How Big Is Your Faith?
“Jesus left there and went to His hometown, accompanied by His disciples. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed. Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given Him? What are these remarkable miracles He is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” HE COULD NOT DO ANY MIRACLES THERE, EXCEPT LAY HIS HANDS ON A FEW SICK PEOPLE AND HEAL THEM. HE WAS AMAZED AT THEIR LACK OF FAITH...”
It seems that two men were out fishing in separate boats. And one was watching the other with growing curiosity because he'd catch a fish, he'd keep it, then he'd catch another fish and he'd throw that one away. And he just kept doing this, catch after catch. The really strange part was that it was always the BIG ones that he threw away.
The other fisherman couldn’t help but wonder, what kind of fisherman is this? Well, finally, the man watching all of that couldn't contain his curiosity any longer, so he called out the obvious question, "How come you're throwing away the BIG ones?" The man answered, "Oh, because I only have an eight-inch frying pan!"
Wouldn’t it have made better sense to simply buy a larger frying pan? One that made room for something BIGGER!
I guess if small is what you're prepared for, then small is all you’ll ever get. Well, that's what the people of Nazareth found out when Jesus came home.
Let me tell you, it's a pretty scary incident for those of us who are church folks. Because the people who knew the MOST about Jesus back then expected the LEAST and they got it! “…except that He laid His hands on a FEW sickly people [and] cured them...”
Can you imagine?
Jesus (all powerful) is in the midst of them, in their very presence, and all He could do was heal a FEW people! They had a very small frying pan, and it wasn't BIG enough for the kinds of things Jesus could do! NAZARETH WAS THE ONE PLACE JESUS WENT WHERE THEY HAD TO SETTLE FOR THE NATURAL AND MISS THE SUPERNATURAL.
And the scary part is that today we're Nazareth!
We Bible-believers, we're the ones who know a lot about Jesus, just like His neighbors in Nazareth. We analyze things just like they did. But those kinds of people are often so close, so used to Jesus, they put Him in a box, limiting Him to work the way they've always seen Him work before, or the way they think He ought to work.
I'll tell you; He will not stay in our limited little box! There’s nothing Jesus can’t do, and yet, here, in His own home-town, among people He knew and those who knew Him, He couldn’t do any more than heal a few folks!
They missed out on receiving the “mighty miracles and mighty works” and instead their unbelief caused them to settle for receiving small from a BIG God!
“Unbelief” is defined as “skepticism especially in matters of religious faith”. “Skepticism” is defined as “a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions.
Its Greek origin ‘skeptikos’, from ‘skepsis’ literally means ‘inquiry; doubt’. “Disbelief” is defined as “inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real; lack of faith.
In case you were unaware, this is NOT to be the mindset of believers! We don’t have to question our God, and even when we don’t always understand Him, we yet trust Him!
We are NOT to be a people who walk in doubt, disbelief, or a lack faith! Quite the contrary, we walk BY faith!
(2 Corinthians 5:7) “For we WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT OR APPEARANCE.”
As believers, our lifestyle, mindset, and conduct are all to hold the conviction of walking by faith! We don’t focus on sight or appearance; we focus on our God! We don’t allow disbelief to distract us!
(Hebrews 12:1-3) “Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses and that sin which so readily clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, LOOKING AWAY TO JESUS, WHO IS THE LEADER AND THE SOURCE OF OUR FAITH and is also its Finisher He, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against, so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.”
Let this serve as your encouragement to trust God no matter what or who you’re facing! Regardless of the tests, the diagnosis, the financial struggles (God is still able to do something BIG on your behalf)!
We don’t want to position ourselves where Jesus is “amazed, marveled, surprised and appalled” at our unbelief! Instead, let’s pray that God increases our faith.
Let this be the year of not just renewed faith, but increased faith. We lived by our mustard seed faith long enough in many areas of our lives. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with mustard seed faith!
(Matthew 17:20) “He said to them, Because of the LITTLENESS OF YOUR FAITH [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have FAITH [THAT IS LIVING] LIKE A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, YOU CAN SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, MOVE FROM HERE TO YONDER PLACE, AND IT WILL MOVE; AND NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU.”
Yes, mustard seed faith can move mountains, but our faith should be growing and not stagnant at the same level as when we first believed! We need a faith that grows and levels up!
Last year will be the LAST YEAR that we walk in fear instead of faith! Whether there’s a layoff; a diagnosis; the loss of a loved one; the car wrecks; the lights are shut off; WE WILL WALK BY FAITH, AND WE’LL EVEN WALK IN INCREASED FAITH AS THE MONTHS GO BY!
Let us cry out collectively this year, “LORD, HELP MY UNBELIEF!” (Mark 9:24), “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF.”
Many of us have faith, but this is the year of faith expansion! This is the year that our faith is going to grow to the point that we simply believe God no matter the situation or circumstance. We will not allow doubts; fears; lack of faith; nervousness; panic attacks and anxiety to shake our faith! This year, our faith will be unwavering and unmovable!
People of God, be encouraged! No matter what you face, God is there to face it with you, and He will ALWAYS be BIGGER than anything you face! So whatever requests you need to make of God this year, make them BIGGER! Why? Because He’s BIGGER! Abraham had big, wide and deep faith that was unshakeable, unmovable, and unquestioning! He simply believed that the Promises of God are still Yay and Amen!
And those same Promises are yours too! I reiterate, whatever small request you were going to make of God…MAKE IT BIGGER! Do Not Allow Disbelief to Insult Your God!
In Mark 6, Jesus could do no miracles and only heal a few due to Unbelief. Just imagine the size of the Miracles He COULD do and the Many Healing's He COULD accomplish if you would simply Believe!
Remember the opening story? It’s not that the fisherman didn’t catch BIG fish, he just didn’t make sure he had a frying pan BIG enough to accommodate the catch! This my friend will be your Rehoboth year!
This will be your year of God Making Room for your Blessings! (Genesis 26:22) “And he moved away from there and dug another well, and for that one they did not quarrel. HE NAMED IT REHOBOTH [ROOM], SAYING, FOR NOW THE LORD HAS MADE ROOM FOR US, AND WE SHALL BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND.”
Pay attention, God made the room, but Isaac named it Rehoboth! It’s time you start speaking by faith your Rehoboth! For not only will God make room for you this year, but you will be fruitful as well! You will receive the blessing with a bonus, and all you have to do is BELIEVE!
How Big Is Your Faith?
Reflections Ministries / Calvin Wyatt / e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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