SOW YOUR FAITH
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:5-6
Some of the most revolutionary truths in the scriptures came as responses to the momentary questions of the apostles, while this doesn’t come off as surprising it tells us about the character of our Lord, how He is ever ready to reveal the heart of the father to as many who hunger for it. Our opening text shows one of those moments where our Lord Jesus brings us into a revelation of one of the most powerful laws in the life of the believer- Faith.
It’s worthy to note that the apostles had walked with the Lord for about 2 years at the time our story in the text happens, so they had seen Him cast out devils with nothing more than the breath of his word, they had seen him curse a tree and watched it wither, they had seen the dead raised back to life, they saw him walk on water and many other supernatural works He produced. It’s only natural that they desired what they saw, and thus in their minds had concluded that the only way they could accomplish this was if they could increase their faith. So, they brought this to Jesus as a request believing that he was able to impart to them an anointing for “higher faith”. How Jesus responds next is very important, “If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed ye might say”.
An easier route to explaining this verse will be draw the conclusion that Jesus was talking about what faith can do i.e. the ability of faith, however if closely observed there are some foundational truths that He expressed there in, let’s take a closer look at his response.
“If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed.” There are a couple of instances in the gospels such as this one where Jesus likened faith to a grain of mustard seed, this underscores the conclusion that faith is as a seed. Seed here speaks of an almost invisible unit of life, (invisible because for the most of it, a seed is buried) that contains in itself a life force capable of creating limitless outcomes. Every farmer knows that with one seed you can yield a thousand fruits. Thus, faith is as a seed, faith for the most is not visible or tangible but is able to produce limitless possibilities.
“ye might say”. Having shown us the character of faith, our Lord points us to another important truth with the words “ye might say”. This tells us that having faith isn’t enough. What makes faith complete is in its use. As it relates to faith, what’s important is not ability but consistency in use. Hence, the way to use your faith is by speaking it. If faith is as a seed, then by all means we must sow it, and we sow our faith with our words.
Your faith is only as effective as you use it. Now this shifts the responsibility to the believer. Our lives then become a product of how much we engage our faith. In the same breath in Luke 17 Jesus describes the attitude of a master to his employee,
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
This portion of scripture brings home the point of using our faith. Jesus describes an employer, employee relationship here and He points out that in such relationships, the employer can at will engage his employee with work without taking any excuses from the employee. Sound a bit harsh right? But this perfectly describes how we must engage our faith. We must employ our faith! Get it to work!
No matter how much you use your faith, it doesn’t wear out or finish, the truth is many times we are the ones who get tired of using our faith. Other times we get frustrated, or disappointed because of past situations where we prayed and didn’t see results. What we must understand here is that we grow in our operation of faith, in the same way we grow in our understanding of the things of God. However disappointed we are because of past events or experiences, we must keep sowing the seed of our faith with our words for in doing so we activate the hidden potential of limitless possibilities as the word frames our lives.