The Great Escape | Not Enough Faith

The Great Escape | Not Enough Faith

The question, “Do I have enough faith?” reveals the placement of our faith. The question reveals our self-reliance. And, self-reliance is the enemy of faith. The question is not, “Do I have enough faith?”. A better question is, “What is the object of my faith?”

Arguing With Jesus

Have You Ever Had An Argument With Jesus? I have. I often wonder why He doesn’t show off a bit. You know, maybe perform a few more miracles and obvious answers to prayer. And, of course, there are the things I am asking Him to do or give me. We all have prayers for needs, healing, restoration, and fellowship.

John 18:36 (NLT)  Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

The Kingdom We Are From. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount describes a very different way to live and think. His way is not one of work, effort, self-reliance, and punishment. His way is one of faithfulness, power, discipline, compassion, and truth.

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But, The Kingdom We Inhabit.  It’s a crushing world. It has been since Adam’s sin. Everything about Jesus is at odds with the world you were born into and have learned to survive within. 

The Trap of Not Enough Faith. Your enemy is trying to trap you and neutralize you at every opportunity. He tells you that you don’t have enough, it’s all your fault, or it’s all God’s fault. You would think that his strategy would backfire, that it would trigger a response like, “Well, if I don’t have enough, I’ll get enough. I’ll get more.” But that is the trap. 

Matthew 16:18 (NLT) Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

Faith’s Strength Is In Its Foundation

A Well-Contended Text. So what did Jesus mean?  Who is the ‘rock’ Jesus refers to?  The Catholics say it’s Peter and this is his installment as the first Pope. So, was Jesus referring to Peter or Himself? I believe that Peter understood Jesus to be referring to Himself and here is why:

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NLT) You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.

Peter’s words tell us that he understood Jesus as the cornerstone or foundation stone and believers are little living stones established upon Jesus’ work and person.

Jesus, The Firm Foundation. The object of your Faith is what makes your faith strong. This is why Jesus said that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you could move mountains. In a strong wind, say a tornado or hurricane, it’s not your strength that will save you. It’s the strength of your shelter.

The Accuser’s Lie. Your enemy whispers, “You can’t hold out. Your faith is weak and in the end, it all depends upon you.” His trick is to get you to step out of your stronghold and step into self-reliance. The problem with self-reliance is that you are simply not strong enough.

Matthew 16:21 (NLT) From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

Your Strength Is In Waiting

You Are Not The First Person Jesus Has Confused. The disciples had a very different idea of what the Messiah was going to do. They didn’t recall Isaiah 53 and Psalms 24. THEIR Messiah was going to be easily victorious; they were his pals, so sooner or later life was going to get easy for them. It did not occur to them that when everyone discovered that Jesus would never be the Messiah they wanted, people would turn on them. So, Jesus’ predictions did not sit well with Peter.

When Jesus Defies Your Expectations. There is a reason Isaiah told us to wait upon the Lord. When we don’t know what God is doing, David told us to be still and know that He is God. When you don’t know what Jesus is doing, maybe wait for your strength to come. There is a lesson here, wait for strength to come. Maybe, just maybe, when you are tired, you are supposed to rest and wait for your strength, your peace, and your inspiration. All of God’s saints in the Bible had seasons of rest. but we never seem to stop. Maybe we are doing it wrong.

Matthew 16:22-23a (NLT) But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan!

Don’t Fight Your Faith

Jesus Loves You Enough To Correct You. It’s one thing to work things out with Jesus, but it takes pride to instruct Him. I know it sounds ridiculous, but we do that more than we realize. We tell Him HOW to solve our situations. We tell Him who needs fixing. Our prayers need to pull us deeper into trust. A simple prayer might be, “God help me to see your perspective and give up my own opinion.”

Correction from Jesus is restoration, not humiliation. Sure it’s humiliating to see where we have messed up, but Jesus restores and comforts us. Consider Peter’s restoration in John 21. It’s not harsh…it wasn’t easy, but nor was it harsh.

Luke 22:31-32 (NLT) …I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail.

Jesus Will Make Sure Your Setbacks Are Not Failures. Simon stumbled, but He did not ultimately fail. He even quit, but Jesus restored him. This is why trying harder fails. Sometimes you’re done and have nothing left. We should release this humanistic philosophy, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”

Why? Because Jesus isn’t a crutch. He is our breath and life. We don’t merely lean on Him, we are completely dependent upon Him. That’s faith. Jesus plus or minus nothing is my victory. He is the object of your faith. Your strength or ability is not an issue.