“I don’t have much faith,” she said, “I don’t even have a mustard seed. How much must I grow in my faith before God will answer my prayers?” It is good to ask questions like this because we all want to know what is required of us. The thinking is based on performance, “tell me what I need to do to meet the requirement of enough faith to have my prayers answered?”
Firstly we are required to grow our faith. In 2 Cor 10:15, Paul talks about believers whose faith “continues to grow” and in 2 Thes 1:3 he delights in believers who demonstrate that their faith is “growing more and more” as they love one another.
In Luke 17:5 in the Living Bible the disciples come to Jesus and say: “We need more faith; tell us how to get it.”
In other versions of scripture it is clear that even the disciples wanted to know how to increase their faith because they knew that faith was required before God responded.
We need to believe and God responds when we believe.
Jesus gives the minimum requirement to the size of our faith. From the Living Bible in Luke 17:6 “If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus answered, “it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling into the sea! Your command would bring immediate results!”
The first step to growing our faith is to grow it to the size of a mustard seed. A mustard seed is about 1-2mm in size and this is the scale given by God as a measure required for great power to be released. We often feel condemned by people that tell us we do not have enough faith, but don’t let anyone condemn you for not having faith bigger than a mustard seed; that is all that is required by God.
Not very big! But it is not the size of the faith that is required, but the quality. Even though it is small in measurement, it packs a punch in the quality of faith. What is that quality of faith? Absolutely NO DOUBT. When we develop a seed of faith with the quality of no doubt, that little seed packs a punch. It is that quality of seed that holds the greatest potential.
What do you totally believe, one hundred percent?
Identify what exactly you do not doubt and go forward based on that. That is your first mustard seed.
There is enormous power that rests in a seed, it grows up and becomes a strong tree which supports the birds of the sky who nest in them (Mark 4:30-32 “It is like a tiny mustard seed! Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, yet it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can build their nests and be sheltered.”)
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
We see growing faith when we increase in our ability to believe and not doubt. We see it in increasing support to others and in our ability to love others.
If our faith is not growing, it will start to shrink, shrivel and become stagnant. Even a small sized mustard seed not tended to, will eventually become no faith at all. Identify your seed of faith and make it grow.
- To what extent has your faith been performance related: What do I need to do or say, to meet the requirements for faith? Have you caught yourself negotiating with God what You believe about Him?
- Do you think you could grow a mustard seed of faith, of the quality of no doubt? What would prevent you from growing this size of faith?
- What do you believe right now, with absolutely no doubt about God, yourself and your circumstances? It is good to make a list, since often we think we believe something 100%, but then life tests that belief and we find that doubt does exist in our faith.
- Doubt, fear and lack of confidence go hand in hand. How does doubt undermine your ability to believe?
- Could you imagine yourself with a mustard tree sized faith, so confident in the Lord that others would find shelter in your faith and grow under the protection of your branches. Write out, using Jeremiah 17:7-8 and Psalm 1:3, a description of what you would look like with faith like this. Don’t skip this, it is an exercise of your imagination, to go beyond what your can think or imagine.
Lord help me to identify what I absolutely do not doubt about You. Help me to find that mustard seed of “absolutely no doubt” and start growing that small seed of faith in my life. Your word promises that there is great power in that small faith. Help me to start believing more based on what I do, absolutely believe. I confess that my faith is going to grow to be a huge mustard tree and change the landscape of the world I live in.
There was things I did believe about God with absolutely no doubt. Most of it was things I had come to understand in my walk with Him already, through life and the Word, and as evidence had built up, there was a level of no doubt in my heart. One, was my absolute conviction that no matter what I faced in life, God was going to be with me. His presence in my life, was 100% guaranteed. (I will Never Leave You Blog Post). I was beginning to understand that the quality of faith I was looking for was truth, that I believed 100%.
At this stage, there were a few things I had to admit to myself:
- I had been general in my prayers
- Though I knew God and His heart, I had not expressed faith.
- I had not spoken out in faith or acted upon it.
- Even though I knew a lot of scripture, it was not often that I would take God at His word and believe what He said.
- I had never seen great power and radical change in my life because I had never really been a person of great faith.
- I had never taken responsibility for growing my faith and trust in the Lord with the Spirits help
- God wants me to operate in greater faith
“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig-tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and it will be done.”