And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58
Matthew tells us that when Jesus visited His hometown, He went into the synagogue to teach, as He often did. We read that the people were astonished at His wisdom. They recognized there was something different about Him. But it ended up that “they took offense at Him (13:57).”
Why? Because they thought they knew Him. They remembered Him as a boy. They knew His family. They were unwilling to let go of their pre-conceived ideas–of the way they thought things worked. They were comfortable with the relationship they had always had with Him and they didn’t want it to change. Changing would mean letting go of their pride–after all, they had known Him for years. Changing would mean releasing control in their relationship with Him–because He obviously was the One with superior wisdom and superior power. The sad truth is that Jesus was prevented from working in miraculous ways there “because of their unbelief (13:58).”
When I look at my own life, I see few miracles. Not that I do not see God working, because I do. Not that I have not seen God using me in the lives of others, because I have. But I see few times I can specifically point to and say, “See that miracle? God did something there that can only be accounted for by the supernatural power of God.”
When I look at the gospels, I see that the normal everyday life of Jesus included miracles. When I look at the book of Acts, I see that the normal everyday life of the believers included miracles. And when I hear about God working in the lives of believers today, I see that God still works in miraculous ways.
Now, I am not saying that it is God’s will for believers to go around working big, crowd-drawing miraculous signs every day. Nor am I saying that it is always God’s will to work miraculously in every situation.
What I am saying is that I believe many Christians today, myself included, tend to have a basic problem with little faith. I am also saying that our little faith is often preventing God from releasing His power in our lives and through us into the lives of others.
What exactly do I mean by little faith? Jesus used the term little faith to describe those who believed, but who limited God’s working in their lives because their actions did not match their beliefs. We are people of little faith when we prevent God from working because we think we have it all under control, or because we would rather depend on our own selves, our own abilities, and our own resources–because it is too scary to step out in faith and trust that God will provide in a way we simply cannot anticipate. We want to have it all figured out ahead of time. We want to count our chickens before they hatch. We want to do it the way we have always done it before, not necessarily because the results were great, but because we know what to expect. And you know what? It doesn’t require us to exercise any faith!
But that is not God’s Way. If we want to do God’s Will God’s Way, it is going to require three things: (1) prayer, (2) abiding in Him, and (3) stepping out in faith. It requires prayer because prayer is listening to God, learning to hear His still small voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it (Isaiah 30:21)”. It requires abiding in Him through personal worship, meditation and study of God’s Word because that is the means through which God transforms our thinking and prepares us to accomplish the work He has for us to do. It requires stepping out in faith because it is after we act on what God has revealed to us that His power is released to accomplish His Will in His Way.
Do you want to see God do what only He can do? Then partner with Him and allow Him to transform your prayer life, your devotional life, and determine to act based on faith–based on what you know is true according to the Word of God, rather than according to what feels familiar or comfortable. Let us agree with God to do His Will His Way and watch what He will do!