpatience when it doesn’t benefit me personally.
James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (NKJV)
Help me in my undiscipline
Help me in my undiscipline when I make excuses for it. Help me in my undiscipline when I get my priorities out of line. Help me in my undiscipline when my flesh would have me be lazy and wasteful. Help me in my undiscipline when I’m tempted to exchange hours of my life that could count for something, for meaningless and useless activity (or lack of it).
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)
Help me in my unhotness
Help me in my unhotness when lukewarmness is easier. Help me in my unhotness when lukewarmness is more popular. Help me in my unhotness when lukewarmness is of greater benefit to me. Help me in my unhotness when being cold would allow me to slip by unnoticed. Help me in my unhotness when being cold would allow me to avoid something uncomfortable. Help me in my unhotness when being cold opens the door to a fleshly indulgence.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (NKJV)
Help me in my unholiness
Help me in my unholiness when I’ve been so focused on me, my life looks like “me” instead of Christ. Help me in my unholiness when I’ve chosen the flesh over the spirit. Help me in my unholiness when those around me cannot tell much difference between me and the world. Help me in my unholiness when my checkbook shows I care more about what I want, and less about what God wants. Help me in my unholiness when my daily life is devoid of sacredness and devotion.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (NKJV)
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But that’s just me… what do you need help with?
[Follow-up Note: as is often the case, the Lord gave me an object lesson about what I wrote today. An hour or so after I wrote the “Help me in my unbelief” lesson, I found out a certain fellow was unfairly criticizing me over some work. It bothered me for a bit, until God got my attention, and predictably brought to my mind, “hey, why don’t you practice what you preach?” So I immediately prayed and asked God, “help me in my unforgiveness towards this person”. I can tell you with 100% honesty, that it was about 7 hours later I realized that starting THE MOMENT I prayed, I hadn’t had one single thought about that person, and even now, I only thought of it for a second to realize the God had answered my prayer, and “helped me in my unforgiveness”. Bible teachers out there will confirm that God often teaches the teacher an object about what they teach.]
Lord God, help me in my unbelief, unfaithfulness and lack of holiness. In the same way you helped that father believe Jesus would raise his daughter from the dead, help me believe that You can help me believe. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?