“And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’”
Some friends of mine and I have been talking about our hidden sin. We’re confident that we will overcome because the bible is clear that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). It’s simply a matter of understanding and applying God’s word to it. We’re making headway, although at times it may not seem like it. If you notice one thing different about my writing on this today is that I am saying “we” instead of “me.” This is making the journey much easier.
One thing that was interesting is our coming to understand how little our faith really is and, therefore, belief as well. What do I mean by that? Well, the root of all sin is that I don’t fully trust God. Why is that? Hasn’t he proven himself to meet all my needs? Of course, he has! Then why don’t I trust him enough to meet whatever the need I have that I try to satisfy with my sin? Why must I feel I the need to handle “that problem” all on my own. Sure, I beg him to cure me of my sin, but the bottom line is that I want to satisfy my hunger how I want and when I want.
I find that fascinating! Apparently, so did Jesus. I can think of two classic examples. One is when Jesus was rejected in his hometown of Nazareth where he could do no mighty works because of their unbelief. Jesus marveled at that. (Mark 6:6). Another is on the other side of the spectrum when Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion. “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:9)
Then we have this to deal with this:
Matthew 21:21-22 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.”
The more I dig into this, and my friends are in agreement, the more I find my faith lacking. However, it is definitely growing. I don’t feel utterly defeated like I did. I’m making headway. I’m learning and applying principles that God has laid out in scripture. God can certainly deliver me, and will, but I have to be willing to do it his way and not mine.
Working with fellow Christians is one of these principles. Another is to become familiar of the wiles of the devil, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) We are studying this. That’s where Gurnall’s “Christian in Complete Armor” is so useful. John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is another good source as might be “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. This fits under the category of “Renewing Our Minds” of Romans 12:2.
Through this process, I see just how small my faith is. My sin seemed impossible to overcome. It’s not. Not at all. My faith was small. Very small. But that is changing.
Matthew 13:31-32 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
I can see this happening. Honestly, it’s incredibly exciting!
Glory to you, Father, who gently leads me down the path you desire. Each step is safe and secure, and my path is well lit. I have no need to fear and no reason to find my own course. I trust you. However, I must confess that my faith is still weak. As the man said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief!” I do look forward to the day that I can show others more of your principles. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers