Summary: Our powerlessness is the result of at least one of three things and more often than not is the result of the combination of all three - Lie Faith, Lax Lives, and Little connectivity!
INTRODUCTION: In Matthew 10:1 we read that Christ gave the disciples power over and the authority to act against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. They were sent into Galilee to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. In addition to this Christ appointed and empowered 70 elders as point men or representatives of Christ to go into Judea and Perea. In Luke 10:17 we read the excited report of the seventy when they said, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." Because the disciples had cast out many demons during their tour in Judea, they confidently expected to deliver a demon-possessed boy brought to them by his father. It appeared that the boy was afflicted with epilepsy, which was aggravated by demon possession causing suicidal tendencies. The disciples attempted in vain to cast out the demon. They found themselves now powerless in this situation. Along with the father, they brought the child to Christ who promptly heals the child. They then asked Jesus in verse 19, "Why could not we cast him out?" Christ in commissioning us as His Ambassadors has given us power, that is kingdom authority, to be effective and efficient in His service and to live vibrant and victorious lives. Many, like the disciples, find themselves powerless, defeated and asking the same "Why?" Why is there such as lack of power in our lives? Why do we see so many not getting victory of sin in their lives? Why do we see so many weak, anemic, desperate, defeated, and dejected Christians? Why?
Before attempting to answer the "Why’s" of powerlessness, we must understand some of the effects or results of our powerless.
· Lack of power affects the life and testimony of believers.
- Lack of power results in a mediocre Christian life and an ineffective, embarrassing testimony
· Lack of power affects the work of the church
- Lack of power results in ministries going undermanned, needs going overlooked, programs being under funded, and workers being overtaxed.
· Lack of power affects the evangelization of the lost.
- Lack of power cause the world to question the validity of our faith and to question God and His ability and power.
Returning to the disciples’ question, "Why?" – why are we so powerless? I believe our powerlessness is the result of at least one of three things and more often than not is the result of the combination of all three.
I. "LITE" FAITH
A. We live in a time in which people have succumbed to advertising hype. "Liteness" is fashionable in our society. Lite is not necessarily always what it appears to be nor is it always good or beneficial. An example is a food product can be labeled "light in sodium" if the food has at least 50 percent less sodium than a reference food. It does not mean that it is low in sodium; it just has half the sodium of the referenced food. Lite does not always mean lite. When you compare Milky Way’s Lite© candy bar ounce to ounce with the regular bar, the lite bar actually contains a higher amount of sodium and carbohydrates, almost identical saturated fat, and less than 18% fewer calories. The public has also been misled with products like the "light" vegetable oil that is just light in color and the "lite" cheesecake that is just light in texture. Lite is also not good especially when it is applied to faith. The Bible declares, in Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
B. Matthew 17:19-20 "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you’."
C. Christ told the disciples it was their unbelief that drained their power.
D. In the parallel passage to our text, we read in Mark 9:23 "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
E. Unbelief doubts Christ. It questions the power of Christ. It doubts the power of Christ within oneself. It questions the power of Christ within oneself to accomplish the will of God.
F. Beware of worshipping Jesus as the Son of God, and professing your faith in Him as the Savior of the world, while you blaspheme Him by the complete evidence in your daily life that He is powerless to do anything in and through you. - Oswald Chambers, Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 11.