Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Faith is a Seed

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)
Jesus talked about the responsibility of forgiving those who offend us, even when they repeatedly offend us (Luke 17:1-4). This blew out all the circuits in the minds of His disciples, and they pleaded, “Lord, increase our faith.” (v. 5).

But the answer Jesus gave was that it was not an increase of faith that was needed. No, what they really required was an application of the faith they already had. Even if they had faith only as the size of a mustard seed, it was more than enough.

The thing about a mustard seed is that, though it is very small, the tiniest seed in the garden, it grows up to be a tree. But the size of a seed is irrelevant. You can have the tiniest seed, or the largest, and it will not make one bit of difference. That is, not as long as you hold it in your hand.

You see, the really important thing about a seed is what you do with it. You can hold it, or you can plant it—and which one you choose makes all the difference. Seeds are meant to be planted.

In the same way, the really important thing about faith is not how big it is, but what you do with it. Many people have faith, and it does them absolutely no good. What they really need is to plant their faith, to sow it, release it, activate it. Then it can accomplish anything and everything they need.

So it is not the size of our faith that is important. What really matters is whether or not we have released our faith. When we plant our seed of faith, though it be small, amazing things happen. We can say to the mulberry tree “Be uprooted and be planted in the sea,” it will obey us.

Now, that is quite an impossible thing, by human standards. I mean, it is difficult enough to uproot a mulberry tree. But to have it be planted in the sea, where mulberry trees cannot possibly grow in the natural, and see it take root and grow — well, that is a miracle indeed. But that is exactly what Jesus said we can do with our “mustard seed” faith.

In another place Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Here again is faith as a mustard seed, and here again is the planting of that seed. Can you see how it is done? Do you notice how that seed is “planted,” how that faith is activated?

I’m not going to tell you today, but I’m going to let you meditate on it a little bit. Here is another Scripture along the same line to help you understand:
Jesus answered and said, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:22-2)
[HINT: The key is repeated three times.]

Understand that faith is like a seed. It is not the size that matters, but what you do with it. There is a very important way to activate it, and when you learn how to sow that seed, nothing will be impossible for you.