“Because of your little faith”, he told them. “For I assure you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain ‘move from here to here’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” - Matthew 17:20
Here, we see the disciples confused as to why their attempt to heal a demon-possessed boy failed. Jesus clearly responds to them; “Because of your little faith.” Their lack of faith troubled Jesus.
When we pray we tend to be good at bringing things to God. The disciples did try to cast out the demon after all. Often it is not our belief in God to be real, but our lack of trust (or belief) that God will keep his promises, that limits us. At times all of us, in our humanness, fail to trust that God really will do the impossible.
Even if, like the disciples we’ve seen him do miraculous things before, we can sometimes think ‘maybe this time God won't.’
1. Be honest about your faith levels!
Jesus clearly called out the disciples lack of faith and we are called to do the same. Be honest with God, let him know where you are at today. If you are really struggling to trust him, say so! Jesus wants us to come to him exactly as we are.
We can repent from this place in humility and then ASK for more faith. Jesus will be delighted to respond so that your trust will be in Him and His power.
But where does Jesus go from here? Does he berate the disciples and scoff at their doubt and limitations? No, our gracious Saviour invites them (and us) to access the power of the Kingdom of God through real faith.
We just have to start small…
2. Start with mustard seed faith.
Small faith, like a mustard seed (the smallest seed of any tree known to man), is where he asks the disciples to start. But a seed isn't designed to stay a seed. The potential of faith is that it can grow!
A quick Google search will tell you that “mustard is easy to grow.”
Our prayers don't need to start with buckets of faith, just the mustard seed beginnings. From there as we offer our prayers to God, like any growing relationship, we will learn to trust Him with more.
Google will also tell you that “mustard will grow well in most soils, but will produce most seed in rich, well drained, well prepared soil.” If you go with the analogy here — our faith will grow in the best conditions. Through prayer, reading God’s Word and spending time in His presence, your faith will take root to grow and grow.
And with this small faith Jesus says, “Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Something as small as a mustard seed can grow to be the largest of plants, reaching between 6-20 feet in height and 20-30 feet spread! Small faith can have huge impact.
3. Bring the impossible.
This is Jesus’ promise. Not by our might and strength but by trusting in His great power, then NOTHING will be impossible for us.
Now, this doesn’t mean that all unanswered prayer is because we don’t have enough faith. And it certainly doesn’t suggest that great faith means our lives will have no problems or adversity. Jesus isn’t saying faith will take away the ‘I need this mountain to move’ moments. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego still had to go into the fiery furnace, Daniel into the lion’s den and so on. But he is saying that trusting Him means God will be with you, by your side, to then move the mountain.
He asks us to partner with Him in faith to face the seemingly impossible moments and see the miraculous power of God move, pointing all the glory to Him.
I encourage you to press in further in your prayers today. To be okay with your seemingly minuscule faith and place your requests before a God who can move the mountains with it.
May you pray bold prayers and receive joy as you trust in God’s great miraculous power to do the impossible through you!