Friday, November 17, 2017

How Big is Mustard Seed Faith? by SUSAN HARRIS

For years I’ve begged my husband to bring me mustard seeds, eager to lay eyes on the tiniest
Black mustard seeds grown in Canada
seeds a Palestinian farmer would have grown in his day. A week ago this precious gift became mine. He was helping a friend load his mustard crop and brought me a handful of tiny black seeds. I touched them with reverence, the parable of our Lord Jesus filling my spirit and swelling my heart.

There are different kinds of mustard seeds. The most common type in Canada is the  yellow seeds that produce the typical mustard found in fast food chains. But it’s the black mustard seeds that the people of my ancestral roots, India, love, and the kind our friend had grown for export. The black seeds are the most flavourful, sharp, the zestiest of all mustard seeds. From it mustard oil is extracted, a strong-tasting oil erring on the spicy side which I’ve purchased for pickled condiments. Black mustard seeds looks strikingly like Canola seeds until one chews them and discovers the tanginess. (Interestingly, Canola belongs to the mustard family.)

By using the miniscule mustard seed to illustrate His point, Jesus is speaking metaphorically about the unforeseen power of God that can be demonstrated in the lives of believers with true faith. The disciples had the authority, the head knowledge, but missed the heart knowledge that the miracle that Jesus performed could have been done through them. They lacked faith.

A light bulb rated at 60 watts means that it draw 60 watts from a generator to produce the light. Likewise, a 100-watt bulb will draw 100 watts to produce the light. The intensity of light produced is directly related to the number of watts. Just as it is impossible to activate electric light without plugging it into a source so it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith, like electricity, is intangible power.
Jesus was in the habit of using everyday items to explain the truths of the Kingdom of Heaven, so His object lesson on faith was one that his listeners were familiar with – a mustard seed.

In Matthew 17:20 he said to His disciples, “… for truly I say to 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 to you” (NASB).

 So what is mustard seed faith? We can see a 60 watt bulb and the light it gives but how does one assess mustard seed faith? How big is such a faith and will it really send the Rockies into the Pacific?

Jesus is speaking symbolically when He refers to moving mountains. Rather than uprooting trees and stone, He is emphasizing the nature of faith, that a tiny amount of faith will produce great results. That little is much when it comes to God.

The Canadian Grain Commission measures the diameter of the mustard seed as 2mm or less. So, how does 2 mm-sized faith, mustard seed-sized faith play out in our lives? 

When I sit on a chair at my dining table I exercise 100% faith that it will bear my weight and I’ll remain stable. On the other hand, when I tiptoe on my icy steps, I have much less faith that I would remain stable.  

Below are a few examples of mustard seed faith in my life:

  •  I’ve turned to the TWG prayer group for prayer. I turn to them because I have faith that when they agree with me it shall be done. That’s my mustard seed faith. 100% faith in God.
  •  I call on Jesus – my mustard seed faith. If I did not believe I would not call. 100% faith in Him.
  •  I read the Word and pray its promises. Mustard seed faith. 100% faith in God.
  •  I’ve been healed, I’ve seen answers to my prayer – mustard seed faith. 100% faith.
  • I keep lifting some needs over and over to God – mustard seed faith. 100% faith that He will do as He wills.
  •  When things don’t unfold as I expect, I trust God has the best for me and in due time I will be rewarded even if that due time is in the next life – mustard seed faith. 100% faith in God.

 My tiny seed faith, my 2mm pinpoint of faith will ripple in my life, influencing others and drawing many to the Lord, becoming bigger and bigger and closer to the symbolic mountain size. And even if my seed faith never grows any larger, I know I have pleased God. And I believe the same is true of you.

SUSAN HARRIS is a speaker and the author of 12 books. She exercises simple faith, mustard seed faith in God.


Peter Black said...

Thank you, Susan, for sharing these insights on biblical faith from your experience. I think that the examples you give of your exercising 100% faith offer an encouraging and helpful approach to praying in faith and trusting God and His wisdom, in accordance with His will. ~~+~~

Susan Harris said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Peter. I've experienced instant healings and I've taken meds other conditions and I deem each accompanied by mustard seed faith because I believed God. And it is His will that determines the outcome as you point out.

Glynis said...

Love this, Susan. And particularly, do I appreciate your visuals! So comforting and encouraging when I look upon the smallness of the mustard seed then think about the magnitude of God's amazing grace.

Carol Ford said...

Great illustration, Susan. Thank you for sharing and showing information about the mustard seed. I want to grasp this same type of faith.

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