Lesson 4, Digging Deeper 1
In Progress

Stay Faithful by Travis Creasy

…Let’s continue our study from the video…

Point #2: Prepared Faithfulness

And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Mark 9:14-29

In the previous text Jesus returns from the mount of Transfiguration -a deeply significant moment in his earthly ministry- and is met by a father and his son who was suffering with an unclean spirit. Both the father and the disciples were upset over their lack of ability to heal the boy. Have you ever been frustrated with your own circumstance or that of someone you love? How did you express this frustration and was it beneficial?

After Jesus heals the boy, the disciples ask Jesus why they had failed and he responds with a practical but challenging response “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer”. Some manuscripts include “fasting.” What is so challenging (and to be honest, intimidating) is that Jesus is telling them their preparation for such events is what ultimately makes the difference.

Discuss: What are some activities that we can do in our personal and church communities to prepare us for such situations?

In the fall of 2018, I was diagnosed with APL Leukemia and had a 5-week stay in the hospital. In the midst of all of those events, my wife and I were foster parents to Hailee and Daniel both under the age of 3. We had already been conflicted on what steps ton take in adopting them prior to my diagnosis. With the devastating news of Cancer, we were forced to leave the situation in the LORD’s hands. The “be still” in the command to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) was never a strong point of mine, but I was forced to do just that.

To make a comparison, I am not sure that I’ve ever felt so much like the Israelites between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea in my life. And in similar fashion, God showed up and showed out through his people. The church and our immediate family went to work on our behalf. Our immediate families (Whitney’s and mine) rotated babysitting duties and the church provided anything we needed from toothbrushes to meals. The LORD gave us the desires of our heart. I went into remission in March and we adopted the kids in July of last year.

Point #3: Positive Peer Pressure

In moments of hardship, I’ve always had so much “witness” in my life. I grew up in a small congregation that was not short on people who cared for me. My best friend growing up, Ben Hayes, was in my youth group and was my eventual roommate for 3 years at Freed-Hardeman University. He’s been a blessing and has kept me out of a lot of trouble. My wife, a wonderfully compassionate soul has tagged in for Ben since she married me over a decade ago. Lately, I’ve had the “Skits With A Truth” crew to challenge me in my walk with Christ. Not to mention the 14,000 or so CYC folks. I don’t have the space to list everyone who has cheered me on to finish the race. There were times in my life that I might consider some of these folks as nosey but now as I mature in my Christian journey, I know they deeply care for my soul. Peer pressure is just a part of life so make sure it is positive Christian pressure.

In Luke’s account of the previously mentioned healing of the boy the passage ends with “and all were astonished at the majesty of God (Luke 9:43 ESV).”