"The Power of Faith" - Tuesday, August 16th

"The Power of Faith" - Tuesday, August 16th

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. Luke 17:5-6

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

“Faith” is a tricky matter. “Faith” in Scripture is always about our connection with God. Scripture has three main images that depict our relationship with God: our Almighty Creator and his human creatures, our Divine Shepherd and his human sheep, and our Heavenly Father and his human children. These relational images of our relationship with God depict a lot, but primarily, our absolute dependence on Him. Only God can help us successfully navigate life in ways that are truly meaningful and count for eternity. Only God can secure for us that which comes after this life, an eternity in heaven with Him. This is wonderfully stated at the end of the 23rd Psalm where it says, “Surely goodness and mercy (from our Divine Shepherd) will follow me (his human sheep) all the days of my life (time on earth) and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (eternity in heaven).

The object of our “faith” is God and the reason for “faith” is dependence on Him who alone is in charge and who alone can fulfill in and through us the purposes he established for our existence in the first place. All understandings of faith and exercising of faith that deviate from this are not Scriptural. In today’s Scripture we find the apostles making a request of the Lord, Jesus Christ: “Increase our faith.” One of the purposes God has for “people of faith” is using them to help others become “people of faith.” Faith really can move mountains and even mulberry trees. The desire to be a person who can generate such powerful effects is where “faith” often gets twisted into something other than Scriptural faith. Scriptural faith is all about our connection with God and being dependent on him.

As we walk with God in the fullness of this faith connection, He may choose to work through us in a powerful way. But if we are caught up in ourselves, have moved away from dependence on God, and our lives are more about us than God and his purposes, He is not likely to use us in powerful ways. For the apostles and for us, the “increasing of faith” is all about increasing our dependence on God and our expectation that God will work powerfully through us. But it will always be a matter of “if and when” God wants to do so. “People of faith” being used to help others become “people of faith” is a work of God that sometimes may involve his manifesting himself through us in powerful ways. Being “people of faith” is all about staying close to God, remaining dependent on Him, and being full of expectation for His using us however he wants in the lives of others.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, draw me closer to yourself than ever before, help me depend upon you more than ever before, and work through my life to touch the lives of others more than ever before. “Increase my faith” in ways that are right and true. May you and you alone glorified as you use me however and whenever you want. Amen!

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