Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (ESV)
In “Oh You of Little Faith” I talked about how the word “little” in this phrase is really “few occurrences.” Think of it this way…if you haven’t seen it before you have little faith for it. If you don’t think it is for you then you are living in unbelief which is different from little faith. If you have never seen someone do a triple front flip off the diving board, then you have “little faith” for the little kid bouncing up and down on the end of the board. In the next post “His Faithfulness” I talked about how Jesus is the one on the diving board. When you know what He is capable of then the triple flip isn’t the issue anymore. Jesus can do it. If you don’t think He wants to do it, that is unbelief and a very different thing. In the last post “Regular Old Dirt” I talked about how all humans are of the same substance. We are a product of a molded and shaped substance that God prepares to receive His life-giving breath. When we are born again our “seed” within comes to life and our Kingdom tree is born. We grow and grow to become the mighty spirit-man God intended. Still this tree is rooted in just Regular Old Dirt. God comes along and removes the rocks and stones and weeds. He pours His living water on us to nourish our soil. He plows, and spades and tills the soil to prepare for the next seed of revelation. He pulls out the weeds of lies the enemy plants so we can see clearly the fruit bearing truths of our identity He planted.
Now it is time to be Johnny Mustardseed!
Our tiny little faith in a loving, powerful, resourced, graceful, merciful, limitless, understanding Jesus is our mustard seed. We may have “little faith” in a particular miraculous request but we have faith in Jesus. We may have never seen something happen but we know the one that can make it happen. We may have no understanding at all how something might happen but we have faith in the one does know how. We see laws and rules and gravity and death and all kinds of certainty based on experience. We have seen over and over again the way something will play out. We are so familiar with cause and effect, investment and return or performance and reward that our “grid” is strong as titanium but…but…but…there is Jesus. He is the King of the Universe. All rulers and powers and authorities are under His feet. There is no rule, human law, natural law, circumstance or experience that trumps His power. He is King. We are His kids. He is in us. He has called us to be like Him.
This is where we usually get all messed up. We just can’t see being like Jesus. Our regular old dirt pile still has lots of rocks. Our “little faith” hasn’t seen enough of what God can do for us to be bold. We just don’t have enough faith in His faithfulness to step out in confidence. Actually we have probably been bombarded with all kinds of lies from the enemy that are supported by our experience. I have personally encountered people who were vehemently opposed (they were yelling) to my position “God is good, wants to heal people, has unlimited Grace for us, desires mercy over sacrifice and wants to use us to be like Him.” All of that is in the Bible and is indisputable but still the enemy uses our “man made religion” to keep us from stepping into His reality. The devil does not want you to walk in power and confidence as a son or daughter of the King of the Universe. The enemy does not want you to know that He lives in you and works through you to hit home runs like Hank in “His Faithfulness.” Still God has given us this awesome opportunity to be just like Jesus.
So I like the image of Johnny Mustardseed. He has a bag of tiny little mustard seeds. Each seed is a tiny seed of faith for anything. When it is planted it grows into whatever God needs to change a circumstance, remove and obstacle, set someone free, heal a person’s body and even raise the dead. He moves about among the people and sows his seeds. He drops one here, presses in one there, waters one when required and just waits for God to do the rest. It looks like praying for the sick, praying for resources, giving someone a supernatural love hug and laying hands on the dead to see them come to life. Johnny may have never seen the sick healed or the dead raised or money appear in a back account but he knows Jesus. He knows Jesus can and will. This is what Jesus said:
Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (ESV)
Even our words, yes our simple words should have power. That power comes from faith. That tiny little seed gets planted in the regular old dirt pile right in front of you. This is what Paul said:
1 Thes 1:5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. (ESV)
I know it is hard. I know you will come against opposition. I know because the enemy really doesn’t want us to walk in this truth. He wants us to keep our seeds in our pockets or at home or sitting in a pew in a church. Paul said this was going to be hard, specifically this part of walking in faith in what God can and will do through us.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (ESV)
We can plant that seed and know that we know that we know that God WILL. That is our hope. We know that God may grow that seed in a moment or in a lifetime. The timing does not matter. Still we are temporal creatures so when we don’t see it right away we cringe and doubt. Then the blame meter starts blinking and we look for excuses. God knew this would happen. That is why we have verse 5 in Romans 5:
Rom 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESV)
Keep sowing. Keep watering. You have the love of God in you to sustain you.
Listen, I get it. So often the “why don’t people get healed” question comes up. Here is my answer anymore.
“When I have prayed for every single person that is in need or sick or dying, when I have touched every single person in my ‘obedience to the faith,’ when I have tried and tried and tried and finally planted every seed I have, then I can ask why.”
Until then I just trust God. My part is simple. It is easy, really. I just plant a seed. God brings the growth. He does it all anyway. What do I lose by planting a seed?
Credibility? I never had the power anyway, He does.
I get embarrassed? For what, demonstrating a loving God who died for us?
I bring false hope? That is an expression of unbelief. There is no false hope in Jesus.
The worst thing that happens is a religious unbeliever calls you a heretic and blasphemer. Yay!!!! That is what they called Jesus. I like those credentials.
Plant a seed, just a tiny little seed. Stand back and watch what God does. One day you will be planting, just like every other day, and a little girl with MS is going to get out of a wheelchair. One day a mom with little kids will be cured of cancer. One day a baby will come back to life after dying of SIDS. This is your privilege. This is what Jesus died to give us. You can leave your cooking-pot-hat at home, but you get to be Johnny Mustard seed every day.