Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 12, 2009

bring your mustard seed

Have you ever thought to yourself, “if I only had more faith”?  Have you ever tried to work up enough faith energy to make certain God would answer a specific prayer (the way you wanted Him to, of course)?  Maybe you have seen someone else’s dramatic answer to prayer and began to question, “what is wrong with my faith?”

It would be so much simpler if there was a prescription for great faith and dramatic answers. But sadly, just as we live in an over medicated world, we would likely overdose on that “faith” medication.  Or attempt to use it as a substitute, or shortcut to the hard work of the good health of knowing the Father.

Luke 17:4
The apostles said to the Lord, “increase our faith”

After hearing Jesus instruct them on forgiveness, the apostles immediate response was “increase our faith”.  Jesus responds, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed …”.  How does Jesus answer his disciples, when they ask for more?  With the truth of the power of even the smallest amount of pure faith.  But I don’t believe that Jesus was chastising the disciples response.  In Paul’s letters, we find repeated references to growing in faith.  Great potency is found in even the smallest traces of pure faith, but still greater power is found in faith’s increase.

Before we discuss how to grow in faith, let’s pause to look at an occasion of God blessing some weak kneed prayer. You may be familiar with the story in Acts chapter 12, of Peter being put in prison by Herod. The church did what churches do today (in difficult times), they prayed.  I can imagine the intensity of the group praying for Peter’s life.  God dramatically releases Peter, and he goes to the house of the prayer partners, and knocks at the door. A servant girl answers, sees him, and runs with joy to tell the others (leaving Peter at the door).  Note their response:

Acts 12:15-17
“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting
that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” But Peter kept on
knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they
were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet
and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James
and the brothers about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

Have you ever been astonished when God came through?  We all have!  But there is another important point for us to see in the passage. Although there was obviously some doubt issues going on at the prayer meeting, there was also sincere faith. God knows our weakness, and He knows how satan attacks us. In His choosing, he can take our weak “mustard seed” faith and move mountains. Even when you don’t feel like it, and your emotions fly against you … pray.  And by a choice of the will, have the faith to believe He can take even your weak kneed prayer and answer it.

So how do you begin to see your faith increased?  Right where you are, right now!  Start listening (through His Word) and talking to Him as your best friend.  As the relationship deepens, increased faith will come as He blesses.  If you are new to your faith or a little weary on the journey, don’t wait another day.  Seek God with a genuine heart, bring your mustard seed, and watch Him grow it!

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