When You Can't
I’ve noticed as I get wiser (aka older) my resolutions every New Year get a bit more realistic (aka non existent). In past years, I’ve learned great intentions don’t usually equal great results. I’ve tried dabbling with a wide array of self improvement goals in year’s past-- lose weight, think of others more then myself, pray harder, love without conditions, forgive freely, be more organized-- the list could go on. I tried, I really, really did. But to be honest I haven’t succeeded with too many of these lofty goals.
I have failed so often at these so-called resolutions that, like many people, I don’t even make them any more. Admittedly, I use the “New Year motivation” to accomplish a few necessary projects, but, rarely do I make goals for any lasting changes.
During my morning quiet time as I read the story of the centurion in Matthew Chapter 8, the Lord revealed something to my heart that was quite surprising. Stunned, I sat there-- reflecting for a few moments on the audacious faith of this soldier.
When did I stop believing GOD is capable?
Don’t get me wrong. I believe the Bible, the miracles of the Old Testament, the truth of God’s character, the bold and passionate love of Jesus-- the things I understand and even those I cannot-- all of it. Yet, I often dumb down God’s power in my life.
In Matthew Chapter 8:5-13, the centurion (roman soldier) asks Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant. Jesus offers to come to His house to heal his servant and the centurion declines because he knows he is unworthy. The centurion then goes on to tell Jesus that he believes all Jesus needs to do is speak the healing and it will happen. The soldier’s response to Jesus’ offers to come touch his servant is quite shocking. The centurion’s response is evidence that not only does he believe Jesus can heal him-- but he also believes his servant can be healed from a distance without any physical contact. Healed-- with just a word. What an ambitious faith!
The truth I must settle in my heart is that God’s ability to do anything exceeds my ability to ask for anything.
In Matthew Henry’s commentary he states, “Observe his faith. The more humility, the more faith, the more faith, the more diffident (un-confident) we are of ourselves and the stronger we will be in our confidence in Jesus Christ.”
Our God isn’t restrained within the realm of probability or even possibility. He can do anything, not just anything, but more of “anything” then we can even possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20). Immeasurably more. You can’t wrap your head around God’s ability--don’t try to.
I hope this story encourages you as it has me to live with a bold faith this year. May you know that He is more than capable! What you can’t do it in your most fervent efforts; He can without even breaking a sweat. God isn’t surprised by your needs and requests. He loves His children compassionately and rewards those who express reckless faith in His ability. As God’s children, you and I are far more than “works in progress.” We are masterpieces progressing in this walk of faith by the power and grace of an all-powerful God. Rely daily on the only One who CAN do what we CAN’T.