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What's your focus, symptoms or causes?

Rev. Enoch Thompson | June 9, 2023 | Matthew 17:14-21


"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water." Matthew 17:15 (NIV)


When we visit the hospital, we are always asked by the medical officers to narrate what is wrong with us. What we tell them is always the symptoms of our sickness and not the actual sickness we are having. To ascertain what is really wrong with us the doctors require that we undertake certain tests, which confirm to them what they suppose our symptoms to be caused by. We are often preoccupied with getting solutions to the symptoms of life’s challenges, and we often miss the issues of the causes of our afflictions and challenges.

The man who brought his son to the Lord was seeking relief from the symptoms, the manifestations of the son’s sickness, "Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water." Matthew 17:15 (NIV). The plight of the boy as recounted by the father was very painful, and he certainly needed help. When the Lord Jesus stepped into the situation, He identified the matter as being more than what would have passed as a “mere” epileptic challenge and dealt with it from its roots; He pointed to a demonic challenge and cast out the demon; “Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.” Matt 17:18 (NIV). How much energy is wasted and unnecessary pain is suffered because we misdiagnose issues? Our attempts at addressing issues will suffer failure if we confuse symptoms with causes and causes with symptoms.


What are the issues you have been trying to deal with at a personal level? What symptoms do you observe? What are the real causes of these symptoms? Sometimes the causes of our challenges lie deep within ourselves, and we need God to help us identify them. We may also speak to godly Spirit-filled individuals whom God has given to the Church, who will by various means, counsel, prayer, professional knowledge etc, be able to help us.

What about the group issues of family, church or state? We need to trace causes so the symptoms can be addressed.


Dear Lord, I need a clear spirit and relaxed mind that can identify the things that are really wrong in my life and in my settings. Please give me this grace and raise for your Church men and women who see with the eyes of God and assist us to deal with the causes rather than touch the symptoms.

For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.



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