Wednesday, January 31, 2024

God of Power

Have you ever wondered if you have enough faith? 

It's a question that most of us wrestle with at one time or another (or many times); it's often not helped by others in the church who like to tell us that if we had just a little more faith, God would be answering our prayer the way we want Him to. In fact, there are all kinds of movements (sects) of Christianity that believe in the name-it-and-claim-it kind of faith that just depends on believing well enough. 

And certainly, when things aren't going well and times are tough, it's tempting to think...maybe it's me. Maybe if I just believed God just a little bit more, things would work out okay. faith is the problem. 

But God's power doesn't depend on your faith. Or mine. 

God is God, whether we believe enough or not. God is God, whether we can wrap our minds around it or not. God is God, through all our straining and struggling and groaning and failing. 

One of the stories that I think helps to illustrate this is a story way back in 1 Samuel 5, when the Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant from Israel. 

Back in those days, gods were pretty much a personal deal. That is, what god you believed in depended on what people you belonged to. The Philistines had their own god, and as such, they didn't really pay much mind to Israel's God. They took the Ark of the Covenant not because they thought it had some kind of power and would bless them or because they wanted some measure of the Lord for themselves; they took it because it was important to the Israelites, as a token of their God, and the Philistines thought it might demoralize Israel to think they had lost their God in the middle of a battle. 

If you think your faith is the problem, imagine what it must feel like to be responsible for someone else kidnapping your God. Ouch. 

What happens next, though, is everything. Because as the Philistines take the Ark back into their own territory, things start happening. Weird things. Things that demonstrate the power of this God that they don't even believe in. Things that make them afraid of holding onto this Ark for very long at all. 

Actually, they keep moving the Ark around, trying to find a place to put it where the Lord's power won't come down so heavily on them. They even take it to one place, and the guy is like...nope. Nuh-uh. Not here. Are you trying to kill me? 

This is unheard of. In that day and time, the "so-called gods" of another people weren't your problem. They weren't going to bother you because you weren't worshiping them. You didn't have to please them or appease them. It was a non-factor. 

Except this isn't some so-called god; this is God. The Lord. And His power has never depended on whether you believe in it or not. On whether you believe in Him or not. 

And if the Lord who isn't believed in can break the gods of the Philistines and cause a breakout of rats and hemorrhoids in those who don't even acknowledge His power, how much more can He do in you, who are trying earnestly to believe in Him? 

Friend, your faith is not too weak. And even if it were, it would not change God's strength one bit. 

He is God Almighty. Period. 

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