Lk 17:5; Matt. 17:15-16
Thomas Carlyle said, “The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
C.H. Spurgeon said, “There are two sins of man that are bred in the bone, and that continually come out in the flesh. One is self dependence and the other is self exaltation. It is very hard, even for the best of men, to keep themselves from the first error. The holiest of Christians, and those who understand best the gospel of Christ, find in themselves a constant inclination to look to the power of the creature, instead of looking to the power of God and the power of God alone.?
The disciples displayed this problem. Yes, they had done great things… they had done wonderful things in His name. But somehow the faith that they had in Him to meet their needs had been gradually transferred to themselves. Now all they had was faith in themselves. This was not good enough. Faith in yourself is empty. Faith in yourself is powerless.
After hearing Jesus preach about what was involved when God transformed a sinner into a saint they knew they had missed it. They quickly gathered around Him and said, “Lord, increase our faith.” Luke 17:5. They knew that faith in themselves was a misplaced and powerless faith.
It seems like the disciples learned slowly. They carefully watched Jesus. They soon came to think that they knew how to do it. When He sent them out two by two many times they had looked down on a demon possessed boy and with authority had pointed their finger at the boy to say, “I command you in the name of Jesus of Nazareth to come out of him.? It worked every time.
They did not notice that the faith that they had once had in Jesus was gradually replaced with a faith in faith itself.
Faith became a bit of magic to them. It became a name it and claim it game.
This day they looked down on the young man and felt helpless. Their healing powers were no longer effective. Faith in faith is sure to fail you for it deflects glory from God to itself. In embarrassment they finally accepted the truth as the man spoke to Jesus with condemning clarity. “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.” Matt 17:15-16
Are you in the way of God working mightily in the lives of unbelievers who want to find the way? Are you in the way hindering their progress to the Lord…….because of your poverty of faith? Your faith in yourself…….or your faith in faith?
Jesus gave the disciples a simple lesson about a mustard seed which teaches that you don’t need more faith…. you need directed and dynamic faith. You need faith that is directed toward God. You need a dynamic faith… not a static faith.
The answer that Jesus gives is so important for us to see and to accept. It is so simple and yet so profound. It is so easy and yet so hard for us to employ in our lives. The answer is that it is imperative that our faith not be a faith in ourselves or a faith in faith but only a Faith in God.