When God asks something of you, something you are not sure you can do, how do you respond? This was the question God posed to me while reading Luke 17.
The question came through the disciples. Jesus was on a roll, one faith imperative after another. The chapter opens with Jesus center stage speaking to His disciples:
“Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” (1-4). These comments come after a few chapters of Jesus speaking on a wide range of topics.
It is as if the apostles cannot take any more. Jesus’ last directive about forgiveness, repeated forgiveness to anyone who asks, was the last straw. They interrupt and butt in “Increase our faith!” (5), they blurt out.
As I recreate the moment in my thoughts, it is as if they throw their hand in the air and yell “Stop” before they ask for faith. They can’t take anymore. Their faith is cracking. “We can’t do this. What You are asking is too great…”
When Jesus asks something that you feel is too great for you to do… what do you do?
Some of us whine… “Why me?” Some reply to God, “Ask someone else.” This was Moses’ first response at the burning bush… ‘God, I can’t speak, send someone else…’
Some of us run from God like Jonah.
The apostles cried out for more faith! I was duly impressed and personally challenged. What a great God-honoring request…
Would that this become my ‘go to’ response when God asks things of me I think are too big or too hard or too much to ask of me.
Oh, God, grow my faith and trust. Grow my maturity and my desire to follow you wholeheartedly. Train me, God, for loyalty and self-less faith. Make me, teach me, Lord, to be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit that I am at Your beck and call. Then, Lord, when I don’t think I can do what You ask, show me how to pray with all sincerity. INCREASE MY FAITH.
I pray this in Jesus’ name and I pray this so that my life brings honor and glory to You, my God –Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Amen.