As I journey on in my “lessons on faith” God continues to show me aspects of having faith that I have never seen before and today is yet another insight. I was thinking along the lines of our faith limiting how God can work in our lives and realized that it is possible for us to limit God’s ability to what we term as “easy” things.
We know the story of the Israelite’s in the desert who quarreled with Moses because there was no water to drink (Exodus 17:1-7). When Moses struck the rock, water gushed out and streams flowed abundantly. They were testing God to see if “the Lord is among us or not?” We know that God showed them His faithfulness.
Then in Psalm 78, recounting the history of the Jewish nation, that psalmist reflects and there is an interesting verse i.e. verse 20:
“True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out,
streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread?
Can he supply meat for his people?’”
They were saying in our words: “True, we know he can cause water to come out of a rock, that was ‘easy peasy’ for Him, but can he also give us food, give us meat?”
They thought it an easy task for God to supply water in a desert by striking a rock, their reasoning said the water could have been there all along. But it would not be so easy for God to supply bread and meat in a desert! That was impossible.
This is the same as: “Sure God can heal flu, but can He heal cancer?” or “Sure God can send me some money, but can He help me get out of financial trouble?” What about “Sure God can help my husband and I argue less, but can He heal our marriage?”
We who have little faith (little belief) limit God to what we think are easier tasks for Him and rule out the difficult tasks. We rule out certain prayers for miracles (the impossible) in our lives because of our own understanding of God, our own “common sense”, our own belief that it cannot be done. We display little faith.
Peter, who had been walking on water with Jesus looked at the waves and the strong winds and doubted Jesus’ ability to keep him walking on water. When Peter first started walking, he was focused on Jesus, but when Peter started looking at his environment he reasoned that it was not possible for Jesus. Jesus grabbed him and said: “You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:31.)
Having little faith, caused Peter’s existing faith to sink. He doubted Jesus’ ability. He limited Jesus to what was ‘easy peasy,’ not the impossible. Jesus himself reminds us:
‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’ Luke 18:27
Psalm 78:21 continues to tell us that when the Lord heard of the lack of faith of the Israelite’s, He was angry. Why? “…for they did not believe in God or trust in His deliverance.”
Let’s not limit God to what we think is “easy peasy” for Him to do in our lives.
But let us have faith that believes our God can do the impossible and start believing for the impossible in our lives and praying impossible prayers.
Don’t display little faith and go easy on Him.
- Here is another example where our own thoughts and reasoning can undermine faith. Is your faith based on what is easy for God to do? Look back over the last year and examine your prayers. Have you limited God by asking for what you thought was easy for God to do? How many “impossible” prayers have you prayed?
- What we pray about can demonstrate easy peasy faith, where we limit God by praying about the symptoms of the problem, rather than the source of the problem. Unconsciously we reason that God cannot fix the source of the problem, that is too hard for God, but He can help me with the symptoms. Evaluate how many sources of problems that need His power, you actually pray about.
- Reserve a page in your journal for Crazy prayers and write down a prayer for an impossible intervention in your life, something that You think will be really hard for God to do and you have avoided praying about before.
- When we limit our prayers to ‘easy peasy’ prayers, does it mean that God is limited? What is God looking for in our lives that limits his response?
Lord please forgive me for all the times I have limited You with my “common sense” and my belief that “it cannot be done.” Also forgive me for the times I have decided what is possible for you to do and what not, and then the small prayers I have prayed instead of big, bold, faith-filled prayers for the impossible. Build a faith in me that is totally convinced that You can do the impossible and expects You to do the impossible. I declare that my faith does not sink because I allow my “common sense” to tell me what God can do. I am a person of faith who believes for the impossible.
There was a ‘praying for the symptoms rather than the problem’ mentality in my faith. I would pray for God to help me cope with the problem, rather than pray about the problem itself. When I looked back on the past I could see that it was exactly when I prayed the impossible prayers that God intervened in my life. Without realising it, I had decided that it was my lot in life to live in a difficult situation and had started praying for survival, rather than God doing the impossible and helping me to overcome. I was limiting God by my own choice of what I would believe. It was time to stop “being easy on God” and giving Him the opportunity to be glorified in my life.
Around this time I started praying my “secret prayers” that were just between me and God, I would tell no-one else about these. They were based on my secret burdens, the sorrows I was carrying with me that I would not tell people about, or would just not even know how to articulate to someone. I had given up praying about these burdens because I thought they were impossible to change and for a long time I had been praying “Lord help me survive” prayers.
Around this time Lamentations 3:28 in the Amplified spoke to my heart: “Let her sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon her [for her benefit].” It was not going to be an angry silence, but a faith silence. A quiet uncomplaining, faith-based trust that was going to build faith in me. His mercies were going to be new every morning and Lam 3:24-25 (AMP)…
“The Lord is my portion and my inheritance,” says my soul; “Therefore I have hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him, To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].
I would take God at His Word, say my secret prayers and quietly wait on Him in confidence. No more taking it easy on God, time to get down to business, just between the two of us.