Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Written by: Jay Sea
Last Monday, April 12, 2021 the restrictions on California’s church attendance were lifted, though they’re still encouraged to keep numbers between 25%-50% of full capacity the doors of God’s church have been reopened to the public. The department of health even went as far as to say,” Location and capacity limits on places of worship are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.” Let’s thank Harvest Rock Church for being bold enough to fight against this, allowing all of those in California to continue worship in what we have been accustomed to being normal.
On that note let’s also take a step back to realize that we often get caught up in social norms, people believing that our job is our identity, that church is the building, and so on. We’ve got to remember the church isn’t the building but the people, and Christianity, though is labeled under religion is more personable than that, it’s a one on one relationship between the believer and God. I admit, I too often get too caught up in what society says the church should be, the lines sometimes even seem blurred, however when I crack the dusty old bible open I get quite the clarification, besides aren’t we supposed to influence society? When did we trade roles? I feel as though over time the church picked up apathy, and many of us today didn’t get to see a church with empathy leaving God’s sheep in the dark and lost, confused about most everything.
Every time we see a miracle or hear of one we dismiss it as though it can’t be true, I’m guilty of this myself, but why can’t it be true? We know of several bible stories of people being healed, some of us even say Jesus has resurrection power, but not many of us seem to believe that in our hearts. We’re in just as much disbelief as Peter, as when Jesus cursed the fig tree.
Mark 11: 12-14 Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
Mark 12:20-25 The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have receivedit, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
I think it’s a long past time we simply say we have God with us and start acting like it. So then, how is this accomplished? We pray and ask in the name of Jesus Christ to help us with our unbelief as seen in Mark 9: 14-29.
Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
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.”
**ESV Bible Translation used for versus.**