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God is Able, But is He Willing?
There is an account in Matthew 9 where two blind beggars followed Jesus and continued to cry out to Him hoping to get His attention and receive their sight. After all, He had healed others, maybe He would heal them also. Jesus, ignoring their cries, entered into a house when the two men barged in refusing to be deterred from their search for Jesus. When Jesus saw them He asked a simple question, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt. 9:28). In essence, He asked them if they believed He had the power, the authority, sufficient to give them back their sight. And they answered, in faith, “Yes, Lord.”
Jesus then touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matt. 9:29). And the Scripture says “their eyes were opened.”
But what was the object of their faith? Was it in Jesus’ ability to heal them? Probably. After all, that’s what Jesus was questioning them about. He was saying, “Do you believe I am able to do this for you?” And, by faith, they said, yes. But they also had to believe Jesus was willing to heal them. Otherwise, they would have never followed Him as they did and cry out to get His attention. And if you look at the sequence of faith in this healing account, you will find belief in His willingness came before faith in His ability.
There is much to learn in this regarding the Higher Christian Life.
Just think, what keeps us from having the faith of Abraham or Noah or Moses or the Apostles or those listed in Hebrews 11? Or what hinders us from having the faith we once had when we were young in the Lord and followed Him with reckless abandon? It is usually summed up in this one statement: “I know God can, and I know that He is able. I just don’t think He will.” And this sentiment about God plays out in our lives like this:
“I would surrender my life to God if I could trust Him to truly take care of me. And since I can’t trust Him to do that, I’ll just have to keep looking out for myself.”
“I want to surrender my life to the Lord because I know He is God and He is sovereign and He can do anything He wants anytime He wants. But I just don’t think He will take care of me. Maybe others, but just not me. So, I’ll have to keep looking out for myself.”
And then we wonder why we languish in the land of Laodicea, neither hot nor cold, longing for more in our life with Christ yet afraid to trust Him completely.
I Believe God is Able. But I’m Not So Sure He is Willing.
As you read the following five statements about God’s ability, ask yourself this one question: Do you believe, knowing God is able, that He is willing to fulfill His promise to you? If so, you are on your way to the Higher Christian Life. But if not, you must pray and ask our Lord to forgive you for your faulty, hurtful, view of Him and His love for you. For to think God selfish or miserly with you and not others, does not show your piety or humility. It impugns His character and grieves His Spirit who lives in you. Consider the following:
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy – Jude 1:24.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work – 2 Corinthians 9:8.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen – Ephesians 3:20-21
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day – 2 Timothy 1:12.
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them – Hebrews 7:25.
This study is on the importance of knowing God is not only able to fulfill His promises to you, but is also willing.