…for assuredly I say unto you, If you have faith as a (grain of) mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you..(Mt.17:20)
From these words of The Lord Jesus Christ, it is clear that He uses the phrase ‘as a grain of mustard seed’ to illustrate the subject of faith. What is it about the mustard seed that makes it feature in our Lord’s teaching? What can we learn from the mustard seed about faith?
The mustard seed is said to be one of the tiniest seeds in the world. It is a very small and unassuming looking seed, being just about the size of a pencil tip. However, when it is planted, it has the capacity to grow into a mighty plant that is very useful and nutritious. It is said to grow easily and its plant can produce seed in less than two months. Also, every part of a mustard tree ( just like the palm tree) is said to be useful. Its seeds and leaves are edible and its flowers are very attractive. However, as long as it is not sown, the mustard seed remains useless, unattractive and unproductive. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, Just like the tiny grain of mustard seed, a little faith when planted has incredible powers and produces great results.
What exactly is faith? The amplified version of the book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1 refers to it as… the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses). (Hebrews 11:1 AMP). Simply put, faith is that which gives us the assurance and conviction that what we expect to receive in the physical but which we have not yet seen will one day become a reality. Faith says…although I cannot see it yet with my physical eyes, however I know that I will one day receive it, because God has said it and because I believe Him! Period!
Dear friend, the truth is that every true believer has a measure of faith that is expressed at salvation. …For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom.10:10)… In essence, it is this measure of faith that makes a person after hearing the salvation message, to believe the Word and accept Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. However, God wants us to go a step further by moving from this level of faith to the type of faith that can and will move mountains.
How then can we grow our faith? These three simple steps will help:
1) Plant it-The first thing to do, is to plant your faith as a seed. Just as the mustard seed (and any other kind of seed) has to be planted before it is of any use; you need to plant your faith on a constant basis. As long the seed remains in the hands of the farmer, it is useless. However, the moment it is planted it becomes a mighty tree that also produces more seeds and beautiful flowers.
You plant your faith by receiving the Word of God (which is also called the Word of faith (Rom.10:8) into your heart and declaring it over your circumstance and situation. The Word of God is the seed, and your heart is the ground into which the seed of faith is planted. Whatever situation or challenge you might be facing in your life, what you need to do is to go into the Word of God to look for promises that take care of that challenge. When The Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross over two thousand years ago, He took care of any problem or challenge we might ever face in life. His last words on the cross were ‘It is finished’.
2) Nurture it– Just as the farmer has to keep going back to the field to watch over his seed, to make sure it is free of weeds and pests; we also need to constantly watch over the faith seed we have planted in our hearts. We need to ensure that evil thoughts of fear, unbelief, doubt, bitterness, unforgiveness, strife and the likes do not gain entrance into our hearts. The moment this happens, these evil ‘seeds’ do nothing but to choke the precious seed of the Word of God in our hearts. The Bible says we are to guard our hearts with all diligence (Prov.4:23). In essence, it is our responsibility to keep our hearts free of unwholesome and unpleasant thoughts that will choke the word of God in our hearts. This you do by determining what enters it through the gates of your mind- what you hear, what you see, what (how) you feel etc. Any thought or information that negates the counsel and will of God for your life should be weeded out immediately by the power of the Holy Spirit.
3) Water it– For a plant to grow well, it needs to be properly watered on a regular basis. Water is one of the most important needs of a plant. It helps a plant by moving the important nutrients from the soil through the parts of the plant. Without enough water in a plant, it will be malnourished and would die off. The Bible in Ephesians 5:26, refers to the Word of God as ‘water’ …That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…(Eph.5:26). As the seed of the Word of God begins to germinate and grow in our hearts, we need to constantly keep it watered with more of the Word of God. Just as the soil needs to be constantly kept moist for the plant to grow well, your heart also needs to be constantly watered and kept moist so that the Word of faith you have received can grow. Have you received a promise of God for your life? Look for more scriptures that support what you are holding on to. For every one promise of God, there are many others to support it. Receive the promises and begin to declare them over your life in the place of prayers.
Even if what you seem to be getting is contrary to what you are expecting, stand your ground, continue to trust God and take the necessary step of faith. Remember, faith without works is dead.
The interesting thing is that as you take a step of faith over a challenge and get results, it strengthens you to take further steps in other situations that might come your way in future. Dear friend, God’s Word is reliable, His promises are real and they will always come to pass as long as you believe them. As long as you trust Him and His Word, He will never let you down. Remember the words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary the mother of Jesus…’ Blessed is he that believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told him/her from the Lord’. (Lk.1:45).
May this be your testimony all the days of your life in Jesus name. Amen.