POWER AND PRAYER
“If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” — Mar_9:22-23.
IN OUR Lord’s life there was no divorce between the life hidden in God and a ready response to the call of human need. As in Raphael’s great picture of the Transfiguration, which combines the scenes of the mountain and the valley on the one canvas, so must it always be in true life. There must be the systole and the diastole—the heart must drive the blood to be aerated in Heaven’s ozone, and then pulsate to the extremities of hand and foot.
How many there are who seem to be possessed with evil spirits which are wrecking health and peace, and how many make the mistake of this man in bringing their relatives or friends to disciples who as yet have not been baptised with the power of the Holy Spirit, and have not entered into the secret place of power. Of course it is not possible for such to afford any real help, and the demon laughs them to scorn! We must learn our own inability to deal with the forces of evil that are sweeping through the world, unless we have received power from on high (Luk_10:17, Luk_10:20; Act_1:8).
Notice the way in which our Lord casts back the responsibility on the father. He said: “If Thou canst do anything”; but Jesus answered: “the if is not with Me, but with you. It is not a question of My power but of your faith. Can you believe?” Then the father threw back the responsibility on the Master, saying in effect: “I fear that I have not faith enough, but I trust Thee to create it in me. Help Thou mine unbelief.”
You and I often fail in our faith because of ignorance and besetting sin. There is the mighty ocean of power all around us, but for some reason we cannot tap it. It is like the electric current, which refuses to help us unless we have instruments precisely adapted to transmit the driving-power. Faith is absolutely necessary for the conveyance of God’s power to meet the need and sin and sorrow of the world. But when we find it deficient, when our heart believes not, when we find ourselves face to face with Jerichos that are closely shut, and with mountains that seem to mock the tiny levers with which we propose to move them, then we must turn to Christ and say: “I trust Thee for faith, I trust Thee to keep me trusting: I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.”
We open our nature to let in Thy blessed fullness, and if our capacity be small, we pray, O Lord, that it may be enlarged, that we may miss nothing that is possible to man. We are sure that we are never straitened in Thee, but in ourselves. AMEN.