Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 27, 2011

you don’t need more faith

Let me just say that I simply and sincerely LOVE scripture.  It would require a multi-part post to expound on the multitude of reasons why, so I will choose just one to share with you that I was reminded of in the midst of our reading schedule last week.

One of the many things that I LOVE about scripture is how the Spirit can use a well-worn single phrase, verse or entire portion of scripture and  bring it into view at just the right time in your life to bring hope, healing, encouragement or challenge.  A truth that you have intersected with so often that you could recite it in your sleep.  And that may have, over time, lost a little of the power in the repetition.  But God’s Word is never the thing in need of a recharge, right?!

I suppose it’s only mildly coincidental that I mention the word “power”.  Because that was the thing the Spirit breathed new life into as I arrived at Luke 17.  The chapter begins with a lesson on sin and forgiveness, and then shifts gears quickly to a request the apostles make.

The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.” (Luke 17:5  MSG)

Many believe verse 5 is not connected to the first four, although it would certainly seem a likely response when one is challenged with the standard of forgiveness that Jesus shares.  But whatever the circumstances that led to the words, Jesus is confronted with a request for more faith.  His response is one we all recognize (although you may not be familiar with the exact words of “The Message” text) …

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it. (Luke 17:6  MSG)

“You don’t need more faith.”  That must have been a response that the apostles didn’t see coming.  Many of us remember the words that follow closely as, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed …”.  But as I read the beginning words of Jesus’ response to his apostles, new life was breathed into that “mustard seed” truth.

As I navigate through life, and its many trials and struggles, it seems my call is most often for “more” … more presence, more patience, more peace, more power, more faith.  But Jesus is clear in responding that you don’t need “more”.  You need only the smallest measure of pure faith, and there is the kind power that uproots a tree, available to you.  Romans 8:11 tells us that as a child of God, indwelt by the Spirit, we have resurrection power inside of us, ready and at our disposal.  This is also a truth you have heard many times before, but take a minute and let that sink in.  The exact same power as raised Jesus, is within those who believe.  And is inside of ME.

The pace of human technology is racing at light speed.  In the designing, research and manufacture of Intel’s new i7 computer processor chip, researchers created transistors so small that it was calculated that 30 million of them could fit on the head of a pin.  I don’t need to remind many of you of the size room that used to house the first computer system.  Which had no where near the same processing power that can now fit on the head of a pin.  Yet as amazing as the facts, “30 million” and “head of a pin” are, they are dwarfed by resurrection power.

Let us not be found asking for more.  Let us rather focus on becoming less, and tapping into the bottomless well of resurrection power found deep inside of us.  Made possible only through the death of Christ, and gifted by God with the indwelling of His Spirit.

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