Do We Have Faith of a Mustard Seed?
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. – Matthew 17:20
For many of us, this verse is a source of discouragement rather than encouragement. If we don’t get what we ask in pray, this verse seems to chastise us for a lack of faith. We thought we had faith. We tried to have faith. But in the end, we must not have had it after all.
I don’t want to add to the burden we all may feel we’re under by having a lack of faith. But, instead of disbelieving this verse, maybe we really don’t have very much faith in God. Why would I say this?
What Do We Have More Faith For?
What are you more surprised by, when God answers your prayer or when He doesn’t? If you are like most people, you agreed with the first option. In reality, we don’t expect God to answer our prayers.
You can see this in our prayers. We often tack on ‘if it’s Your will’ to our requests. Our lack of awareness of what is God’s will creates little faith on our behalf.
People ask us to pray for a sick family member or friend having surgery, and we pray that God be with them and that God give wisdom to the doctors or surgeons. Not that those prayers are very bad, but we don’t take the risk to pray for the healing of the person. We have greater faith in the doctors than we do in God’s intervention.
Our Faith Actually Expects God Not to Answer
I’m not saying we shouldn’t go to doctors, but I want to highlight where our faith really lies. Our faith is creating an expectation for God not to show up. Maybe this is why our prayers don’t get answered?
You may ask, “what if we pray for healing and they don’t get healed?” Wouldn’t that create false expectations in the people we are praying for? My question back to you is, “what if we pray for healing and they do get healed?” Wouldn’t that create a greater longing in them for more of God? You have faith for one of these things to occur. Which one will it be?
I Have Faith To Fail
One negative faith belief I have struggled with most of my life is that I will be a failure. I more naturally believe that the work I do will fail than I believe it will succeed. This belief tries to hold me captive and not take risks. It tries to keep me from being successful.
I have had major things in my life that I felt like a failed out. I was embarrassed and discouraged. I’m actually on the edge of one those potentially happening right now in my life. I have to choose: will I back down to avoid the embarrassment of failure, or will I press forward choosing to believe I will be successful?
Does God Want Me To Fail?
In the parable of the talents, three men were given some money to invest. One of those men out of fear buried the talent to be able to return it when the master came back. This man was chastised not because he didn’t make an increase, but because he refused to do anything with it (Matthew 25:14-30). God doesn’t want me to fear taking risks; He believes I will be successful.
If God wants me to be successful, what am I to do with all those past experiences that tell me I am not? This is where we need to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have faith in what He has said not what we have experienced. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
How Can We Train Our Brain to Have Faith?
Those thinks you think about all day will create faith in your heart. If you think about how things will go wrong, you will have faith for things not to work. Therefore, we are to set our minds on whatever is excellent, pure, praiseworthy, etc. (Philippians 4:8).
The things you speak about will also increase your faith on those things. If you say that you are a forgetful person, you will set an expectation that you will forget things. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). Therefore why not hear yourself say some things that will increase your faith in God?
We Believe, Help Our Unbelief
Why not hear yourself say these things to increase your faith?
God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life. He works out everything for my good because I love Him and am called by His purpose. God has lavished me with His grace. My life is changed. God will never leave me nor forsake me. There is nowhere I can go apart from Him. Therefore wherever I am, He is with me. I am never alone. God promised to hear my prayers and answer them. I will expect more of His answers than His silence. God wants to speak to me. He wants to use me. He wants to love me. I say yes, yes, yes. I receive Your love, allow you to use me, and expect to hear you speak.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.