God wants us to be bold and to persue the gifts and the calling He has
placed within us. He has given us Holy Spirit and the bible and empowered
us to live righteous lives and fulfill our God-given destiny.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
If 'dominion' means the same thing in the bible that word usage says it means
in my dictionary, then God gave man supreme authority on the earth, even over
Satan if he came and moved around down here!
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
So Satan became the God of this world! But man has the authority. He either gives it to God by following what God says or he gives it to Satan by following what Satan says.
And, having given dominion to man, God could not and would not go back on His word! Look what He says in Psalm 89:34.
Psalm 89:34 I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
God said this regarding David and the covenant He made with him, but the principle remains the same, - "God's word He will not break. Every word from God is effectively a covenant".
In the New Testament we see God once again noting how what men do can limit what he would like to do. Check out Mark, Chapter 6, verses 4 to 6.
Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.
Did you notice the highlighted section which brought out that Jesus "could not" do any mighty works there? It's not that He could but chose not to, the scripture tells us that He "could not". The people's attitude (their unbelief) blocked the miracles, just as in the Old Testament times!
But, you may ask, "Maybe Jesus did choose not to; is there any scripture which tells us that there is a principle here which causes us to lose the blessings that God wants to bring to us?" Well there is. Let's look at Matthew 10:41.
Matthew 10:41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.”
So Jesus tells us that when we give honour to a prophet we will put ourselves in position to receive the reward of a prophet, etc.
This tells us that, for instance, if we give honour to someone with the gift of healing we set ourselves up to receive the blessing that such a person carries, and similarly for any other anointing a person carries.
Those towns people who did not honour Jesus' anointing, but rather had unbelief, stopped that anointing from being of benefit to them. He could do no mighty works in their towns!
This principle is not new. We can see that it was played out in Old Testament times also. In Luke 4:24-27 we read....
Luk 4:24-27 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
Luke shows us through Jesus' own words, that Israel lost out on the anointing that was on Elisha's life (the context shows it was through lack of honour) and it was a leper from Syria (a soldier) that was healed by him. They also did not benefit from the anointing on Elijah's life, and it was a widow in a foreign country that was helped by Elijah during the famine.
Oddly enough, in the gospel records, it was two gentiles that Jesus said had 'great faith'! One was a Roman centurian and the other a Syrophoenician woman. Just as in the Old Testament times, a soldier and a home-maker! Jesus shows us that when we remove unbelief God works with us to do miracles; whether we are ordinary folk or we are people with authority in this world.
It cannot be that God did not want to help the Israelites in the days of Elijah and Elisha, surely? A good father does not ignore his own sick and suffering children to help foreigners. He helps both!
So I see this as another two cases where the attitude of the people who did not put faith in God and did not honour the prophets sent to them, limited the works that God could do amongst them.
In the continuation of the book of Acts through to today, the principle applies
to us also. As disciples of Jesus, following His command to "preach the gospel, heal
the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons" we receive
authority and power to accomplish the whole package. And what's more, there is a
good reason why Jesus gives us authority and power to work miracles...
Best wishes for Grace and the Peace of Jesus.