My husband raised an interesting question this past weekend in his message.
He asked, “What do you think is the greatest enemy to faith?”
Many people would suggest that doubt is the greatest obstacle. Some believe fear or worry would be the biggest hindrance to faith. While all these are great suggestions and certainly true, Craig proposed another idea that most of us probably wouldn’t think about. He proposed that for many, the familiar is often the biggest obstacle to faith.
Think about it. Life becomes so familiar that we stop believing that God can change our circumstances. We think or say things like:
“I’ve prayed and nothing has changed.”
“I’ve tried to quit… but I just can’t.”
“I’ve always struggled with my weight.”
“We will always have a dysfunctional relationship.”
In fact, in our Life Group last week, almost everyone there expressed their willingness to pray with great faith for distantly related people but they acknowledged that it’s much more difficult to believe for themselves or those close to them.
Even the familiarity of your own Christian lifestyle can potentially set you into a faithless place of expecting only the predictable!
Listen, even though our God is a God of order, He is often unpredictable in His workings and let’s not forget ABLE to do MORE THAN WE COULD EVER EXPECT!
You may have been taught that He is able, but do you really believe it?
I admit that when I’m in a bad place I often first look at the known facts and use my own understanding (what’s familiar) and form a faithless perspective before looking to the real Source of All Truth. I don’t want to be overly familiar with this world and its deceiving answers! I am not of this world and neither are you (if you have Christ Jesus).
If faith pleases God (and we know it does), how very pleased will He be if we forget about what is our “familiar” on this Earth and engross ourselves in becoming familiar with HIM?! A faith-filled perspective will be our first and hopefully continual outlook. We will see God working in new, beautifully powerful ways!
Therefore, I want to be preoccupied with knowing and pursuing my great God! This world will never have true and just answers outside of its Creator and King. I never want to be more familiar with my circumstances than I am with the presence of God. I want to always pursue Jesus and become more familiar with His ways. I want to spend so much time with Him that I’m completely aware of his gentle and guiding voice. When I’m familiar with His grace, His power, His goodness, then my faith in Him is always bigger than my circumstances.
The familiar is often the enemy of faith.
May God be so well known – so familiar – so close – that we are never deceived into thinking that anything is impossible.
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.