Mustard Seed Faith

Mustard Seed Faith
 
We have all heard of Mustard Seed Faith.  If we would just have faith the size of a mustard seed...we could do anything.  It is taken from Matthew 17:14-20,  And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.  And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.”  And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.”  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, 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.”   We look at this terrible situation for this boy and we almost get angry at the disciples for their little faith.  How could they not believe after they had done so many great things and have seen Jesus do so many great things? Are we to understand that they had no faith?  If we look at the passage again, Jesus does not rebuke them for not having faith but for having “little faith”.  But then he tells them to have faith like a grain of mustard seed?  The smallest seed they knew?  Something does not pass the smell test.
 
That is because we misunderstand what Jesus was saying.  He was saying to the disciples that they need to have faith that grows.  A mustard seed is very small but it grows quickly into a huge bush.  The disciples problem was not that they did not have faith.  Their problem was that their faith was not growing.  Having seen what God had all ready done in and through them, having seen the miracles of Jesus, and having heard the teachings of Jesus, the disciples faith should have been blossoming into huge faith.  Why wasn’t it?  
 
There are a number of reasons our faith does not grow but one of the main reasons is that we fail to learn and see God in a greater way when he works in our lives.  We focus on the results, or on our role, or we do like the 9 lepers and we just move on.  What we fail to do is to stop and see the amazing God who just reached down from heaven and worked in our lives.  We fail to see to the love that he just displayed.  We fail to add to our knowledge the power he put on display.  We quickly forget.  So the next time we face a problem, our faith has not grown in our God, and we rely on our own actions or our puny knowledge of our God.
 
When you read the Psalms and the Old Testament you will see that when people struggle in their problems, God often points them to the past.  For Israel, he often points them to the Exodus.  He reminds them to remember what he did there.  Remember how he did not forget them.  Remember how he worked on their behalf.  After learning of him from that situation, now look at where you are at now. Allow your faith to grow and know that your God is able and willing to deliver.  We need to have a journal, mental or physical, to remind us of how God has worked in the past.  We need to review those times and learn about the character and heart of God.  Allow those times to grow our faith.  We need to study the word and realize that same God works in our lives today.  We need to listen carefully to the stories of those around us and in history and allow those stories to grow our faith.  God does not encourage us to have faith as the grain of mustard seed because he wants us to have small faith.  He wants our faith, that started out small when we were saved, to grow quickly and to multiply.
 
Here is what I am learning.  The greater my faith grows in God, the less I desire to ask him to move a mountain and the more I ask him to simply do his perfect, loving will in my life.  I would rather he work in his wisdom than do what my wisdom thinks best.

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