MATTHEW 17:20: “He told them, “Because you have so little faith. I can guarantee this truth: If your faith is the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: How can I develop a stronger faith? Faith is the key element in my walk with the Lord. We are saved by grace – through faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith motivates us toward good works, and is the flip side of love. If we have true saving, growing faith, we will also be growing in true transforming love.
- “As far as our relationship to Christ Jesus is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether we are circumcised or not. But what matters is a faith that expresses itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6 GW)
When Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the Mountain of Transfiguration, they found a crowd had gathered and quite a ruckus was taking place. A man had brought his demon possessed son to the other 9 disciples for them to cast the demon out of him. They had prayed, but nothing had happened. There was an argument taking place when Jesus approached the crowd. No doubt it was a combination of finger pointing, doubt, and mocking on the part of those who did not believe. When Jesus saw this He was grieved in His spirit and proclaimed…
- “…You unbelieving and corrupt generation! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me!” (Matthew 17:17 GW)
This seemed like extremely harsh words from Jesus. Where was His compassion? Where was His love? These were actually words of love as Jesus looked upon the condition that was before Him. He saw what the brokenness of sin, bondage, and unbelief can do to an individual and to a crowd. He longed for them to have eyes to see. In His divinity He was angered at the devastation of sin and unbelief. In His humanity He was moved with compassion and said – “Bring him here to me!” When the disciples later asked Jesus why they were unsuccessful, Jesus said it was because of their lack of faith. With true faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible to them. They would be able to move mountains with faith in God!
So how can I develop a stronger faith? It is really quite simple. My faith grows as I spend time with Jesus Christ. We trust who we know. We act on what we trust. When I first meet someone, I may like them, they may be pleasant and we may strike up a mutually enjoyable conversation, but I would not entrust my life to them. However, I have friends that I have spent years getting to know and love. To these friends I would entrust my life and the life of my family. Why? Because I know them. I know them deeply. I know them both in the natural, and I know them in Christ! This is really what Paul is trying to say when he writes,
- “So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.” (Romans 10:17 GW)
So, to develop a strong faith, “mustard seed” faith, faith that can move the mountains in our lives, we need to get to know God through spending time with Him. We spend time with the Lord, we talk to Him, as we daily meditate upon His word, and as we abide in worship and in prayer. As we do this our spiritual eyes are opened. We gain insight and understanding in the nature of God. We experience His grace working in and through our lives. And, we grow in our trust in Him and in His Word. It is not automatic. It takes time. It takes quality time. If this is true of our human relationships, how much more is it true and needed in our relationship with God.
Lord, give me a hunger to spend time with You each day. I want to know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to understand Your heart. I want to see You working in and through my life. Strengthen my faith in You as I grow in my knowledge of You!
- “Because of this, make every effort to add integrity to your faith; and to integrity add knowledge; to knowledge add self-control; to self-control add endurance; to endurance add godliness; to godliness add Christian affection; and to Christian affection add love. If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive.” (2 Peter 1:5-8 GW)
In Jesus Name!