If I Had a Superpower
If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
We enjoy superhero movies at our house which means we’ve often had discussions on what superpower we would want. In our debates, it’s always assumed that we’d use our powers for good. In watching a recent tale about superheroes though, I got to thinking about that. In this particular story, the hero set out to do good, but got sidetracked by greed, using his power for selfish gain. He had a few lousy justifications, but in the end, he was just as materialistic and gluttonous as anyone else, he simply had more power.
What would I do if I had superpowers? What would I become if I had the kind of strength Jesus spoke of in today’s passage? I remember, as a child, wondering what it would be like to have a faith that could move mountains. It would be fantastic, like being a superhero. Nothing would be impossible. No one would mess with me. Everyone would love and respect me. I’d get whatever I want.
As a kid, I wanted to know how to attain power like that. The very reason I wanted the power though, prevented the possibility of ever having it as I was focused on myself, not on God. My erroneous view of faith at the time, was simply believing really hard, that a thing would come true. Like the force in Star Wars, I thought if I just believed and concentrated hard enough, then God would do whatever I wanted.
Pursuing my will though, is the opposite of faith. If Peter’s lesson of walking on the water is any indication, faith means keeping my eyes on Christ, abandoning my way, and following his. In radically denying self to pursue God, Jesus says that we will accomplish things that seem impossible.
Attempting to use God to pursue our own desires isn’t faith, it’s just selfishness hiding behind religion. Faith is being so in line with God’s will, that we would never ask for a million dollars to satisfy our greed. Faith is keeping our eyes on Christ and making our feet follow. When we do this, Christ says we’ll see God’s fantastic transforming power unleashed in our lives.