For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20 (NRS)
As we move through Lenten season 2016, we continue our exploration of what victorious living looks like for Christians. We’ve encouraged believers to “lay hold of their inheritance” (in Christ) and “reclaim their life” (from ungodly influences). These studies hopefully elicited a response that will move us closer to the purpose God has for our lives. Equipped with this knowledge, we are prepared to walk in the freedom and power that result from our relationship with God.
This month we will begin a new series entitled “Our Measure of Faith”. Specifically, we will focus on how to walk in the faith that God has “measured or apportioned” (merizo) to each of us (Rom. 12:3). My pastor describes measure of faith as “the capacity to believe and trust in God”. While there are differing views as to the meaning of this phrase, the most accepted one cites that the “measure” is not a numerical scale that evaluates the size of one’s faith but it is a common standard of measurement. And that common standard is God’s grace. It is grace that believers have in common—God’s grace and our faith allows believers to live out God’s full potential and engage in victorious living. This includes extraordinary ministry and service, within and outside the local church.
In our text today, the apostles questioned why they were unsuccessful in a local demon exorcism. Jesus responded, “Because of your little faith”; He then issued a “faith” challenge, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed…” Jesus challenge required that the disciples use the measure of faith they had received when they initially believed Him to be the Promised Messiah and Son of God. If the apostles had stepped out on the measure of faith they had and aligned it with the grace of God (unlimited power), they would have experienced “mountain moving” results. Because of their “little faith” (Matt 8:26, 14:31; 16:8), the apostles’ efforts were rendered impotent.
Are we not like the apostles in our failure to exercise our measure of faith? We often possess “head faith” which eventually results in “little faith” because we fail to believe and trust in God. Remember those moments in your faith walk when God invited you to “step out of the boat” but unlike Peter, you refused because of fearful distractions. The issue for believers today is not whether we have enough faith but are we living in the full capacity of faith we have received? It requires that we purposefully listen for God’s voice and accept His invitation to join Him in His work. It’s time to activate the measure of faith we’ve been given to accomplish God’s purpose for our life. It is in God’s purpose that transformational, victorious living becomes possible.
Good to the Last Byte…
Because of God’s love and grace, we have a new identity that overrides past failures. We stand uncondemned, justified by our belief (faith) in Jesus the Christ and His work of redemption (Rom. 8:1, 3). We share in Christ’s victory over Satan and the rulers of darkness of this age: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:15)