“That you may discern the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for you.” Romans 12:2
When I was a young man, fairly newly committed to going into the ministry, someone told me, “I wish I had that much faith.” I remember thinking that I did not have an especially large amount of faith. God did not appear to me in a pillar of fire, there was no voice from heaven, no burning bush, not even a finger writing on the wall. Those were the marks of great faith for me, and I had had none of them.
Through my later studies and the teaching of some very wise professors I learned that the amount of faith is simply not an issue. The quality of faith is the real point. By quality I do not mean to imply that I have a better faith than anyone in particular. Or worse for that matter. The point is what I do with my faith, and what you do with your faith, makes it effective or ineffective.
Let’s begin with a simple assertion: you have enough faith. Paul wrote that God has given you “a measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). Before you start trying to figure out how much that is (as if we could do such a thing), or comparing it with someone else (a sure sign that you’re not using what you have), simply take comfort in the fact that God has given you faith. No one is left without faith to face the world. You have faith, and you have enough faith.
You have enough faith to discern God’s will for you. Paul wrote that you can discern God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will. The sacrificial imagery of this trio of adjectives means that you can be in the very center of God’s will for you. There is nothing inadequate or impure. You’re not settling for God’s second-best. You have enough faith to be right where God wants you to be today.
Notice that you have the faith to be where God wants you to be, not someone else. You simply cannot have enough faith to make someone else conform to your will, even if it is good, godly, and completely beneficial for another person. God is not interested in using your faith to change someone else. He alone does the changing. You simply look for ways to rejoice in God’s love for you and then love and serve as He makes opportunities available.
Also note that you have the faith to make it through today. Thinking about long-term plans is overwhelming. The best way to get to the best future is to have the best today possible. A series of good todays is God’s plan for you. He is simply not concerned to reveal to you the entire blueprint of your life.
So what is God’s will for you today? Honestly, it’s not that hard to answer. Chances are He’s not going to ask you to leave your flocks and go lead a nation out of bondage. Nothing close. It’s God’s will for you to trust that He has given you enough faith to meet the challenges that come your way today. It is God’s will that you pause and say a simple prayer when you feel rising tension. It’s God’s will for you to rest in Him, and then to become an agent of His peace in the world (that means in traffic or with a two-year old or with a stubborn spouse, etc.).
You have enough faith. You lack nothing. Sure you can pray for greater faith. That’s a good thing. But the success of today does not depend on your getting a huge influx of new faith. You have what you need. Use it.
Dr. Terry Ellis
March 2, 2014