Faith the size of a tiny mustard seed moves mountains. (Matthew 7:20 paraphrased) I’ve studied, prayed and pondered over this scripture. How can I move the seemingly unmovable? How do I know I have enough faith? I’ve often heard people tell others that they didn’t have enough faith. I’ve even read instances where Jesus rebukes his followers by saying, “O you of little faith.”
It helps to know what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is being sure of what we hope for and having a certainty of what we don’t see. 2 Corinthians 5:7(paraphrased) says we should live by faith and not by what we see. Hebrews 11:6 (paraphrased) says that we must have faith in order to please God. James 2:26 (paraphrased) says faith without actions is useless. So what is faith? Faith is living my life in light of what God says about me, the world and what He says about Himself. It’s living my life based on His promises. It doesn’t matter how I feel or what I see. I will operate my life based on the truth. My actions must line up with what I believe. If not, what’s the use in believing it? God wants followers who are ALL in or not at all. No more, “yes I believe your promises”, but living my life as though I don’t believe his promises.
Interestingly, all of us have faith in something. Is your check directly deposited into your checking account? Every month, you confidently expect that you will have your money deposited electronically—though you don’t see it. You don’t stay up worrying about it. You don’t try to understand how that happens. You don’t question whether or not your employer will forget, or decide not to pay you. You live with the confidence that your money will be in your account at the expected time. That is faith. Have you ever been to the doctor? Your doctor gives you a prescription, along with other instructions that he/she says will get you well. Most of us don’t doubt it. We take the advice without question. We trust that whatever he/she scribbled on that paper is good for us. We trust that the pharmacist is giving us the prescription that the doctor ordered, and we trust the pharmaceutical company that made the prescription. We live most of our lives trusting people and things, having no concrete proof that anyone will deliver what they promise.
So Jesus was saying that the size of our faith is irrelevant. What really matters is who we put our faith in. Anything or anyone we put our faith in will disappoint us eventually—except God. He’s the one who moves mountains.
When Jesus performed a miracle, there was usually some action required of the person which demonstrated his/her beliefs. Sometimes the action was simple, like when the servants filled the jugs full of water in order for the water to be turned to wine. (John 2:5-11) Sometimes the action was difficult, like when he told the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. (John 9:1-38) Sometimes the action required the person to take a risk, like when he told the lepers to go show themselves to the priest. (Luke 17:12-19) Sometimes the act seemed impossible, like when he told the cripple man to pick up his mat and walk. (John 5:2-14) Sometimes the act required persistence, like the woman with the blood disorder. She pressed through the crowd so that she could touch the hem of his clothing. (Mark 5:24-34) Sometimes friends and family needed to get involved in order to intercede on behalf of the person, like the paralyzed man whose friends cut a hole in the roof in order to get him to Jesus. Jesus said the man was healed because of his friends’ faith. (Mark 2:1-12) Sometimes it was as simple as persistently calling on the name of Jesus, like the blind men who called out to Jesus in spite of the crowd’s rebukes. (Matthew 20:30-34)
In every situation, each person’s belief was displayed by their actions. That’s faith.
And I don’t mean rule-keeping. None of the rule-keeping religious leaders experienced any miracles.So my challenge to you is this: Do you want this mountain of fear removed? Are you willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to do? I cannot tell you exactly what to do in order to be free, but I can tell you how to get to the One who can tell you.