He replied, "Because you have so little faith. 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 17:20
I used to aspire to having great faith. It seemed to me that people with great faith would never question God or His ways. These giants of faith would never freak out or worry. They would just automatically trust God no matter the circumstance. I came to realize that this idea of possessing great faith was a mistake. I didn’t really desire faith in God. I was pursuing faith in faith. How twisted is that?
Jesus gave these instructions to His disciples after their failure to cast a demon out of a boy. The desperate father came to Jesus to ask for help saying that the disciples couldn’t get it done (Matthew 17:14-18). The disciples didn’t understand why they couldn’t do this. In another incident, they reported that a man who wasn’t one of them was casting out demons (Mark 9:38). They told him to stop.
Jesus explained to them that the key wasn’t in ostentation or willfulness. The key was having faith. In fact, if they had faith as small as something familiar like a mustard seed, they could tell a mountain to move, and it would move. Now, before you launch your divine excavation company, let me clear up a couple of things.
Faith along with grace is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Some people think that if we believe something strongly enough that it becomes faith. That may be a great New Age visualization technique, but it’s not faith. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith is belief in what we can’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith comes from God (Romans 12:3).
The second thing is that God only moves the mountains that He chooses to move. We can’t just randomly point to mountains and command them to move. We shouldn’t be that powerful, and we’re not. God will give us the faith to accomplish what He chooses to accomplish. Sometimes God gives the faith for a radical deliverance from sin. Sometimes God gives us grace in daily doses. How it comes is His choice.
What do you need to trust God for today? What thing in your life seems impossible? We serve a mountain moving God who will give us the faith that we need.
“Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith” (Romans 4:13).
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