It was several years ago when we heard a sermon about God's power and how it can be limited. That just didn't seem right to me...Almighty God being limited in power? How? Who could be stronger than He? Clearly, there had to be a catch with this sermon. And, there was. As the pastor expounded upon the the passage in the Gospels where Jesus was rejected in His own hometown of Nazareth, I started to see the effect of a person's unbelief.
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
Mark 6: 5-6
Was Jesus unable to do mighty works in Nazareth because of His own inability? No. It was due to the people's unbelief. They had a hundred and thirty-one reasons, I'm sure, why this Jesus, the carpenter's Son, could not be this wise or this mighty.
When we see Jesus bringing about freedom for a friend who was in bondage to sin, do we persist in disbelieving that He could do something like that for us? When a broken marriage is healed because God can do the impossible, do we resist the notion that He could do the same for us too?
What are our reasons for not believing the One in whom we profess faith? Is His Word untrue? Are His promises unkept? Perhaps we think this issue doesn't apply to us. I'm not like those Nazarenes who didn't believe in Jesus' power, right? Yet, I persist in my same old sins. I ask for prayer, but inwardly figure that nothing will change and I go right back into the same old deeply engrained habits. Or, I think I put my hope in God, yet take matters into my own hands...just in case. It might be necessary just in case He is not faithful to what He has said.
Do we believe and yet not believe? The answer is probably yes. How hard it is to live by faith instead of sight! We are so saturated by a fallen world that we can't even imagine the perfect love of a perfect Father or the complete power of the One who has all things under His feet. We keep waiting for the broken promises, the inability to fix everything and the tarnished veneer. But, I encourage you to take off that polluted perspective and replace it with the Truth of God's Word. We must stop limiting God's power to break our bondage to sin by believing He can do this victoriously! As we surrender our doubts and unbelief, we will see Him powerfully work without any of our restraints. Be filled with hope from this verse as you press forward and believe.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61: 1-3