I have often heard it said that if I had more faith, then “this or that” wouldn’t happen, or that “this or that” would happen.
In the book of Matthew, a man approaches Jesus and asks Him to cast the demon out of His son. He says that he first brought his son to the disciples, but they were unable to heal him. Then Jesus called the disciples “faithless”. Then He cast the demon out. The disciples came to Jesus privately and asked why they couldn’t do it.
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.” (Matt 17:20)
What I don’t see in His explanation is a statement that says, “You have to first be rid of every shred of unbelief before you can perform miracles.”
He does tell them that they have “little faith”. Then, we have to go on and read the rest of the verse. He tells them that if their faith was the size of a mustard tree, then nothing would be impossible for them. WOW! A mustard seed is very small. If our faith needs to be at least that size, then there is still room for unbelief. It’s like saying, “Lord, I don’t know if this is going to work, but I leave it in Your hands…”
Back when I first started in the ministry, I was having trouble getting involved, but I was taking “No” as a final answer. Truthfully, I wasn’t trying very hard. I asked my pastor for help but he could see my level of effort, and told me that I needed to do the leg work. Then he said, “If you just get your foot in the door, I’ll kick it open for you.” That’s what I believe Christ is telling us. If we just exhibit a little faith, He’ll provide the answer to what we are praying for.
Often, I feel that people are looking at the person who is praying, and evaluating that person’s faith. They say, “If you had more faith…” Instead, they need to be looking to Jesus.
For example, say someone has a common cold, and they pray for healing. I don’t believe that Christ is examining their faith to see if it is big enough for Him to provide healing. Often times, people want to attribute the lack of healing to a person’s faith. The scripture makes it clear that even the smallest amount of faith (mustard seed size) is enough. So why doesn’t the Lord heal everyone? That is another discussion altogether!
Another instance of mustard seed faith comes in the book of Luke. Jesus is telling His disciples about forgiving people who sin against them. Their response?
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:5-6)
WOW! They asked that their faith be increased. You would think that this is a good and appropriate response. They were saying, “Lord, give us enough faith to do as you say.” However, His response is to tell them that it only takes a wee bit of faith to accomplish great things in His name.
Now, I have never seen someone move a mountain, or tell a tree to be uprooted and to be thrown into the sea. However, I have seen the lame walk, and diseases healed. These things are just as impossible as the physical mountain, or the physical tree. More than that, though, I have experienced that life changing washing in the blood of the Lamb! This regenerative work only took a tiny bit of faith, and the Lord answered in a mighty way. I may have physical ailments that I don’t understand, but my faith lies in the savior.
Please, comment on this. I appreciate every response, whether you agree with me or not. However, please don’t simply state that you agree or disagree. Let me know your heart on this matter.