Thursday, September 4, 2014

Are we keeping ourselves from receiving God's best for us?

"But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in His hometown and in His own household." And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. (Matt. 13:57-58)

It saddens me to admit that sometimes my faith is weak, and I get lost in doubts and unbelief. When I fail to trust God, my heart’s attitude is the same as that of the people in Jesus’ hometown had toward Him.

In Matthew 13:53-58 we read of how after Jesus had taught in His hometown, people were amazed by Him but didn't believe Him. The last verse reveals that the people’s unbelief prevented Jesus from performing many miracles there. I can’t help to think about those areas in my life in which I struggle to believe and trust in God. 

Could it be that my doubts and unbelief are keeping me from receiving God's best for my life? Am I preventing Him from doing miracles in me? Could it be…that God is waiting for me to trust and believe?

Have you ever stopped to evaluate the condition of your trust and believe in God? Well, let me share with you what I’m learning. Perhaps you've also experienced this: 

It is not always evident to us that we are not trusting God, or that we are living in unbelief. That’s why it is important we take the time to ask God to search our hearts and reveal the areas we need to let go, trust and have faith in order for Him to do His thing.

Maybe our lack of faith looks slightly different than that of the people in His hometown. We are certainly amazed by His teachings, but when it comes down to putting rubber to the road, to live what we believe, we come to a screeching halt. We may not question out loud, but our behavior certainly reveals an unbelieving heart.

I'm learning to identify when my heart is not in agreement with God; but, that usually happens after one of those should’ve had a V8 hand-slap-on-the-back- of-my-head moments.

It goes like this.

I tend to rush to control things when they are not happening quite as I think they should. Or, I jump to the other extreme and I’m unable to make decisions because fear of failure instead of stepping out in obedience and in faith that He’s got me. I may find myself obsessively worrying about every detail of my life. I worry more about what people think than what God cares about. {You get the picture.}

All these behaviors reflect a lack of trust and unbelief harbored in the depths of my heart. No matter what our struggle is God already knows about it, and He may very well be waiting for us to trust and believe so He can do His thing.

Trust and believe so God can do His thing.
Here's something else to consider.

There are various accounts in the Bible when Jesus asked the people to be healed if they believed. The question seems to be posed as a prerequisite to receiving the miracle. As soon as they professed their faith it opened the door for Jesus to do His thing.

I wonder how many times Jesus’ response to our prayers is “do you believe?” He invites us to trust Him and believe; but, we must make a choice:

Will we question OR;

    • Will we trust and believe that He is working in our lives? 
    • Will we trust and believe even though we may not see or understand His ways?
    • Will we trust and believe His promise to work all things for good for us who love Him?
To trust and believe is not easy. It is part of our faith journey. Trust and believe becomes natural as we grow in our relationship and intimacy with God. It is the attitude that we are call to assume and that we strive to live daily as followers of Jesus.

To trust and believe is to align our hearts, thoughts and behaviors to the way, truth and life that is Christ.
So what do we do when we lack faith and our hearts hang on a thread of belief?

A good place to start is to humble ourselves and be honest with God. Remember, He already knows the struggle we face. Acknowledging the weakness of our faith we should repent and pray, 'Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!' (Mark 9:24).

Then, let's renew our minds with His word and let them sink deep in our hearts. We must not be complacent in our struggles with doubt, let's intentionally turn away from doubts and unbelief and step into the life of trust and faith Jesus calls us to live! Then we can fully experience the blessings God has in store for us. 

Jesus is waiting for us. Will we choose to trust and believe?

A prayer for us:

Lord, we struggle sometimes to trust you, to believe fully in your promises. We want to believe but we are weak. We give into all kinds of reasoning and our hearts fail. Lord, help us understand and believe that your ways are higher than our ways. Help us grow closer in a relationship with you, so that we may come to know you and our faith will grow stronger each day. Thank you that you offer your mercy and grace so freely. Thank you, that you meet us where we are but refuse to let us stay in the same place! Lord search our hearts and show us those areas in which we struggle to trust and believe, and that we determine to stand firm in our faith and live out what we believe without fear. Forgive us when we question, and when our behavior doesn't reflect our faith in you. Lord, we believe, help us overcome our unbelief!
In Jesus name, Amen.

An invitation to share:

I would LOVE to know how you overcome those moments when doubt and unbelief creep into your heart. Or, if you are struggling, I would love to pray for you! 

Leave a comment below and share your heart with us. 

Your story, your experience with God, can be what someone else needs to hear today!

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