Increase Our Faith

27 04 2012

My spoon froze in mid-air. Reading my Bible, the apostles and I are walking with Jesus through the Gospels every morning at breakfast. As I reach for the next bite, they make a request that captures my attention. “Increase our faith!” they ask in Luke 17:5. I stop in mid-sentence, my heart beating a little faster at their boldness. That is what I want too. I long for more faith, a deeper understanding, and a greater desire and resolve to be like Jesus. How does Jesus answer this cry for more?

My eyes tumble back across the page, holding my breath as I listen to Jesus’ answer. “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you.’” (Luke 17:6)

I sat there puzzled. It wasn’t the answer I anticipated or, very honestly, even wanted. I expected a to-do list – pray more, study harder, follow closer, pay attention. Too often, I treat faith like a commodity to be traded and acquired. I do more and God gives me more. The greater my spiritual investment, the bigger my faith return.

Instead Jesus fingers the leaves of a mulberry tree and uses its branches to pierce my heart. I don’t need bigger faith. I need to understand the power of the big God in whom I have faith. I don’t need an increase in my spiritual assets. I need bigger eyes and a more dependent heart. The muscle and might of faith isn’t found in its size, but in the way we surrender it to the Savior.

My Jesus Resolution today is hold a seed in my hand. Seeds are planted. All of the might of an oak tree is packed into an acorn. All of the fruitfulness of an apple tree is held in an apple seed. Instead of looking for something bigger, I want Him to plant His seed deeper. I want its tendrils to poke through my doubt, wind its way into my worry, and root itself in the reality of His grace. Faith increases not because we stockpile it for a rainy day, but when we exercise it and let it grow in the sunshine of His love.



One response

28 04 2012
Tassie Smith

This seems to be similar to the way Jesus answers other questions. He likes to divert the conversation. For example in the story of the woman at the well, he keeps answering questions that no one is asking. She says, “Are you greater than Jacob?” He answers, “whoever drinks of the water I give him will never thirst again.” Here they ask him to increase their faith and he answers a completely different question! I just wonder what the question he had in mind was?

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