Mark 6:5-6 “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.”
In the gospels on a number of occasions we see Jesus rebuking His disciples for a lack of faith. It does not mean that they did not have faith, but their faith was inadequate. However, when He did see examples of faith He stopped and pointed that out. Why? Because “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6
Psalm 78 gives a brief history of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. What was God’s complaint with them? “Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.” (Psalms 78:41) The question that comes to my mind is how did they test God or how do we test God? One way is by not remembering the great things that God has done, which can boil down to unbelief. They tested God by their unbelief. They were tempting God to act according to their unbelief. He wanted to show Himself strong on their behalf, but their unbelief ‘bound’ God. Just as the soldiers bound Jesus at His arrest so we bind God by our unbelief.
Tozer said that the man who believes God will obey God, and that God gives faith to the obedient heart. With obedience comes action. We read in Hebrews 11 that Abraham believed and he acted; Moses believed and he acted and so James tells us: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? If one of you says, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:14, 16, 18
We say that we have faith, but a good test on whether we have faith or not will be seen by what we do, how we live, in our actions. In other words, what action have I taken to show evidence of my faith in God?
Napoleon Hill in his book THINK, AND GROW RICH said: “Faith is the basis of all ‘miracles,’ and all mysteries which cannot be analyzed by the rules of science! Faith is the only known antidote for failure! Faith is the element, the ‘chemical’ which, when mixed with prayer, gives one direct communication with the Almighty.”
Scripture tells us: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”(Rom 10:17 NKJV) What this tells me is that by hearing the Word of God it not only helps my faith, but we know that every man is what he is by the dominating thoughts which occupy his mind. A man of faith is one whose thoughts are dominated by the Word of God. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
In a “2013 LifeWay Research study regular protestant church attenders were asked how often they read the Bible outside of church. While 19 percent answered “every day,” 18 percent said rarely/never. 25 percent indicated that they read the Bible a few times a week, and the rest answered “occasionally.” Interestingly, 90 percent of this same group said, “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all that I do.” No wonder that our faith is so inadequate! FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD!
The man/woman whose thoughts are dominated by the Word of God is unstoppable. “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.” (Hebrews 11:33-35 NKJV)
Our faith is like a muscle that must be exercised. How? By simply beginning to obey whatever the Lord is leading you to do as you read in His Word. In other words, by SIMPLE OBEDIENCE.