“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
I have had the privilege in my lifetime to be around some of the greatest men of God of my generation. One thing I have learned from all of them is that you will never have a great ministry and be used by God greatly if you are like everyone else. This kind of ministry is not achieved through mediocrity, but the ordinary must be replaced with a great desire for excellence and great works.
Jesus’ ministry was no ordinary ministry. His ministry would absolutely be defined as this kind of ministry. His ministry saw great works and miracles that no other ministry has ever seen. However, when the disciples couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t do what He did, He responded to them by saying, “…this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” In this chapter, five things are revealed that it takes for you to have this kind of ministry.
First, it takes a transfiguration. Jesus was transfigured before three of His disciples at the beginning of the chapter. You will never be used by God greatly until you are transformed into the image of Christ. You cannot be you and see God do great things through you; instead, you must die so Christ can be seen through you for you to see great things in your ministry. As long as you settle for being you, you will continue to see the mediocrity that you have always had.
Second, it takes faith. In verse 20, God says it just takes faith the size of a mustard seed for great miracles to be performed. One thing I have learned in my ministry is that your faith is never too big or too grand for God’s ability. In fact, you will find that God always goes beyond the size of your faith. The great works of God are not absent because of God’s shortage of power, but because of your lack of faith.
Third, it requires prayer. No great work is ever done without prayer. Jesus said, “…this kind goeth not out but by prayer…” Any shortage in the ministry is always a prayer shortage. Every time there is a need is a time when every believer should pray. God’s ability to do will only be determined by how much time you spend in prayer. It is in the prayer closet that your faith in God becomes greater.
Fourth, it takes brokenness. In verses 22-23, Jesus talks about the betrayal and His death. No person has ever been used greatly without having a broken heart. If you want God to use you mightily, you are going to have to live with a broken heart. Yes, the Pharisees and critics will use against you what has broken your heart, but it is what breaks your heart that God uses as a tool to do great things for Him.
Fifth, it takes soul winning. In verse 27, you will find that you must be a fisher of men to see God do great things through you. This kind of ministry is never achieved without a passion for souls and a work habit to reach the lost. My friend, talking about reaching the lost never gives you this kind of ministry; you will only see this kind of ministry by having an undying work ethic that reaches the lost.
You can have this kind of ministry. In fact, Jesus promises you can do greater works than He did. He says in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Let me challenge you to lay aside your excuses and pursue this kind of ministry.