That’s something we can all identify with, isn’t it – “If only I had more faith”. But Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ request is odd when you come to think about it. He says that faith as big as a mustard seed (the smallest of seeds) would be enough to say to the fig tree by the roadside, “Get up and be planted in the sea”, and it would happen. So, if such tiny faith could accomplish such an extraordinary thing, what’s the point in asking for more?
I’ve learned two things from this little exchange. The first is this: it’s not the size of faith that matters (how would you measure it, anyway?) but where it comes from. In Romans 10:17 Paul says, ‘faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word (rhema) of Christ’. We have two sets of ears: physical and spiritual. What Paul is saying is that the rhema (that is the word that speaks with real impact into our human spirit) of Christ creates spiritual hearing. It opens the ears of the human spirit, and it’s what we hear with these ears that creates faith. Faith comes not from what I believe and understand in my head, but from what I know in my spirit.
And the second thing? It’s just this: once sown, faith, like a mustard seed, grows. If it’s true faith it’ll grow, so long as we keep nourishing our spirit, where it’s been sown. And it’ll always be sufficient for the need of the moment.
Quite challenging, isn’t it. Where’s my faith? Am I receiving Jesus’ word deep in my spirit? And, as I hear it, am I allowing what He says to rule my decisions, reactions and behaviour day by day?
And one last thing: real faith is the antidote to anxiety. In place of a gloomy expression, faith puts a smile on our face. It’s not just cosmetic, but comes from the heart – a real face-lift.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that when You reveal truth into my spirit, it opens my spiritual ears to hear what You’re saying and causes faith to rise up. Lord, I’m trusting You to show me all I need to hear and know so I can meet each of today’s challenges with true faith. Amen.
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