Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The persistent father, part 5

And Jesus answered and said, "... Bring your son here." While he was still approaching, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. (Luke 9:41-42 NASB)

From the moment that Jesus called the boy to Himself, it was clear He intended to heal him. Judging from what He had done in other circumstances, there is no other assumption that can be drawn. The enemy, of course, knew that as well, because he knew Jesus. 

The enemy was not willing to give up even a bit of the territory he held, especially not the boy, through whom he had terrorized not only the lad, but an entire family. In an act of utter defiance so typical of the rebellious one, the demon slammed the boy to the ground in a vicious attack. Perhaps the demon intended to kill the child rather than allow Jesus to have him. 

Jesus, however, had called the boy and, just as God's word does not return to Him void, so the calling of Christ did not return without accomplishing that for which it was given. There was one key point that made freedom not only possible but certain for the boy. When the demon slammed the child to the ground, his father scooped him up and carried him the rest of the way. Scripture doesn't tell us this, but how else would the child on the ground have covered the remaining distance? 

That demonic attack was the final attack, as Jesus rebuked the demon, healed the child, and returned him to his father. What would have happened, though, if the father, seeing the child falling to the ground, had failed to take his son those last few steps to Jesus? What if he had given up, thinking that the enemy had won? What if he had interpreted the child on the ground, looking more dead than alive, as a hopeless situation? Could Jesus have healed the boy if the father had given up hope and turned aside with his son? Yes. Would He? We don't know that. 

This story not only demonstrates the power of Christ over illness and demonic attack. This story demonstrates the importance of pressing through, of the relentless persistence of a loving parent who refuses to cede territory to the enemy of our souls. Dear ones, when we pray for those we love, the enemy will fight to hold territory, and fight hard. That battle does not render Our Lord powerless. When Jesus calls those we love to Himself, we must be willing to continue to carry them before our Lord in prayer until He has accomplished all for which He called them. Do not mistake this one very important point. The boy had such a battle raging in him, there was very little chance that he could bring himself to Jesus. The father's role was not just important but utterly critical in the healing and freedom of his son. 

Are you praying for someone you love? Do not stop. Do not cede territory. Do not give up. Press on, for The One to whom we pray did not stop until our own redemption was accomplished, and we must be willing to do the same for those we love. Press on.