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Mustard Seed Faith

When the disciples failed to heal a boy who was demon possessed, they asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive the demon out. Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith.” He said, “I tell you the truth, 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.” (Matthew 17:19-21)

Again in Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

In Luke when the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, he replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:6)

Faith, how do we get it? It grows with exercise, it follows God despite the circumstances, it involves endurance until the end, it is the way God works through people.

Faith comes from seeds that are planted deep within our spirits. Each time we encounter a person who has faith, it is possible for them to plant a seed inside us and that seed grows with each encounter of other people of faith. It increases more and more. When we surround ourselves with people who want to share their faith, people who have experienced God moving in their lives, it comes out in words, in actions, in their demeanor. That touches a place within us that longs to have the same type of faith and that encounter strengthens our faith.

This faith that grows and increases will continue to grow if we tend it, water it, intentionally putting ourselves in situations with others of deep faith and soak up what they have until one day, without our even knowing it, we have become ‘a mustard plant’ with others learning from our experiences, hearing our stories of faith and wanting to be near us so that they may grow in their faith.

I think Jesus had hoped that his disciples had been with him long enough to have increased their faith. But, the disciples had not yet received the Holy Spirit and that kept them from possessing faith to the degree that Christ had it.

How does obedience to God increase our faith? When we know God, we know the things that he expects from us. The only way we can really get to know God is through his word. It is an instruction manual for us as we live our lives here on earth. Each time we do something that he asks us to do, our faith in increased.

A few years ago I was praying for a girl in my church who had been in a terrible accident. Her mother needed a care giver because the lady who had been helping her had quit. I was just asking the Lord to send someone to her and he spoke very clearly to me, not in an audible voice but in my spirit, he said “you call her”. I came up with every excuse possible why I couldn’t do it, but the spirit would not let me alone until I called her. It would require only a few hours each day to get Rachel up, dressed, fed and ready for the school bus. Easy enough, but then her mother told me that Rachel had to have a shot each morning and I knew that was one thing I could never do. Sorry God, I guess you’ll have to find someone else - wrong! When I told God that I couldn’t give her shots his response to me was, “I will give her the shots, just let me use your hands.” I had to do it and every day for nearly two years I took care of Rachel.

God used me in a mighty way to minister to not only Rachel but her mother as well. Because of my obedience my faith grew so much over that time.

God taught me through TV ministers that I would watch before I had to get Rachel up each day, he taught me through the devotional time I had with Rachel each morning, he taught me through Rachel’s ability to see angels all around us and her childlike faith that shared these things so easily. He taught me that sometimes life is very difficult, but he is with us through every trial, every heartbreak, every ache and pain. Yes, my faith increased through my obedience to him.

If you hear the voice of God speaking to you to do something, no matter how big or small the task, respond in obedience. Your faith will increase. Remember Abraham, when God asked him to take Isaac up the mountain and sacrifice him. Don’t you think that when the angel stopped Abraham from killing his son, and God provided the sacrifice, that Abraham’s faith increased one hundred fold that day?

We serve a big God, a God who is mighty and powerful, a God who wants to bless us and wants us to be a blessing to others. Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” God will hear the prayers of those who are obedient, those who want to increase their faith. Ask and it will be given unto you.

As your faith increases, start sowing mustard seeds everywhere you go. Those seeds will begin to grow and those you have witnessed to will have their faith increased and begin to sow seeds themselves. It is an amazing way that our faith spreads to others.

Holy God,

We are like the father in the Bible who wanted Jesus to heal his son, he cried out, “I do believe, help thou my unbelief.” We want to believe, we want our faith increased. Speak to us right now and tell us what you would have us do. We will obey and trust you to use us not only in the big events of our lives, but also in the small, mustard seed deeds that are done out of obedience to you. Enable us with the power of your Holy Spirit and because of the blood of Jesus. Amen

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Comment by Janice Garey on March 3, 2010 at 9:42pm
I thank God for you, Marsha, and your faith building words. Thanks for sharing!

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