Seed faith. Size matters.
Pictured is a mustard seed. No matter what seed we talk about, inside the seed there are plans and genetic design plus the unknown life force packed into the seed to recreate the parent plant as soon as the conditions are right for growth. It’s magic or masterful at the very least.
In Matthew 17 Jesus talks about faith and how it affects our ministry.
“14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “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. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
17 “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.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 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.” ‘
I don’t like being scolded. Who was Jesus scolding here? The dad? The son? The disciples?
In Mark there is more of Jesus’ conversation with the dad recorded.
“20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”’
If you can. The dads faith seems to be the faith in question. The Mark version adds prayer to the cure, some manuscripts also add fasting.
I have a list of people that I pray for, a written list. There are four names scribbled out. These four names represent four people who are dead now. I was praying for them and they died anyway.
Jesus says in this passage that if our faith is as big as a mustard seed that I can move mountains, that nothing will be impossible for me. So what size IS my faith?
If we look at the details of Marks version of the story I must ask myself, did I ever fast for these sick people? No. I did not.
I have an ineffectual prayer life in part because I don’t take it seriously. Who am I talking to? The dog? (Sometimes they are the only one in the room). Who am I talking to and what can He do about what I am asking him about? Gods will and his plan are sovereign but I am still seeing things that I would like to change. Do I believe God can do them? If I don’t believe, why am I wasting my time?
I have either never or seldom asked God to increase my faith. Today that changes.
God, please make my faith bigger. I want to see change in my world. Use me. Help me to see what to ask for and to believe in your bigness enough that people lives can be set free from torment and disease and the repercussions of sin. Grow me so the kingdom, Your kingdom can grow through me.
For several years I used a prayer list and would faithfully pray for everyone on the list every day that I did my devotion time, usually just work days. After 4 years of doing that I started to feel like it was just vain repetition so I stopped.
Here are some thoughts; some where the Bible says We have not because we ask not. when Jesus was teaching about prayer he said to keep on asking, and he also told of a persistent widow who was heard by a wicked judge, not because her cause was just, and it was, but because of her persistence. so for for things that just don’t seem to change I believe our duty is to keep on praying.
“Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”’
Luke 11:5-13 – NLT
And faith. Believe that God is able. He is not a Genie, he is a good father.
Sometimes it will require us to sacrifice, to fast and pray. Always ask, then keep on asking. Always believe and trust in our Father God. God wants a relationship with us. Like a dad and his kids, he doesn’t want to be our ATM but he does want us to ask as part of our relationship. I love spending time with my adult children, God wants to spend time with me and wants me to share my heart and share my needs and wants and cares and concerns with Him. My list didn’t seem to fit into that framework. I haven’t found the middle ground yet.
How can I be praying for and with you today? Do you have a need that you would like me to pray for with you? Let me know in the comments.