Praise Jesus, everyone.
Today it truly is a blessing to serve the God that can do anything. But, I want to speak today about a certain paradox. And that is, something God cannot do. I want to read about this and if you take a look at it yourself, too, it will be more compelling.
This is found in Mark 6, and I hope that some of us can hear this message today and really learn from what God cannot do, and then apply that to our life so we can become better.
This is found in Mark chapter 6, and this happens right as Jesus is doing these wonderful miracles that the Father is working through Him. We get to chapter 6:
“And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples followed him.
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.”
Did you know that Jesus had sisters and brothers and they didn’t even believe in him? They were offended at Jesus because they saw things that Jesus did, and some of them were jealous of him. They were offended at him.
Mark 6 continues:
“But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
So, here is the question: what can Jesus not do by the power of God? We see there is something that he can’t do here. It specifically says in verse 5 that Jesus could do no mighty work there, that is in his own town, except that he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their disbelief. So what Christ can’t do by the power of God is healings in people and miracles in people with disbelief. Jesus would always heal people according to their belief. And the one thing God cannot do is be pleased with people with unbelief. He can’t heal people that are unbelieving and without faith.
Now I want you to take a look with me at how important it is to have belief in God, to trust him, to know that he is our God and our Savior, that he loves us, and that He will help us if we call on Him. This is a very important principle in the Christian walk. It’s something that God requires of us, and if we don’t know what God requires we can’t please Him. And there’s a lot of Christians who think they follow the principles of God, the principles in the Bible, but they don’t listen to the principles that Jesus taught. They don’t follow the Lord. They don’t honor Him. They can’t follow after him in faith because they disbelieve God. I want to read part of Hebrews. This is the faith chapter. Hebrews 11:1-6 reads:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
If you don’t have true faith, then it is impossible for you to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. It’s impossible for you to get to know God. You have to have an amount of faith that leads you forward, and not just faith that you believe that God exists, or faith that God could come through for you. You have to have enough belief to take steps in faith forward, trusting that God will catch you. I want to relate this to just something really basic that I learned in school.
When I was really young in school, I didn’t really trust the teachers. Not, rather, that I didn’t trust the teacher, but I didn’t trust how I was hearing the teacher speak. So whenever they would give me an assignment, I’d always second guess myself, whether or not I heard them correctly. But when I got to college, I learned to just pay attention close enough. Whatever I did on a report or an essay or an assignment, I just followed whatever they said. And I had faith that if I followed whatever they said, and if, in doing what they said, I did wrong, I had faith enough to know that if I went back to the teacher I could relay an argument to them: I just followed your directions. Why are you giving me a “C” or “D” or an “F” when I followed your directions?
I had enough faith to know that if I followed those directions to a “T”, as much as my understanding led me, and I still got a bad grade, I could make the argument and put it on the teacher’s shoulders that they did not teach me clearly enough. So, knowing that, and having that amount of faith, it empowered me to do as much as I felt I could do with the knowledge that the teacher gave me, and if I came up short, I would rest that back on the teacher’s shoulders. It wasn't on my own shoulders.
Now, when I truly came to believe in God and trust Him, I had to have a similar sort of faith. We do not test God in an unrighteous way. We say, “The amount of faith that you’ve given us, Lord, I want to act on that. And what I don’t know, if I’m a failure in that, it’s because you have not given me that amount of faith.” And the areas I knew I was lacking, I prayed, “Lord, please give me more faith in this area because if I don’t have faith to trust you in this, then I won’t be able to do it.
One example of this, that I have given before in my testimony, was when I was a paid pastor at that Baptist Church. I had this vision or this word from the Holy Spirit to pack my bags and to leave. To sell my house and to move. That was as much direction as I got from my Teacher. So I knew that with that amount of understanding, that amount of knowledge, that amount of coaching, if God is telling me to pack my bags and move, but He’s not giving me any more specifics, then when I start to move and act, God is responsible for the rest. I had enough faith to know that the responsibility was on God’s shoulders, but it was on my shoulders to act on what God told me.
Now, a lot of people don’t have faith enough to act with the amount of faith or the word that God gave them. They don’t trust the teacher. They’re fearful that they’re going to fail and it’s going to be on their shoulders. So, they can’t trust God enough to even move them forward a half of an inch. But if you trust that God can guide you because He loves you, and He’s a good teacher, if you trust He will give you the amount of teaching that you need at the rate you can receive it, then you trust Him enough to grow.
Because I was able to muster together as much faith as I had, and trust the Lord, I put in my resignation at my church. I told them that church was like a whorehouse, as Jesus was telling me. I packed my bags and I moved because I had enough faith to trust in God. As I did, the Lord blessed me. I didn’t go hungry. I didn't miss a single payment on my mortgage. I was able to get all the things that I needed to pack my bags and move because I had faith, and that pleased God.
Now, I could have easily told the Lord, “Lord, you didn’t tell me exactly which direction to go. You didn’t tell me what job I was going to have. You didn’t tell me what my life would look like a year from now.” I could have made excuses about how bad of a teacher he was, but I knew not to do that even from my earthly experience in college. Teachers, if they are good teachers, give you an amount of instruction that you need to complete the task immediately in front of you. That doesn’t mean that you know the whole course or that you’re gonna pass every class or every assignment that was in the syllabus. But, a good teacher is giving you enough information to enable you to pass those assignments as you receive them. And I knew that if I’ve had earthly teachers in college that are good enough to get me by, obviously God is a better teacher than they are. And God is worthy to lead me and guide me by his Spirit of truth. I began to grow in faith.
I began seeing the Holy Spirit coming through for me: providing money for me when I needed it, providing people in my life to give me the provision I needed when I needed it. He just made the way for me. When I started to realize that, my faith grew.
The problem is a lot of people are not growing in their faith because they simply can’t please God in the first place. They don’t trust Him as a teacher. They don’t think they have enough resources because they don’t trust what God has given them. They can’t overcome their sin because they don’t trust the Lord. They can’t have eyes that see because they don’t ask for it. They don’t receive any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so they’re totally stunted. And what a lot of times happens, when these people are stunted, they say, “Lord, I give up. I’ll try to appease you by giving money to some of your people. I’ll donate money to Africa. I'll donate money to a church. I’ll give my 10 percent to appease you. Oh, God, but I can't do what you ask. I can’t be set free from sin. I can’t go where you call me. But I’ll just appease you by giving you money or I’ll appease you by giving presents to my grandchildren.” I know a lot of elderly people that are grandparents or parents, and they literally think they can buy their way into the kingdom of God even though they’re not pleasing God with their own life.
It’s impossible to please God by trying to buy your way into the kingdom of Heaven. You can’t do it. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. All of these grandparents around Christmas time think they are going to do great things by just getting their grandchildren presents. It’s wonderful getting presents, don't get me wrong, but you can’t buy your way into the kingdom of God if you’re lacking faith, and you don’t trust the Teacher, Christ. If you don’t trust Him, you’re not going to please God. You’re not going to enter His kingdom. And at the end of your life, He’s going to tell you, “Away from me you who commit iniquity. I don’t know you.”
It doesn’t matter how much you donated to the poor, or gave to children, or if you tithe your 10% to the church, or donated your time to this charity or that charity. What’s going to matter is if you had faith that was pleasing to God, and if you did the things that He called you to do. Did you overcome your sin? Did you come into the light of the truth? Did you overcome addiction? Did you live righteously? Did you love others as yourself? Were you able to forgive? These are the things that God calls us to do that many people are neglecting. Instead of doing the things God calls them to do, they become bitter at others. They become angry at God. They try to outwardly look good before men. These are the kinds of people, in the professional workplace, who are the first to donate to charity. They are the first to help someone get their first vehicle or help the company get better. They feel enslaved to do good things for the economy because subconsciously they’re trying to buy off God. They’re trying to earn their way to Heaven. But as we know, there is not enough good works we can do to earn our salvation. It’s impossible. Rather, you have to have faith, and faith means doing the things that Jesus commanded of you to do. Are we really men and women of faith? Do we trust the Lord when He gives us a hard task? Do we trust that He gives us the provision to overcome it? Do we start walking in faith with the amount of guidance that He’s given us? Or are we stunted with fear? Are we terrified? Do we just not know what to do, or worse, do we become cowards and start listening to people?
These days, during Covid-19 and this pandemic, a lot of people are quick to run to prophets. They want to hear a word from men. A lot of us aren’t hearing from God, so a lot of people are running to people. People tell them all sorts of things that get them very mixed up. But Jesus didn’t promise a church. He didn’t even promise you the Bible. There are some people that don’t have the privilege of reading the Bible, yet they will also be judged according to their works and their actions. They will be condemned according to the words they said or things they did, or they will be justified according to what they did and said. So, are we living with true faith? Do you have faith? Look inward. Look inwardly at yourself and just ask: The amount of faith that God has given me, am I really living for the Lord with what He’s given me? The amount of talents He’s giving me, am I giving that back to the Lord? Am I honoring God with my life? Or am I living selfishly? Am I living without faith? Am I living to please God by showing signs to men that I’m righteous, but I’m neglecting the things that God actually called me to do: true repentance, ridding myself of sin, asking for forgiveness, apologizing to people that have offended me? Is your heart really clean and pure? Or are you full of bitterness and impurity, immodesty, lust? Make sure that your heart is really righteous before God. Because it’s impossible to please Him without faith.
The one thing that God cannot do is a miracle in someone’s life that has no faith in Him. That’s why a lot of people see no miracles. They see no healings. They don’t see God working. They have zero faith. But if you want to see God move, if you want to see Him move through you, you have to ask the Lord to grow your faith. Ask Him to help you if you don’t have a desire. If you just feel that you’re empty inside, say, “Lord, please give me a desire to grow in my faith. Give me a desire to have you working through me. Give me a new heart that beats, a heart that is alive. Help me be able to see the way you see. I don’t want to see any more from the perspective of men. I want to see from the perspective of God.”
And if we truly are seekers after the truth, after the light, then we’ll be seekers after God, after His own heart. We want to be chasing after God’s heart, because in Him there is life. He is the light of men. But if we’re chasing after men, and we have no faith, we will be in darkness.
I hope this encourages someone out there to really have faith to start praying. To start your prayer life with Jesus, and to act on the amount of faith that God has given you.
May the grace of Jesus be with you.