We (rightly) believe in a God who is all-powerful. The theologians call it “omnipotent.” Maybe you’ve even asked God to pour a little power into your life situation. But did you realize that this powerful partnership with God can be stymied by you and me?
Here’s the evidence. Jesus was moving throughout Israel, demonstrating God’s power in people’s lives, remarkable, miraculous power to heal and restore. He stopped in his hometown. And then we find the following comment in Matthew 13:58:
He [Jesus] did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
The demon-stomping, storm-stopping, disease-evicting miracle worker was handcuffed by the very people he grew up with. All because of one simple reason: lack of faith. Maybe they thought they knew him too well. Maybe they didn’t want him to succeed. We don’t really know why their faith was absent. But because it was, God was effectively handcuffed.
Before you get upset, and start to type an email reminding me that nothing is impossible with God, let me say this. I believe that. God doesn’t need my approval or yours. He can do whatever he pleases. Yet for some reason, he is pleased to work through our faith.
When you’re facing a God-sized problem, do you believe God can actually do something about it? As we’ve talked about inviting others to consider following Jesus, do you think about friends and family and conclude, “There’s no way they’d ever consider God”? Or do you have faith that God just might want to do a modern miracle in that person’s life? Or in yours?
- It’s presumptuous to say, “I know God WILL display his power and do this thing for me.”
- It’s disastrous to say, “I know God WON’T display his power and do this thing for me.”
- But it’s powerfully effective to say, “I know God CAN display his power and do this thing for me.”
You have the key for the handcuffs. Unleash the power of God. Have faith. Pray and plan as if God is going to show up.
P.S. If you want to review some of the resources I mentioned last Sunday, you can find them here.