Do you frustrate God?
Is your sin greater than evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander?
Is your sin silent, unnoticed by others, but loud to God?
Are you limiting His power in your life?
At one point or another we all commit this sin that triggers frustration in God from heaven. We commit this individually, and we commit this as a whole body of Christ in our churches. This very sin not only tries God’s patience, it creates a barrier to miracles in our life. It causes us to live in the shadow of mediocrity instead of the shadow of God’s wings.
Asaph, the Psalmist, laments the lyrics about God’s people, “Oh, how often they rebelled against Him in the desert and grieved His heart in the wilderness. Again and again they tested God’s patience and frustrated the Holy One of Israel. They forgot about His power and how He rescued them from their enemies” (Psalm 78:40-42).
It is incredible to me that we (so small) can test the patience of God, whose patience is mammoth in size compared to ours; for God’s patience exceeds ours by galaxies. We are but a spec on earth, minuscule compared to the greatness of our God, yet we can upset the Holy One of Israel with this one sin that exceeds all sin:
our lack of faith.
The smallness of our faith may move a few pebbles, but never mountains. We may see buds on a vine, but never fruit. Jesus did many miracles in many places on earth, too many to write in a book for there were not enough books to hold all the many wonders He performed. But there was one place that He did very little marvels – His hometown!
Jesus came to His hometown and began teaching the people in their synagogues; they were amazed! But their amazement did not produce praise, honor and faith; it produced questions, doubt and jealousy. They began to ask with indignation, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary and aren’t’ his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at Him” (Matthew 13:53-57). My, my, my how the fruit does not fall far from the tree! These people are just like the ones in the wilderness; they focused on what they knew and what they could understand; they grumbled, complained, and questioned God’s power and His Holy One. It is as if they thought they knew better than God!
Jesus responded, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own house.” Jesus was pointing out that God’s own people rejected Him. They rejected God, His Father in the wilderness even after being rescued from their enemies; and they rejected the Holy One of Israel in the day that Jesus, God’s Son was sent to redeem them from their sin. Their response awarded them with very few miracles performed by our Lord as Matthew reports “…Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58).
Our lack of faith frustrates God; it tries His patience with us; it limits His power in our life; and then the very worst of all, we live a second-rate unexceptional life in Christ. Not because Jesus is unexceptional or second-rate, but because we have chosen to travel our Christian life on the low road vs. the high. For trivia purposes, the low road is an instinctive approach that promises a quick fix, but the high road is an intellectual approach that promises longevity. Mediocre faith is instinctive while an exceptional faith is intellectual.
We all have walked this trail of mediocrity. However, we must remember that this path leads to a dead-end in the great things of God. It’s time for a U-turn! Take another route – one that pleases our God.
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Faith is a lot more than just believing that God can do great things – it is expecting Him to do great things. It’s thanking Him for the miracle before the miracle comes. The writer of Hebrews puts it clearly, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen…” (Hebrews 11:1). Notice that little word is; the word used here is not the word “might” or “could.” Is states a powerful proclamation; it speaks promise, vow, pledge…a guarantee. My friends, choose to live in the is of God’s power not the could be, hope to, or might happen. Never go there! Do not shrink in your faith and God won’t shrink in His power. The immeasurably more never comes from a measurable faith.