God is so great that all of the universe can’t contain Him (1 Kin. 8:27). The greatness of God is evident when we look into the sky at night. When we do this we see stars, and a hint of the creation beyond and we realize what the Psalmist was saying when he said that heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1). When I do this I am impressed and awed by the creative powers of our great God who created such vastness, beauty, harmony. This has produced in me a firm conviction that God is all powerful and can do anything He wants to do.
Despite knowing the greatness and power of our God I wonder if we can limit His power in our lives. Is it possible our thoughts about God and what He can and will do in us, through us and for us are too small and so limit what He will do in us, through us, and for us? My first response is no but…
“Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.” Mark 6:1-6 (NKJV)
What we see here is pretty interesting. These folks had watched Jesus grow up and knew His family and so they couldn’t accept that Jesus was the Messiah despite all the things He’d done. They were focused on the wrong thing. They were focused on ordinary life Jesus had growing up and not on the power He’d demonstrated or wisdom with which He taught. This caused them to doubt what Jesus could do in them, through them and for them and because of that Jesus—who is God in the flesh—only did a few things.
I have heard people use these verses to say that God is only as strong as our faith is. That if we believe that God can do anything, then He can. However if we believe that He can’t, then He can’t. The problem with this is that it just doesn’t fly when we look at Scripture as a whole. The basic testimony of Scripture is that God is great and can do anything He wants to do and no one can stop Him. He alone is the almighty, all powerful God. How do we reconcile the truth that God is almighty and all powerful with the fact that doubts seem to have limited what Jesus could have done in them, through them and for them?
Here is how I understand this issue. I cannot limit what God can do but my doubts may limit what God will do. God can do anything He wants to regardless of anything we do. don’t do, believe or don’t believe. But what God will do very often depends on us. Our doubts can limit what God will do in us, through us and for us. Personally, this isn’t something I want to be true of me. I don’t want my doubts to limit what God will do in me, through me and for me and I’m sure you don’t either. So how do we ensure that we don’t allow our doubts to limit what God will do in us, through us and for us? That’s what I’m going to blog about this week.