With faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.
It’s a concept we’ve heard many times before. And it’s mind-boggling to think of that kind of power.
But we often don’t react to this verse in the correct way. Sometimes, we downplay the sheer power available to us. We hedge our bets so that we’re not disappointed.
Other times – and I think this is more common – we love the idea of power. But we fail to grasp exactly what this power is and how to apply it.
Lack of Faith
In Matthew 17, we read about a boy under demonic influence. After unsuccessful attempts at driving out the demon, the disciples ask Jesus what they did wrong:
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Because of your little faith,” Jesus said.
Jesus had granted them authority to drive out demons. Yet deep inside, they had their doubts. They were afraid. They were unsure. They needed more faith.
Yet the faith they needed wasn’t faith in their own power. It wasn’t believing in their worth as people. It wasn’t believing in their ability to work hard and accomplish their goals.
In fact, scripture repeatedly tells us that our own power isn’t sufficient. In our efforts, we can’t begin to move mountains.
Matthew Henry puts it well in his commentary:
It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him.
Faith is not a magic power that we harness to accomplish our own goals. It’s laying hold of Christ’s power that he’s granted us – power to achieve his purposes.
As I look at my goals, as I look at the things I want to change about me and about my life – they seem like mountains. And if I’m trying to change in my own strength, moving a mountain is impossible.
But we have his strength within us. He’s given us the goal of living like him. He’s given us the power to achieve that aim.
Don’t doubt that power.
Moving a Mountain
What’s your mountain?
Is it having a regular devotional time? Balancing family with work? Finding the time to mentor someone? Being motivated enough to exercise? Handling procrastination?
Perhaps it’s quitting an addiction, fighting off particular sins, or learning to forgive.
Maybe you’re battling envy. Maybe you’re struggling with the urge to hurt yourself. Maybe you don’t feel like living another day.
Christ has granted you the power to change – and if you believe that truth, then mountains will be moved.
Photo Credit: Hamed Saber (Creative Commons)
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