During our family devotions this morning, we were reading in Mark 9. It’s the story about the disciples being unable to cast out a demon. When they asked Jesus why, Jesus said, “Everything is possible for Him who believes… This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Jesus had granted them the power to cast out demons, but they were unable to utilize that power because they were relying on themselves instead of depending in faith upon God.
How often do we find ourselves in the same place? I wonder how often God is hindered or unable to work because either we just don’t believe Him, or we try to do things in our own strength? This is such a challenging thought to me. One author I was reading used the term, “Omnipotence Shackled.” It’s amazing to think that all the power in the universe can be shackled and stopped by my lack of faith!
How about you? Is the Omnipotence of God shackled in your life by lack of faith? Take a few minutes to ponder that thought. When have you been guilty of shackling God’s Omnipotence? Have you maybe hindered God by not believing or praying for Him to do something you thought was not possible?
Matt 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6
Take a few minutes to read these passages. As you read, think about these questions:
- What characters are involved in this story?
- What had God allowed in each of their lives?
- What would it have been like for Jesus to come home and face this kind of opposition?
- Did it stop Jesus from ministering?
- What hindered Jesus ministry?
- What excuse did the people use to discredit Jesus’ ministry?
In the passage for today, the people of Nazareth shackled the power of God through unbelief. Jesus wanted to authenticate His ministry and who He was to them… but they would not believe, and therefore Jesus was “shackled!”
In the last few passages we have seen Jesus cross over the lake for the purpose of confronting a legion of demons and delivering a man that was “beyond hope.” Coming back to Galilee he was confronted by Jairus, a skeptical synagogue ruler who’s daughter was dying. On the way to Jairus’ house a woman in faith touches Him and is instantly healed. He then continues to Jairus’ house. By now his daughter is dead, so Jesus raises her from the dead.
From there he heals two blind men and delivers another man from demons.
Everywhere Jesus has gone, the people have been amazed at His power. The people acknowledged that never in Israel’s history had they witnessed such amazing things. Their response indicates their willingness to accept Jesus for who He claimed to be.
Then Jesus came to Nazareth.
What a challenge! Do we really believe that God is omnipotent and nothing is impossible for Him? Do we discredit God’s work through His servants because of lack of credentials? How often does our faith hinder God’s work?
This week, what are some things that you are going to believe God for that will strengthen your faith? (Mk 11:24) What are you going to do this week to un-shackle God’s Omnipotence? Will you enable God to work by believing Him to do something you thought was not possible?
This week, I will pray for you this week that you will grow in unshackling faith.