“Scripturally, we are told in so many ways that ‘with God, nothing is impossible’. Yet, we continue to apply our fears and constructs of possibility/impossibility to God’s power. When we place our petition at His feet, our inbred tendency is to ask for what we think is reasonable or possible.”
In other words, we scarcely dare make unreasonable requests.
Did you know? Hundreds of Mindset Mastery course participants get the opportunity to participate in a private online community where they can share their own epiphanies, thoughts, challenges, and questions. And once in a while, one of their posts amazes me.
Here is one of them.
The following is shared with permission by Contributor and Mindset Mastery course participant, Matthew Pilling. He writes:
Here comes a REALLY LONG post. But, it is a breakthrough in thought for me. If I’m hitting on things that are already obvious to everyone else, so be it (I haven’t gone through nearly as much of the materials as I would hope to have yet).
Does my faith constrain God?
The question almost seems laughable. God is omnipotent. Doesn’t that mean He can do all things according to His will? If it is His will that something happens, how could my faith possibly stop it?
As agents of the Lord (beings unto whom He has given agency, the ability to exercise our own will), we find ourselves in a unique spot. While His will is supreme, He has given us our own will. And, when God gives a gift, He honors it. He will not force His will upon us. Rather, He seeks to persuade us to align our will with His, thereby joining the power of our faith to the power of His might.
While there are several discussions to be had around that topic (Not aligning our will with His actually diminishes our will because we pull ourselves away from the source of our agency; Our will can be diminished when we press upon Him our desires, rather than discern and align ourselves with His desires, etc), my purpose here is to discuss the idea that, when we present our requests to God, we need to do so in a way that matches His unlimited ability and power, and is not limited by our feeble understanding or belief. How we view His power very directly affects how we allow His hand to move in our lives.
In “The Fault in Our Stars” Hazel says, “There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities…” (Italics added)
While some mathematicians argue against this concept when it applies to a mathematical set, the concept still holds for our purposes. We are dealing with an omnipotent God, whose power and resources are indeed infinite. Because of that, there will always be enough. No matter the size of our current need, or the cumulative mass of all of our previous blessings, we can never outspend God’s supply. No matter how much He has already given us, there is always an infinite amount to still be given, and we are to be heirs thereof.
This is an incredibly difficult concept for most of us to grasp while in this mortal sphere. All of our daily efforts have to fit within an allotted time, within budget, and within our capabilities. And, our mortal nature strongly conditions us to try and apply those same limitations to God, even though we know that He exists outside of time, budgets, and limited capabilities. Scripturally, we are told in soooo many ways that “with God, nothing is impossible”.
Yet, we continue to apply our fears and constructs of possibility/impossibility to God’s power. When we place our petition at His feet, our inbred tendency is to ask for what we think is reasonable or possible. The outcomes we envision sometimes feel burdensome (a.k.a. Impossible) to us, and we fear handing that burden over to the Lord, not wanting to ask too much, or perhaps not feeling qualified to receive. But, as already stated, no matter how much God has given to us or to others, His supply is still unlimited, and He can still give as much as He deems appropriate. Period. (Infinite period?)
That being true, I think we need to reconsider both faith and gratitude. I fear that we all too often believe that the greater the perceived cost of the blessing that we seek, the greater the faith needed to manifest or warrant that blessing. Because we do live with limitations and our desired outcomes typically exceed those limitations, we transmute those limitations to God’s giving and to our receiving. There are scriptures that talk about the size of faith (though those scriptures tend to point out how little faith is actually needed to enable grand miracles), and those scriptures are often misapplied, pushing us to believe in a need for greater or stronger faith. I cautiously refute that idea. I believe that, rather than needing to augment or increase our faith, we need to polish or purify our faith. We need to learn to approach God with unfettered, untainted faith, rather than with greater quantities of broken faith. In Leslie’s words, we need to develop rare faith.
If God’s supply and power are unlimited, does the size of my request matter to Him? Is there a difference between asking Him to remove the discomforts of a common cold or to remove a life-threatening cancer? Does the dollar value of my need affect Him? Does the magnitude of the perceived improbability or impossibility of my request limit God in any way, shape, or form? Absolutely not. The needs of the proverbial sparrow, who God cares for completely, are infinitesimally smaller than the needs of an elephant. Does that mean that it costs God more to provide for the needs of the elephant? Perhaps. But, does that difference in cost and consumption matter? Absolutely not. God created both elephant and sparrow and gladly provides for all of their needs. Neither receives a bill proportionate to their consumption. Both are simply required to fulfill the purpose of their creation and glorify God within their sphere. In the completeness of His perfect system, they are both consistently sustained.
God also created us and gladly provides for all of our needs. And, in like manner, He simply requires that we fulfill the purpose of our creation and glorify Him within our sphere. As sentient beings of a higher order and potential than elephants or sparrows, He does require faith from us. But, He doesn’t require a specific volume of faith. What He requires is a specific frequency of faith. He requires that we focus, with an eye of faith, on the desired outcome (and ultimately, on Him) rather than on the boisterous wind and waves that surround us. What He requires is that we consistently believe in and focus on His ability to provide, rather than on the quantity that He will provide.
This is not to say that God will give us tons more just because we ask and envision it. There is divine purpose in His giving and He will do as is needed at the time. When Moses and the children of Israel arrived at the Red Sea, God’s miracle was perfectly suited to their needs. He parted the waters so that they were able to walk through on dry ground, but not more. He didn’t part the waters in a way that would have disrupted ecosystems. There weren’t tidal waves or land shifts. The waters were parted, Israel passed through, and things were returned to how they had been before. His blessing was commensurate with the desired outcome of escaping Egypt. When we envision any given outcome, we need to understand that He will give what is needed for that outcome (often in innovative and unexpected ways) but will not concern Himself with more than that in that moment. When manna was needed, He gave it, but not before or after. As God does provide for our current needs, we need to learn to not let the size of the blessing affect our faith regarding future needs. When we need much, He will give much. When we don’t, He won’t. But, we shouldn’t let a smaller blessing in a moment of smaller need limit our belief in His ability to provide larger blessings when larger blessings are needed.
On the flip side, if the cost of small or large blessings should be irrelevant to our faith, it should also be irrelevant to our level of gratitude. Oft times, we give greater thanks for blessings that are perceived as being greater. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with giving great gratitude for blessings that exceed our expectations and increase our understanding of His limitless power, there is need for greater gratitude for little blessings. In moments when we don’t as quickly recognize God’s hand because our needs haven’t felt as pressing, we still are equally dependent on His grace. In moments of relative ease and convenience, we are still being blessed and should put as much gratitude behind the ‘little’ blessings as we do behind the ‘big’.
What does this all mean?
The concept of developing stronger or bigger faith has always felt a little ambiguous to me. I’ve never fully grasped how to want something more or to believe harder in something. I’ve often chalked that ambiguity and its accompanying feelings to lack of faith, to some kind of internal weakness. If I don’t know how to increase belief or faith, how can I possibly enlist God’s help in achieving my ends or His? If things didn’t work before and it was apparently due to my lack of strength of faith, how can I hope to ever move forward? Such feelings of defeat can grow to be insurmountable. But, instead of seeking to strengthen my faith, I can seek to properly shift its focus. I find it much easier to believe in God’s ability to provide and in His benevolent nature, than to believe in overcoming insurmountable obstacles. And, while the end result is that God, in His way, helps me overcome insurmountable obstacles, it ultimately comes down to my relationship with Him (which I can manage), instead of coming down to my hope that I have somehow paid enough faith tokens to pay the specific, but seemingly arbitrary price of a desired blessing.
In other words, my job is to:
- Consistently believe in God’s unlimited ability to provide and quit worrying about the size of the need.
- Effectively focus on my desired outcome (for more on this, see everything taught in “The Jackrabbit Factor”, “Portal to Genius”, and “Hidden Treasures”). I need to be specific in my wants and to feel that they have already been attained.
- Quit trying to dictate the ‘how’ to God. Any ‘how’ that I can conceive is limited in its scope. If I leave the how to God, as an omniscient being, He will always pick the best method for achieving His means.
- Show God why to invest in my desire. Wanting things for righteous purposes is infinitely more powerful than wanting things just because. We didn’t cover much on this topic here, but it is key. If we want something simply to ‘consume it on our lusts’ rather than to further His work, He has little reason to comply. But, if we want something to further develop ourselves or to aid and serve others, our purposes suddenly fall within the scope of His purposes. We are stewards over everything that He blesses us with and will someday account for how we used the advantages He gave us.
- Give consistent gratitude for all blessings that I have received, am receiving, and will receive, regardless of their apparent size. We need to recognize His hand in all things in our lives, not just the big things.
Now there’s a lot of food for thought, and I concur. So well said! Thank you, Matthew, for taking the time to share your discoveries in the Mindset Mastery group, and for allowing me to make this powerful discovery public for the rest of my readers, too.
Would you like to learn more about this topic?