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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro


Nothing Can Hinder the Lord


Nothing can hinder the Lord. - 1 Samuel 14:6 NLT

On one occasion last summer, my husband, Joe, had to report to work on a Saturday. I decided to take the ride with him because my sister lived near his office, and he offered to drop me off there on the way. The weather was hot and muggy that day, and since it was his company's policy to turn off the air conditioning on the weekend, Joe was dreading having to work in stifling conditions. I sympathized with him and suggested that he ask the Lord to have his office nice and cool when he arrived there. His reply was something like, "My coworkers told me that the air conditioning has always been off on weekends. It's going to be unbearably hot when I get there." I tried to encourage him to pray about it anyway. "Why don't we ask the Lord to make an exception, and arrange to have the air conditioning left on just for you?" But no matter how I tried, I couldn't get my husband to agree in prayer with me, so I told him that I would pray about it myself, and we left it at that. My silent prayer went something like this: "Lord, I know that it would be an easy thing for You to provide air conditioning for Joe when he arrives at his office today, even if it's never happened before. I'm asking You to do that, Lord, not just so he can work in comfort, but also so that he'll have a new awareness of Your ability and willingness to work wonders on his behalf, even in the seemingly small things that concern him." Shortly after I got to my sister's house, Joe called and told me with great excitement and amazement that when he arrived at his workplace, it was wonderfully cool and comfortable. My husband's amazement increased even more when he told the story to his coworkers the following Monday, and they were awestruck.

God used this experience to remind my husband and me of the truth of the above verse--"Nothing can hinder the Lord." Over the last several years, I've discovered that our God is very eager to demonstrate His creative and unlimited power, even in the small matters that concern His children. Yet I constantly encounter stubborn resistance and unbelief from even the most committed Christians who refuse to "stick their necks out" faith-wise, and ask God for the extraordinary. Personally, I believe it grieves the heart of God. I have an inspirational saying in my office that reads: "Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, receives the impossible." It's a principle I try to live by. I continually ask God for all kinds of "little miracles," and I receive a good percentage of them--not because I deserve to, any more than any other believer does, but because I'm just "crazy" enough to ask for them. James 4:2 says, "You do not have, because you do not ask God." This is an admonition from the Spirit of God for those who complain, criticize, envy, or doubt--but who do not ask their willing Creator for help. In Chapter 6 of Mark, the Scriptures tell of how Jesus brought His miracle-working power to Nazareth, but "could not do any miracles there" because of the people's "lack of faith." (v.5-6) The Bible makes it clear that the people's unbelief actually hindered God's miracle-working power. Jesus said, "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:29) And, "It shall be done for you as you have believed." (Matthew 8:13 AMP) To a great extent, how we use our faith determines the amount of involvement God will have with our daily lives. Faith is our means of connecting with God and His supernatural power. It may help you to think of your faith as a muscle that grows as you exercise it. And just as we can become physically lazy, we can become spiritually lazy, too. Hebrews 6:12 says, "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." The effort we make is well worth it because each time our prayers are answered, our hearts are encouraged, and we show the unbelieving world that we serve a God who loves to bless and tenderly care for His own. From now on, let us always remember that "nothing can hinder the Lord"--except, perhaps, our lack of faith!

Prayer: Lord, expand my vision and increase my faith daily. Help me to never put limits on You. Teach me how to take more risks with my faith in ways that will bless people and glorify You. Thank You for being a miracle-working God, and for working wonders on my behalf! (Joel 2:26 NIV)

- J. M. Farro

 

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