If Thou Canst Believe
Read Time: 6 minutes
Believing is the key. We are where we are and we are who we are because of our beliefs and unbelief. God asks us to believe His Word and to believe on His son Jesus Christ.
The next two miracles that Elisha did that are recorded in the Word of God involve a prominent Shunammite women who was childless (II Kings 4:8-37). The full teaching of Elisha and the Shunammite woman was published previously (follow the above link). This is a synopsis.
In the eastern culture, if a couple is childless it looks like God does not favor them. The Shunammite woman went out of her way to furnish an apartment and victuals for the Man of God as he traveled past her city. It was customary in the east to take in travelers and feed them without recompense. But the Shunammite women went beyond custom and took great care of Elisha's needs, she gave him an apartment with a table, candle and bed and fed him and was happy to do so.
For her loving service to God's prophet God blesses her with a son in her old age. Just imagine her elation when she realized she was pregnant and then again when she delivered a son. All was well for many years until he was out working in the fields with the father and suffered sunstroke and died in his mother's arms. Because of her faith toward God she set her mind to seek the Lord's prophet and goes to Elisha to fetch him to come and return her son to life. When Elisha told her she was going to conceive she told him "do not deceive me" and God didn't. So on this premise, for she repeats it to Elisha, she beseeches Elisha to deliver her son and he does; God grants Elisha's petition to raise the son from the dead.
The Shunammite woman is a great example of a believing parent. Until our children are grown enough to believe for themselves it is up to us believe for their well-being. We see this same principle in the Gospels when Jesus Christ heals a father's son who had a dumb spirit. The father was told that he had to believe for his son to be healed.
:14 And when he came to his disciples,
he saw a great multitude about them,
and the scribes questioning with them.
:15 And straightway all the people,
when they beheld him,
were greatly amazed,
and running to him saluted him.
:16 And he asked the scribes,
What question ye with them?
:17 And one of the multitude answered and said,
Master, I have brought unto thee my son,
which hath a dumb spirit;
:18 And wheresoever he taketh him,
he teareth him:
and he foameth,
and gnasheth with his teeth,
and pineth away:
and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out;
and they could not.
:19 He answereth him, and saith,
O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?
how long shall I suffer you?
bring him unto me.
:20 And they brought him unto him:
and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him;
and he fell on the ground,
and wallowed foaming.
:21 And he asked his father,
How long is it ago since this came unto him?
And he said,
Of a child.
:22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire,
and into the waters, to destroy him:
but if thou canst do any thing ,
have compassion on us,
and help us.
:23 Jesus said unto him,
If thou canst believe ,
all things are possible to him that believeth.
:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out,
and said with tears,
Lord, I believe;
help thou mine unbelief.
:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together,
he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him,
Thou dumb and deaf spirit,
I charge thee, come out of him,
and enter no more into him.
:26 And the spirit cried,
and rent him sore,
and came out of him:
and he was as one dead;
insomuch that many said, He is dead.
:27 But Jesus took him by the hand,
and lifted him up;
and he arose.
The son's retardation was caused by a deaf and dumb spirit. There are different kinds of devil spirits that cause different things: lying, adultery, murder, etc. He had a deaf and dumb spirit; one that made him retarded, deaf and possibly gave him seizures. The father had looked at the problem so long that he was doubtful anyone could help his son. That is why he said, "if thou canst do anything." Jesus put it right back on the man, "If thou canst believe." It is the father's responsibility to believe for the son who could not. Once he believed that Jesus could heal him God told Jesus Christ, by discerning of spirits, to cast out the dumb spirit (word of knowledge and word of wisdom). So Jesus talked directly to the spirit and told him get out and not return. Now not all deafness and retardation is caused by devil spirits God will tell you if the deliverance is requested and believed for. He will also tell you what to do.
These same spiritual abilities are available to us today, and we can believe! When my husband and I were doing missionary work in Wisconsin in the early 1980's there was a lady who lived in the same apartment complex as us. She had a 6-month-old baby whose liver was swollen and failing. The doctors had tried everything to help the child. Finally they gave the baby 6 months to live, they could do no more. But that mom believed when Paul (our 'brother') ministered unto them. When that mom took that baby back to the doctor the swelling had started to recede. The baby was eventually completely delivered. The doctors were stumped. God healed that baby because the mom had asked for deliverance and believed that God could deliver. God wishes that we be in health and prosper. He tells us that if we drink any deadly thing it will not hurt us, if we pick up snakes we will suffer not harm. God is the God who heals us.
Lord, I believe. And remember, "It is a light thing in the sight of the Lord."