Power misunderstood

Manifesting the Power of God is about humility, not great faith.


Created: 2008/12/08.

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What the disciples really wanted

Luke 17:5-10:

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Jesus saw to the heart of their question. The disciples wanted to do big things and thought that it required big faith. So Jesus says that if you have this tiny amount of faith you could do amazing things.

Here is our first mistake. We think that faith must be amazingly powerful if a measure as small as a mustard seed could do such an amazing thing. We are thinking power; energy; e=mc²; as if the result is proportional to faith. I’ll deal with this in more detail later.

But this is what I think Jesus meant in verse 6,

If you had the smallest discernable amount of faith you could do amazing things.

Totally different isn’t it. It’s not about big faith – you just have it or you don’t. Do you have faith in Jesus to be saved? Then you have faith enough to do amazing things.

Jesus did answer their question

They wanted to do big things. Verses 7 to 10 explain how. It’s all about being a humble servant and just doing what you are told. Doing what you are told means hearing God’s voice and I think that is part of my calling to tell you that you can and should be hearing His voice.

This scripture is incredibly important to me. Two days after I started to see it, I asked my daughter, then about 4, to say grace before dinner. I just thought it was a chance to teach her about prayer. Suddenly this amazing prayer came out of her mouth, encapsulating verses 7 to 10. My jaw dropped, not because of her, but because I knew God was confirming it.

Here are some miscellaneous other scriptures on humility. Really the list is huge – why not just read the Bible...

Who did Jesus acknowledge as having great faith?

It was not his disciples, “O you of little faith” (Matthew 6:30-34, Matthew 8:26, Matthew 14:31, Matthew 16:8, Matthew 17:19). No wonder they asked for an increase in faith! But their motives were wrong.

But here are the great faith examples...

Now here are the similarities:

So I began to see that faith was about recognising who Jesus was; his authority and ultimately his power to save all those who believe in him. Do you have this faith?

Back to doing big things

Yes, it’s still about humility, but something else. These foreigners were not under the law. So what law are you under? ...The laws of Physics? We have a mindset conditioned by what seems possible and what is not. We don’t see it from God’s perspective where “nothing is impossible” (Jeremiah 32:17).

I think that this is the way God does it and I hope this will help you. Read Mark 11:22-25. First it’s about faith in God’s ability and not our faith level. Though we think of the awesome power it might take to pick up a mountain and dump it in the sea, this is not the way God sees it. Just imagine a picture with a mountain in it on your screen. You can cut that mountain from its place and paste it on the sea in a few clicks. No energy expended. That’s how God works. He pictures it as so, and it is.

Conclusion

So after we have faith in God’s ability, just listen and do what He says. Don’t let the laws of Physics limit what God will do. Brave/trusting as Peter was in getting out of the boat, he let the “real” world influence him (Matthew 14:29-31). But you know what I love the most about Peter – he kept getting it wrong, but Jesus always kept him close and made him a leader.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB®

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