Idle Potential

“The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople, but the problem has preoccupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics. The apparent void bubbles incessantly and produces fluctuations of light even at absolute zero temperature. In a sense, these virtual photons are just waiting to be used. They can carry forces and change the properties of matter.” – https://phys.org/news/2018-12-vacuum.html

If we say this another way, “Even in the complete absence of everything there is not only the potential for work to be done but, in fact, work (e.g., the affecting of forces and properties of matter) is continually performed.”

Now, let’s look at Christ’s parable of the “Workers in the Vineyard.”
Matthew 20:1,6-7
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’
7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’

The landowner saw a potential that no one else saw. These workers had been standing idle all day, but no one hired them; no one saw their worth. But the landowner saw these unemployed workers as valuable. He believed they could do the work that needed to be performed.

Our eyes and our understanding get us in more trouble than anything other than our tongues. God told us to “…lean not on your own understanding;” (Pr. 3:5), yet still we do.

It is so very easy to miss read the value to God’s kingdom when we use our understanding to evaluate people and situations. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

Faith is a noun

Several years ago I worked with a guy that was born and raised in New York City. I had the great privilege to spend a couple of days with him in NY while we were working on a project. Since he was my boss, I said, “Show me your town.”, and wow was it fun!

As much as I’m sure you’d love to read of my exploits in NY and how I lived to tell about them, I do have a purpose for this devotional, other than encouraging you to visit New York if you ever get the chance.

When you’re in New York City, you can use the Holland Tunnel to drive to Manhattan. Likewise, we are saved by grace (i.e., a moving vehicle) through faith (i.e., the Holland Tunnel). Faith is the noun.

Now faith, it seems, has the quality of size. “He [Jesus] replied, “…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt. 17:20) Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:15: …as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand,

So, as a metaphor, let’s say that instead of faith you have a powerful battery. It’s more powerful than even Elon Musk can imagine. It’s just amazing. However, your powerful battery will do no more work than a AAA battery if it’s not connected to something. If your Elon Musk-sized battery is just sitting on your couch, taking up space, and giving off noxious fumes, kind of like your great-aunt Betty, then there’s no value, unlike your great-aunt Betty. 

Only when you connect your battery to a motor or a light or a Tesla car will work be done. Once connected then power flows. That’s the way faith is. It’s a noun that represents potential. 

Now here’s my point: Are we like the Apostles in Luke 17:5, praying “Increase our faith!”, when faith does nothing until it’s connected to God’s will? 

Our faith can be a AAA battery size or an Elon Musk-sized battery, but nothing is going to happen until it connects to a device for work. And, let there be no doubt that it is God’s will that connects faith to the thing that needs power. God’s will is the conductor; it’s the wires.

Perhaps, my ineffectiveness is not a lack of faith but a poor connection of my faith to the work God intends to be done. Maybe I have a faulty connection! Only as I pray and seek and listen for my Master’s voice will I know God’s will. And once I yield to His will, then the faith God has placed in me will be connected to the thing that needs the power of God. When that happens just watch! A mighty work of God will take place.

God has placed a measure of faith in each of us. If we want to do great things for God, we need to put more of our attention on understanding God’s will. Rest assured that God has placed a sufficient amount of faith in you for any work He wants to accomplish through you. You just need to know where the work is and what is God’s will. Now that’s good news! 

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

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