“Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.” (Luke 13:18-19)
The subject of faith has been dealt with extensively in the Body of Christ. I’m sure most if not all Christians have read books on faith, gone to seminars on faith, and heard many great sermons on faith.
One well-known evangelist said he could announce that he was having a seminar on faith and people would fly in from all over the world just to sit down and learn about how to have faith.
Christians want to know how to have more faith; however Christians do not need more faith. Christians need to know how to properly direct the faith that God has already given them so that it may grow.
Jesus compared faith to a mustard seed. In Matthew chapter 17 and verse 20 we read,
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matt. 17:20)
A mustard seed is extremely small, but a mustard seed can grow. Jesus gave the parable in Matthew chapter 13 verses 31 and 32,
“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matt. 13:31-32)
Jesus compared the kingdom of God to the mustard seed which is the smallest of all herbs, but once it is planted it grows into one of the largest of the trees and the birds come and lodge in its branches.
In other words, if we want our faith to be the “mountain moving faith” that Jesus talked about, we don’t need more faith. We just need for our faith to grow and it is going to grow when it is properly directed and fed.
A beautiful example of this in the Bible is the Old Testament story of Abraham and Sarah. The Bible teaches us the things that happened in the Old Testament are examples and shadows of things that were to come in the New Testament.
“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” (Heb. 8:5)
The best example and shadow for the growth of New Testament faith is Abraham.
How many times have you heard someone preach about Abraham fathering Isaac when he was about 100 years old?
“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (Rom 4:19-21)
God had promised Abraham that his seed through his wife Sarah would become as the stars in the sky for multitude, but yet Sarah had been unable to conceive. Now to show His power, God had waited until Abraham was at the age of 100 and Sarah at the age of 90 to declare that this was the time for it to happen.
We marvel at the faith of Abraham in that he believed God even though his body was now almost dead due to his age and Sarah was beyond the age of childbearing. He staggered not at Sarah’s body but he was strong in faith believing that what God had promised him he was able to perform.
He was strong in faith and at the age of 100 he was able to father a son, but did you know that his faith grew?
At the age of 137, Abraham took another wife named Keturah after Sarah’s death and she bore him six more children.
“Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.” (Gen 25:1-2)
So we see that Abraham had great faith at 100, but his faith grew. It didn’t just stay there. It grew. Abraham realized that through faith, what he was able to do at 100 years old, he could also do at 137 years old.
God wants our faith to grow.
In Romans chapter 12 verse three, the Bible says,
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:3)
The Apostle Paul says, “To every man who is among you.” This is the faith given to believers. There is not a single person who having been born again does not have the measure of faith.
The Bible says in Second Thessalonians chapter three and verse two,
“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.” (2Thess. 3:2)
The “measure of faith” is given to believers only.
We are not talking about the faith that someone needs to have to get saved, but we are talking about the faith that God gives to every believer once they are saved.
Faith is also a part of the fruit of the Spirit. The Bible tells us in Galatians chapter five and verses 22 and 23,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23)
Fruit is a result or product of an effort. An apple tree produces apples. An orange tree produces oranges. Faith is the fruit or result of the Spirit.
It is impossible for us to create faith by works or efforts. It is produced by the Spirit of God. It is the faith of the Son of God. Second Corinthians chapter three and verse five tells us,
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;” (2Cor. 3:5)
However, James chapter two and verse 20 tells us that “faith without works is dead”. Faith has to have active works or it is going to die. Works will not create faith, but active faith will produce works.
And for faith to work, there has to be love.
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:6)