Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Mustard Seed

In Matthew 17:14 - 20 we see the account of Jesus healing a demon possessed boy.

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but the could not heal him.”
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you. Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, 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.”

How often have we read this and been encouraged? How often have we set out to act on this encouraging scripture and fallen flat on our faces? There is a difference between running out after a good pep talk and stepping out in faith. It is easy to get excited about an idea and run with it. It doesn’t take long for the energy gained from a pep talk to fizzle out. Acting on a feeling takes you just far enough to find yourself alone. The results are rarely what we expect them to be. We usually end up disappointed.
On the other hand, stepping out in faith yields unexpected results of a completely different nature. God has a tendency to go above and beyond for the faithful. Read in 1 Kings 18. Elijah challenges the priests of Baal to one of the greatest showdowns ever. One man stood at one alter and four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal at the other. The prophets of Baal set about their ritual with a zeal that must have been intimidating. They would cut themselves and cry out in great numbers. Elijah is not intimidated. He demands a harder challenge. His offering is doused in water, not once, but three times. He prays a simple prayer of offering, and God responds instantly. The entire offering is consumed in fire from heaven. The priests of Baal are left terrified.

Elijah definitely had the faith required. It is as simple as knowing that God is with you. It is also that hard. It is called faith for a reason. We are called to step out into an unbelieving world and face real situations with serious consequences. It isn’t a time to experiment. Read your bible. The word of God is the foundation for everything. Pray. Prayer is our daily interaction with the Lord. Make Him a real part of your life. How are you going to act on the words of someone you have never met? Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. You just have to take hold of it.
God is constantly providing us with opportunities to act in faith. He gives us those little nudges that make it clear that some things should not go unattended. Acting in faith does not get easier. It doesn’t diminish in how scary it can be. Acting in faith takes courage. Moses had a speech problem and God sent him to speak to Pharaoh , the greatest king in the land. Gideon was a weakling from the smallest clan, threshing wheat in a wine press in order to keep the Midianites from finding it. God sent that weakling to defeat great armies. These people were terrified of what they were called to do. At the same time, they knew that God was with them and that He would not allow them to fail.

Don’t run out looking for a fight. We don’t need to create our own battles. God has enough tasking for us already. He knows what you are capable of and what He is going to do. Stepping out in faith can be as simple as honoring that nudge from the Lord and speaking to the person next to you on the bus. It can mean praying with that coworker who seems to be having a rough time. A tongue tied teenager may find himself speaking to a crowd. It doesn’t get easier, but you will be encouraged by the results. Remember that it is God acting through you. We can do all things through Christ. We can do nothing unless the Father wills it.

Pray for God to move you and guide you. Pray that you remain steadfast and stay the course. Ask the Lord for the strength to persevere. Pray for God to use you and be ready to act upon His will.

I’m no expert, but it is something to ponder.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic insight man! This really hits home.