“God himself and not the quantity of our faith is the decisive factor in flinging mulberry trees out of the way” – John Piper
This post, so it seemed, had been over-due for about a week now and it stems from the same issue. However, I thank my God for allowing me to go deeper into the topic to explore things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
God please help my faith!!!!!!!!!!
Initially, last Sunday, i was in church and we were doing battle in praying for our nation of Trinidad and Tobago and Pastor Bachew made reference to the necessity of faith. While agreeing with the pastor who was leading us in prayer, i found myself fighting with the devil asking if i really believed what i was praying for, if it was really possible that Jesus could save and heal our land even through the bible clearly states in 2 Chronicles 7:14. For some reason in my mind, i believed that praying for one person or one situation would be nothing for God, but once it started to stretch to more than 10 people at a time, the effectiveness of my faith or God’s power would diminish with every increase of situations being addressed. Also, recently i was praying and again, i found myself asking God to PLEASE help my faith. So, apart from what I already knew of reading God’s word and praying (Not in any way downplaying those) i went to trusty (sometimmes) Goggle and searched for ways to increase my faith. That’s where i found that opening quote from John Piper and then i was reminded of what got me through and what helped me to overcome that initial prayer battle.
JESUS is our Banner.
Our faith is necessary but as John 17:5-10 says and expounded on by Pastor Piper:
“By referring to the tiny mustard seed after being asked about increased faith, he deflects attention away from the quantity of faith to the object of faith. God moves mulberry trees. And it does not depend decisively on the quantity of our faith, but on his power and wisdom and love. In knowing this we are helped not to worry about our faith and are inspired to trust God’s free initiative and power.
(See the whole article at => http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-jesus-helped-his-disciples-increase-their-faith)
Our focus for a long time has been us needing to go to the faith gym to bulk up, to be so packed with faith muscles that we burst at the seams. For our cars to be so filled with faith-stuff that the car itself is weighed so low that it’s now dragging on the floor. But we don’t recognise the danger of this. As i was speaking to a beautiful lady recently, we were speaking on the topic of Humility vs Pride and how, according to the rapper by the name of KB, “Pride has 2 main jobs: Comparing and bragging. And one main paycheck: God’s resistance!”, while Humility hides in the shadows thanking God and gives Him all of the Glory and attention.
Like being a faith-stud or having a faith-weighed car, we draw too much attention to ourselves and as Pastor Piper’s article shows and as i was taught last week, our strength doesn’t come from our own work, abilities or God-given talents, but from GOD Himself.
I believed that it was revealed to me by God that HE IS our Everything. HE IS the Great I AM. The Everything that we could ever want and Everything that we need. A popularly quoted verse but more and more i see the depth of this verse:
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV) – 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Not merely time and time again but as The central focus of the Bible states:
Romans 11:36 (KJV) – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Our lives, this earth, our relationships, time, our food, Everything has been, is still and forever will be about Jesus the Christ and His Glory.
It is in Him where and when we find true and everlasting fulfillment, where all purposes are for the good of all, whee true world peace will be achieved, where the full definition and expression of Love is found and where Life is true.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
So when we ride into the heat of battle, when we give our voice in the crowd or classroom, when we give ourselves selflessly behind closed doors, know that we do it for and by the God of Psalms 33:6 and Revelation 1:18 ; our Strength, the very embodiment and essence of Power, the Creator of the Universe, Jesus The Christ. Know that we are not relying on our abilities but on the One who promised that those who wait on Him will never be ashamed (Romans 10:11), “…him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…” (Ephesians 3:20-21) “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) and “..thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” (2 Cor 2:14)
I thank God for His word as it best sums it up:
2 Corinthians 3:5 (KJV) – Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Jeremiah 32:17-18 (KJV) – Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: 18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name, arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee