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God’s Plans for You Are Bigger Than Yours

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God’s purpose and plan for your life—His vision for your life—is always something bigger than where you are now. What is it that He’s placed in your heart to do? That’s part of your calling—because we’re all called to do something. Whatever it is, trust God that there’s always more. There’s always a greater call, a greater purpose, a greater reason than you can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). However much you know, understand and are pursuing, there’s even more God wants for you. God is just never finished—not with you, not with His plans for your life, and definitely not with how He wants to use you in this earth for your good, for the good of others and for His glory.

The Walk of Faith Never Stops

God is always stretching us, isn’t He? That’s because the walk of faith never stops. It is a continuous journey from the moment we give our hearts to Jesus until we see Him face to face. When He met people and ministered to them—or tried to minister to them—He described their faith as little or great. Which is it that you want?

We all want great faith, don’t we? Of course, we do! When we operate in faith, when we develop the measure of faith God gave us, we grow (Romans 12:3). We watch our faith produce. That’s the joy that comes with living a life by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). But to keep watching it work, we need to keep growing in it. We must expand our capacity so we keep living from faith to faith (Romans 1:17).

The Results When We Have Little Faith

There are different measures of faith we all can have. Remember when Jesus was in the boat with the disciples and a huge storm rolled in? Jesus slept through it all, but His disciples grew absolutely terrified. When they woke Jesus because they wanted Him to save them, the first thing He said before He calmed the storm was, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Matthew 8:26). Then He spoke to the storm, rebuking the wind and the waves, and calming the storm.

Then there was the time when Peter got out of the boat and walked on water (Matthew 14:22-33). When Peter began to sink, the Word tells us, “When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased” (Matthew 14:30-32, NKJV). In this instance, Peter went from having great faith to little faith.

Once, when Jesus went back to His hometown of Nazareth to minister, He began to teach in the synagogue. The attendees recognized Jesus as Joseph and Mary’s son, someone they perceived as ordinary, so they became offended that He dared to teach (Mark 6:3). The Word then tells us, “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching” (Mark 6:5-6, NKJV). What Jesus could do was predicated on the measure of the people’s faith—and they had little to none.

What about the time Jesus cautioned us all?

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? (Matthew 6:25-30).

It’s hard to escape taking this one to heart, because worrying about almost everything in our lives is so easy to do—if we don’t put in the effort to build our faith on the Word of God and transform our minds with God’s thoughts instead of our own.

The Results When We Have Great Faith

One of the wonderful things about the Word of God is that it keeps on confirming itself page after page. It’s filled with promises from God to us. Peter called them exceedingly great and precious promises. They’re given to us by God to anchor our faith in Him and His Word.

“Because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

When we stand on the promises of God—when we lay hold of them in our spirits and speak them in faith—we grow in our faith. We develop great faith—and faith pleases God. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

When the centurion, who was a Roman officer, pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his servant, he had faith in Jesus. He had the kind of faith Hebrews 11:6 describes. When Jesus said He would come, the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

It was then that Jesus was literally amazed and turning to those who were following Him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” (Matthew 8:10). The King James Version says that Jesus marveled at the man’s faith. The man’s faith pleased Jesus, and Jesus moved on his behalf.

Jesus did the same for the Syrophoenician woman, who is sometimes referred to as the Canaanite woman. She came to Jesus asking Him to help her as her little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit. When she desperately flung herself at Jesus’ feet, His response indicated He might not heal her daughter right at that moment, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She pressed Him further to which He responded, “Good answer…Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter” (Mark 7:29).

Because of her great faith, and its persistence, Jesus healed her daughter. “When she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone” (Mark 7:30).

It’s Fear That Takes Us From Great to Little

Whenever Jesus spoke of people having little faith, it was in a moment when they had been affected by worry or fear. Therefore, when Jesus spoke about the measure of faith, it wasn’t always so much about the quantity of faith that the person needed to have as it was about the quality of faith they needed to have. In Scripture, every time great faith is contaminated with fear its power is reduced almost immediately.

Isn’t that what happened to the disciples in the boat during the storm? (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41) One minute they’re faith-filled brothers in Christ with a few professional fishermen aboard crossing the Sea of Galilee, and the next they’re a boatload fearing for their lives.

Isn’t that what happened to Peter? (Matthew 14:22-33) One minute he’s walking on water and the next he moves from faith to fear, causing him to sink. The power to walk on water dissipated. It vanished. He went from great faith to little faith in seconds!

Isn’t that what happens to us when we move from having faith that moves mountains to worrying about our children, our work, our relationships or our finances? Isn’t that what happens when we stop speaking the Word of God and begin speaking our fears about not having enough, not being enough or not getting enough?

Circumstances will always try to break us down for one reason: to get us to allow fear to come into the situation. It is fear that takes us from great faith to little faith, making our faith of no effect.

God Has Called Us To Do Great Things That Require Great Faith

Anything God has called us to do, any idea He’s placed in our hearts to bring from His heavenly realm into this earthly realm, is a calling we’re meant to fulfill. And every calling requires great faith—the kind of faith Abraham had…fully persuaded.

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God (Romans 4:20-25).

What kind of faith do you have? Fully persuaded faith? Fully convinced faith? Do you have little faith or great faith? Start today by stretching your faith on the inside. This will build a greater capacity for your faith. You’re going to need it soon…because God’s Plans for You Are Bigger Than Yours!

FaithBuilders

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