“If only I had the faith”…and other excuses.

Mark 4:30-34

“It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet when it is sown…” v. 31

You don’t need more faith. You just need to realize the power of the faith you have and then  you need to put it to work. Jesus makes it clear in this statement that even the smallest amount of faith, when acted on will yield great results for God’s kingdom and your good, in that order. How much time do we waste comparing the size of our faith with either the size of the mountain set before us, or the apparent size of someone else’s faith? Both comparisons are futile. We say, “I don’t have enough faith to do this or that”, when you really don’t know how much faith you have until you use it. There is no gauge or yardstick for measuring faith. The only way to know how much faith you have is to step out of the boat and start walking across the waves toward the master. When Simon Peter was called out on the water by the master, the disciple had no idea how far his faith would take him until he got to its limit and cried out, “master, I’m drowning!” The second mistake is to compare our faith to the apparent size of someone else’s. You wish you had the faith of Moses or Job, or someone in your church. So you sit around in your closet, pining away to the Lord, “Lord if only I had the faith….” That statement kills more believers than we can imagine. What if Moses had done that beside the Red Sea with Pharaohs army advancing? He would have been slaughtered with his people waiting for God to give him a feeling. Did Moses realize how much faith he had before he held the staff out over the sea? I doubt it. Perhaps as he saw the sea parting he marveled, “It worked!” That’s what will happen to you when you stop making comparisons and start using the faith you have. You see people who appear to have great faith but have they used it? Many people with great storehouses of faith have never actually acted on it. They believe God is able, but have never actually done anything about it. What good is a large seed never planted? On the other hand, your faith may only be the size of a tiny seed, but when you activate it, there is unimaginable power. How do you do that? Well, contrary to much health and wealth preaching, planting seeds is not a way to make more money by giving to “Brother wonderful” for a return. Planting a seed involves any step you take toward God, based solely on the truth of his word, or in obedience to his commands. Faith happens whenever you obey God, without any proof other than what He has said. Jesus used the idea of planting a seed, partly, to show that faith is an investment, a commitment, and a release.

A seed is invested in the soil, something larger than itself. So is faith. I live by faith when I invest myself, my energy, my resources, my time in something greater than me. Faith isn’t effective until it is invested. Are you invested in your faith? Prove it.

A seed is committed to the earth before it can grow. Faith is a commitment. What many people call faith, is really superstition. They say magic words, but make no commitment. Abraham was called the friend of God because he committed himself to God by faith. This was no, “wait and see stunt”, it was a commitment of his life to the soil of God’s providence. Are you committed to what God is doing in your life or are you keeping a safe distance just in case things don’t go your way?

Finally, it is a release. When you plant a seed you have to let it go. You can’t hold on to it and expect it to produce in your grip. You have to release it. Faith is the same. When I take a step of obedience I must not try to force God’s hand. I have to obey, then release everything to God. He is master of the outcome. Are you releasing your situation to God or are you still trying to manipulate the future?

Faith is powerful when it is invested, committed and released, like a seed into the soil. When that happens it doesn’t matter how big or small your faith is. All that matters is that you plant it.

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