When My will Shuts Off My Faith

Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.  John 3:10 NLT

Jesus tells Nicodemus, “We tell you what we know but you won’t believe our testimony.”  Who is the ‘we’ He is referring to?  

John the Baptist. 

The disciples.  

Those who have already believed and have given their testimony.  

Those who have been the recipients of miracles, through faith. 

This group of witnesses, with Jesus at the center, are powerful truth tellers and yet unbelief still exists in the heart of this renowned Jewish teacher.  

Because Nicodemus’ will is closed, faith can not take him any further into the kingdom.  Legalism and tradition hold most every Pharisee and Jewish leader captive.  They fear anything outside of their previous experience.  They cling to what they know, what they have always known. Meeting Jesus, the One they have been waiting for – for thousands of years, should be enough to penetrate their unbelief.  But it isn’t.  The human will is a powerful thing. 

Jesus failed to do miracles in places where unbelief was rampant.  Faith was nearly impossible where the human will chose to disbelieve.  Jesus went elsewhere where the people were open to the Gospel, where the need was great enough to open them up to the presence of a Savior and Deliverer.

Can this kind of blindness exist today, even in God’s children?  Does it exist in me?  Is it possible that I am closed off to Jesus because of traditional teaching?  Perhaps I’ve decided that God can only speak in a certain way, or heal in a certain way, or express Himself through the Spirit in a certain way.  Anything outside my comfort zone can seem heretical.  My will closes off my faith.

Traditions can seem holy depending on our teachers.  To touch them, change them, or discard them is jarring to our identity and security.  Many traditions, even religious ones, are man-made.  They are not immutable.  I need to be immovable regarding Truth but flexible about everything else. 

I found out in my forties that I was wrong in my assumptions about the ways God works, moves among His people, and reveals Himself personally to His children.  After much searching, I laid aside my will, my bias, and opened up to faith.  I’ve never been the same.  I can’t believe all I was missing.

Wake up Your church, Lord.  What we think we know can keep us from You.  Show us our blind spots.  Amen

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