Breaking The Silence Seminar videos 2023

Believing for Impact

February 13, 2022 Speaker: Allen Snapp Series: Bracing for Impact

Topic: Faith Passage: Mark 9:14–29

Bracing for Impact

Allen Snapp

Grace Community Church

Feb. 13, 22


Believing for Impact

Pray for Hubschmitt, Bowers, Fentons, Dao and Alicia

The final message of our series Bracing for Impact is called Believing for Impact. Turn with me to Mark 9:14-29. When we talk about impact, after Jesus, nothing has more impact on our lives than what we believe. We are saved by faith. As Paul told the Philippian jailor, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!”

So believing for impact starts with believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior – and that literally impacts where we will spend eternity by transferring our citizenship from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light! Our destiny is changed from eternal death to eternal life. Could there be a greater impact than that?

But believing for impact doesn’t stop at salvation, that’s just where it begins. God calls us to a life of actively believing for impact. What do I mean by believing for impact? I mean believing that changes our lives, our situations, and our attitudes. Active believing in Jesus changes things. Believing for impact recognizes the impact that active faith has in our daily lives. 

We see this in the gospels over and over but let’s look at one of my favorite accounts found in Mark 9.  

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 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.” 19 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.” 20 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. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 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.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 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.” 26 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.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:14-29 (ESV)

Think about the suffering this father and his son had experienced. For me as a father my heart really goes out to the dad. I’d rather suffer than see my kids suffer, so for him to watch this demon torment his son so horribly must have been unbearably difficult for him. 

But let’s fill in the details a bit. This father heard about Jesus and faith and hope rose in his heart that maybe here’s someone who can heal his son. Verse 17 tells us he brought his son to Jesus but Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John so the father is left with the remaining nine disciples who give it their best shot but verse 18 says the demon didn’t budge.

Watching the disciples fail must have taken a toll on the father’s faith. By the time Jesus shows up, his faith is wavering as he says to Jesus: if you can do anything have compassion and help us.

Jesus repeats the father’s opening words: if you can! “If you can do anything” sounds more uncertain than confident. More like unbelief than faith. Jesus isn’t angry or offended, but he doesn’t want this dad to stay in that place. Jesus doesn’t want our prayers to stay in that place either. When our prayers sound like “God, if you can do anything about my marriage/if you can do anything about my financial situation/if you can do anything about my sick child please help...” it’s time for us to stir up an active believing that knows that Jesus can do something about whatever is going on in our lives. 

Jesus challenges the dad to believe for impact: if you can!  All things are possible for one who believes. 

Notice Jesus doesn’t say all things are possible for God. He says that somewhere else but not here. He says all things are possible for one who believes. Jesus is encouraging this dad to believe. He’s not after an orthodox confession from the father about the power of God. He’s asking the father, do you believe I can cast out this demon, right here, right now? Do you believe I can do it right here, right now? 

I love this father’s mixed confession of faith and unbelief cause I can so easily relate to him. Part of him believes Jesus can heal his son. Part of him struggles with unbelief. He wants his son healed more than anything in the world. But this demon has proven over and over again to be stronger than anything anyone’s thrown at it so far. 

Jesus helped his unbelief in the best way possible, by casting out the demon with a word. Pretty sure that father’s faith was a lot stronger as he walked away with a son who was totally healed and set free.

Most of us could say the same thing: Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief! I want to share a couple suggestions to help us grow in a lifestyle of believing for impact. I’m not sharing them as a giant in the faith, but as one who struggles like this dad. I have had times when I’ve had a strong faith and I’ve seen God answer so many prayers over the years that I have forgotten more than I remember. But I tend to live in a low grade unbelief or maybe more accurately lack of active belief. My prayers tend to sound more like “if you can do anything…” than I care to admit. Jesus comes alongside of us to challenge our faith like he did this dads so let me share a few steps that I believe can strengthen and grow our faith. 

    1. Bring it to Jesus

This father brought his son – his heart, his deepest desire, his deepest pain – to Jesus. Isn’t that where all the answered prayers and healings begin? The woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, the blind men who called out to Jesus to give them sight, the four friends who lowered their friend down to Jesus that he might walk again, the leper who asked Jesus to make him clean, and on and on. Jesus said to them, your faith has made you well (has saved you), but only because their faith brought them to Jesus. 

The power isn’t in believing, the power is in Jesus, believing is simply the muscle by which we access his power and provision in our lives. This is one of the dangers of the faith movement, by the way. Some so focus on faith, they forget about Jesus. Faith becomes their goal rather than Jesus. Faith can’t do anything. Jesus can do anything, faith is simply the muscle that grips his provision and power and grace. 

Whatever is going on in your life – and I mean whatever – bring it to Jesus! You can’t go wrong bringing it to Jesus. At our men’s meeting yesterday I think we all agreed we tend to want to work things out on our own but believing for impact starts with bringing it to Jesus!

  • That marriage that is struggling – bring it to Jesus!
  • That child who is rebelling – bring him or her to Jesus!
  • That financial need that’s crushing you with worry – bring it to Jesus!
  • Whatever’s going on in here: fear, loneliness, anger, insecurity, sadness, depression – bring it to Jesus!

We don’t need to have a perfect faith – we can come to Jesus like this dad, a mixture of believing and unbelieving. Just bring it to Jesus. That brings me to a related encouragement.

    1. Have a “four friends faith”

Let’s not forget to bring others to Jesus in prayer. Remember the four friends who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus, lowing him through a hole in the roof? Let’s carry our friends, our spouse, our kids, that stranger we met at the grocery store, even people who don’t like us, to Jesus. 

Let’s especially carry people who don’t Jesus to Jesus in prayer, asking him to save them. Praying and believing Jesus to draw an unbeliever to himself in saving faith is believing for the biggest impact possible. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. 

And not with a “Lord if you can do anything” kind of prayer. Jesus looked up at the faces of the four friends and he saw expectant faith written on their faces. Let him see that same faith written on our faces when we carry others to the Lord. 

    1. Faith is a muscle – use it or lose it!

The disciples came to Jesus privately asking why couldn’t we cast it out? Matthew includes more of Jesus’ answer: He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting” Matt 17:20-21

Their problem was little faith. Jesus tells them faith is like a seed – planted in the right soil it can grow 

and believe God for amazing things. Jesus says you need to plant your faith in a lifestyle of prayer and fasting for it to grow. It’s a seed, plant it in good soil.

Faith is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it grows. If we don’t use it, it will grow weak and atrophy. We may not even notice it growing weaker. We may think our faith is as strong as ever not realizing it has atrophied. I stopped going to the Y sometime in Oct. or Nov. and only started going back a week ago. I felt like I could pick right up where I left off, but I was amazed at how much ground I lost in just three months. Faith is a muscle – use it or lose it!

Pray for the things going on in your life right now, big and small. As you pray, stir up your faith. Ask God for specific things and believe God will give them! God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask for specific things. This father asked Jesus to save his son. The blind men said, please give us our sight. 

God answered a prayer recently that I had been lifting up to the Lord for quite a few months. I can’t go into the specifics, but it was something that had burdened my heart and I didn’t see how God could work it out but God did in the perfect way. 

    1. Believing for impact…even when God doesn’t answer the way we want Him to

Believing for impact means that actively believing Jesus for answered prayer gets different results and takes our lives down different paths than not actively believing. If the woman with the bleeding condition, or the leper, or the four friends who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof had not approached Jesus with faith, their lives and their stories would have been different. 

I want to stir a fresh faith – when we come to situations, choices, challenges, hardships, and opportunities in life, choosing to believe will take us down a different path than choosing unbelief. 

But faith isn’t a way of getting from God whatever we want. Word of faith churches are known for elevating faith into a spiritual law that even God must obey. Some of them teach that God wants us all healthy and wealthy and if we’re not it’s because we don’t have enough faith.

Believing for impact isn’t telling God what to do. It’s asking with faith and confidence that God is good and He is able and He answers our prayers. Sometimes His answer is “no”. That shouldn’t discourage us from asking and it shouldn’t sap our faith.

When God says no, that no is wrapped with love and wisdom and His knowledge of what’s best for us and we can trust Him, that He has something better in mind for us. And that kind of trust is believing for impact too. 

Prayer is always valuable, but it becomes much more powerful and enjoyable when we pray believing for impact. God, do this! I know you can! Lord I’m praying for you to save so and so – draw them to Christ, I know nothing is impossible for you! Believing for impact leads to praying for impact leads to living for impact. 

More in Bracing for Impact

February 6, 2022

The Impact of Community

January 30, 2022

The Impact of the Kingdom of God Part Two

January 23, 2022

The Impact of the Kingdom of God