Why Isn’t This Working?
I got so frustrated the other day. I was working on a carpentry project (another thing Jesus and I don’t have in common) and it just wasn‘t working out. On numerous occasions I have had to walk away totally frustrated. This project should have taken two days and I am on five weeks.
Ever been there? You are trying as hard as you can and things are just not matching up and coming together. I have sat perplexed just looking at the job and wondering, ”Why isn’t this working?”
Have you ever been a frustrated Christian? No matter how hard you try, things are just not matching up and coming together? I feel you. It is deeply frustrating! But let me encourage you not to quit.
I am reminded of the story of the Jewish exorcists in Acts chapter 19. Let’s look at the story together.
Acts 19:13-16 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Why didn‘t the name of Jesus work? Okay, these guys really didn’t know Jesus.
But how about some dudes that did follow Jesus? Why didn’t the name of Jesus work for them?
When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
Jesus answer was clear, when we act in his name, we must trust not in ourselves but in him.
"Spouting scripture has no magic to dispel the devil. Scripture has phenomenal power but unless you submit your mind to its inerrant truth, its power is largely lost to you." Martha Kilpatrick
Our power comes from our submission.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Are you spiritually frustrated? Matthew and James give us the prescription for overcoming, trust God and submit to him.
There is only one way to be happy in Jesus; trust and obey.