Summary: Whether it’s deep-rooted habits in your life that refuses to move, whether is mountain-like problems that your facing that you cannot move or you are having a challenge so great like planting something where there is no soil, God says, your faith is enough to solve those problems.
There are several kinds of prayers that we find in the Bible. Long prayers, short prayers. three-word
This afternoon I want to particularly turn your attention to one prayer that the disciples made. The prayer has profound significance. The prayer and the answer to that prayer probably impacted the lives of the disciples so much that they were able to be used so mightily by God in reaching out to the Gentiles. God was able to carry out so many miracles and wonders through them.
That simple prayer, three-word is recorded in Luke 17:5
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
They did not say to the Lord to keep their faith burning or sustain their faith, but rather to Increase their faith. It is necessary to see a growth in our faith
And Jesus replied saying: He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey.
The context could be taken from the preceding verses
In vs 3 and 4, Jesus says 3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Knowing that the task is humanly impossible, the disciples ask God to increase their faith.
But there is another context than this that can be derived from the book of Matthew. When the apostles tried to cast out the evil spirit and failed, they ask Jesus why could we not cast him out?
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
So probably the disciples could have made this prayer in this context.
If you compare the two verses in Luke and Matthew, we see God takes about three impossible situation:
1. It is not easy to uproot a mulberry tree. If you are a student of botany, you would know the mulberry tree has deep and invasive root system. You probably can cut a mulberry tree, but is extremely difficult to uproot it.
2. Mulberry trees cannot grow in a sea. it is impossible to plant in the water allow to survive, grow and bear fruit.
3. Thirdly, very clearly you cannot even shake a small hill, let alone moving a mountain from here to there.
So, what Jesus was actually saying was a faith small as a mustard seed would make the impossible possible in your life
Whether it’s deep-rooted habits in your life that refuses to move, whether is mountain-like problems that your facing that you cannot move or you are having a challenge so great like planting something where there is no soil, God says, your faith is enough to solve those problems. Your faith will make all the impossible things possible. God specializes in making impossible possible.
Today, I want to meditate on four reasons you need increased faith in your life or else four important things faith can bring about in your life.
1. YOU NEED FAITH TO FULFILL YOUR CALLING IN YOUR LIFE.
All of us believe that we are called by God. we have purpose in life and we need fulfill in our lifetime. God has placed you where you are, the time frame you are, the people you are around with, with a clear purpose.
As we read in Acts 17:26
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
He has marked it.. which means you are expected to fulfill the call and purpose for which God place you where you are.
When God calls you for a task, sometimes, it requires that you move out of your comfort zone. And that’s not always easy. And it requires a great deal of faith. When I compare the calling of two people in the Bible, it particularly surprises me.
All of us know Paul. Paul had a strong Jewish background. He was a learned man, well-versed in scriptures, Paul had studied under the feet of Gamaliel – a great scholar. He almost memorized the first five books in the Bible. Humanly speaking, he would have been the perfect choice and ideal candidate to minister to Jews. Because he had all the qualities to minister unto the Jews.
While Paul did minister to the Jews, his ministry was predominantly to Gentiles?