“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard, you will tell this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5
As I said in my last post, I had prayed over a year ago what I thought was a simple prayer, born out of a desire to know God more. I asked that the LORD would increase my faith. I wanted to grow, stretch, and see tangible growth in my life of faith.
Now, God is a good God. He is good. And He acts in kindness. His goodness in action is actions of kindness. Everything He does is for our good and His glory. Everything. Let me say it again. Everything He does is for our good and His glory. Why is this so important to understand? Because even when things get hard, this principle is still the same. He does not change and His acts of kindness do not have a sliding scale on how He acts. Meaning – depending upon my actions or my decisions. He is good and He acts in kindness. How He acts in my life is based on this Truth.
So, because He is good and acts in kindness, I can honestly say that this, that which I am currently in, is directly from His hand. Directly. Out of His goodness, He is allowing me to go through a time of suffering. HOW in the world can I say that? Well, by doing the simple math, I get to this simple solution.
I had asked God to increase my faith. I gave Him permission to move in my neighborhood and begin a work - to increase my faith. And, He has deemed:
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. Philippians 1:29
It is considered a privilege to suffer for Him. God does not change, so therefore what holds true when these words were written by Paul in the first century AD, holds true now. And that suffering can take on a myriad of ways. Mine happens to be physical suffering.
Little did I know my simple prayer was actually a BHAG. Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. Or, in my case, BHAP - Big, Hairy, Audacious Prayer. I have always loved the story of the mustard seed faith because I have wanted my faith to move mountains. And if you notice in this verse, words from Jesus Himself, He is giving us the authority to say to the mountain. THAT is a new revelation for me – or at least in the last year or so. Jesus is not saying, “Pray to me and I will move this mountain.” No, He has given us authority to say to the mountain. Pretty interesting isn’t it? And it is based all on our faith. Even a tiny little seed of faith, a tiny bit of faith and we can move mountains. That is powerful.
I think when I was working through this in my mind, and meditating on this Truth, is when I prayed that the LORD would increase my faith. I have mountains in my life. Lots of them. In fact, I am surrounded by them. Literally. We live on the front side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And I can see the Diablo Range just by looking out my window. We camp in the Sierras all the time. It is our preferred playground. In fact, our Christmas tree was just sought, found, bought and brought home,
from this very mountain range today.
But, I also have other types of mountains. Myself, being one of them. Get myself out of the way, so God can work. I am selfish, only want what I want and only want to talk about myself and my problems. See what I mean? So, self, “MOVE!” There, I said it.
And, you too can say it. To whatever mountain is in your life.
For without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6
Faith is very important to God. Faith is important to Jesus. Faith is important to the Holy Spirit. So, therefore it needs to be important to me. And it IS important. So much so that I want more of it. I want EVERYTHING (my current favorite, that plays a lot to reminds me of this truth) God has for me, including an increase in faith. I want to please God with my life. In everything, and in order to do that, it starts WITH faith. And funny thing about that faith – Jesus starts the growth and He gives the increase. He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus actually gives me everything I need to please the Father. Including faith. It’s a win-win.
In my Bible I mark each time I see the word please. And when we read Hebrews 11 the other day, I realized I had not done that on verse 6. Because my mind has been on faith for a week or two, I naturally was riveted to this verse. It is impossible to please without faith. Impossible. Did you catch that? Impossible to please God without faith. It is my purpose to please God and I cannot, if I do not have faith.
I pray again, and probably will continue to throughout my life, "Lord, increase my faith."