We have a particle of faith, and so we have a particle of power with God.
We are familiar with such teachings as the parable of the flood (which has been retold in church since I was a child), where a man is stranded in a flood, and prays. Three different rescuers arrive and offer to save the man, but he turns down each, thinking to himself that he has prayed and he knows that god will save him. The man drowns and in the parable he asks God why he drowned, as he says he prayed in faith, and he is told that several people were sent to save him from the flood but he wouldn’t go with any of them.
This is a stupid parable. It presents the obvious as if it were profound.
Sure, truly, if the man had even a particle of real faith he would have gone with one of the rescuers.
But I can’t help think it teaches a lesson that we already know really well, while at the same time perpetuating a tradition of living beneath our privileges by presenting the idea that God will take care of us through earthly means as if it were some profound lesson. Sure, a man can be rescued from a flood by a boat. But our great trouble in this life is not a flood. Our great trouble is that we live far beneath our privileges. Our great trouble is that we want to be saved by grace, but have no interest in the saving graces God would gladly bestow if we would only live up to them.
Our problem is not that we fail to recognize that God can intervene on our behalf through earthly means. We know that.
Our problem is that we do not believe we need faith that can connect us with the powers of heaven. We do not care that we live far beneath our privileges. We wrongly think “What need is there for greater spiritual privileges, given that God can grant us an earthly deliverance from our problems?”