Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 27, 2011

whatever the size

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I only had more faith”?  Have you ever tried to work up enough faith energy to make sure 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?” You may be facing some faith mountains right now, and spiritual weariness is overwhelming you. Do you need more faith, better faith or just a good dose of, “I will trust my Father” faith?

Luke 17:5
The apostles said to the Lord, “increase our faith”

After hearing Jesus instruct them on forgiveness, the apostle’s immediate response was “increase our faith”.  Jesus replied, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed …”.  It is interesting that He challenged them with the power of even the smallest amount of pure faith. But I don’t believe that Jesus was chastising the disciple’s 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 were doubt issues going on at the prayer meeting, I believe 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.

You probably already knew about the disciples wanting increased faith, and the praying church having doubts. And you also know if you are faith weary and wanting God to just fix everything. Whatever the size of your faith today (and it may be small), God wants to increase it, and He still does miracles. His prescription is His Word, and prayer, and trusting Him for each moment…. but you already knew that!  Now let the seed grow!

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