Have you ever wanted Jesus to increase your faith? Most of us have felt that way at some point. We know that God responds to faith and if we just have enough faith, He will perform His promises in our lives. This causes us to pray prayers like, “Lord, increase our faith!”
If you have ever felt this way, you are in good company. Jesus’s disciples asked Him to increase their faith in Luke 17.
Let’s take a look at the passage to learn an important lesson about faith:
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
On the surface Jesus’s response to His disciples request to increase their faith seems a bit strange. He tells them if they had the faith of a mustard seed (the smallest seed grown in soil), they could tell a mulberry tree to be pulled up by its roots and be cast into the sea. When they asked for more faith, Jesus basically told them, you don’t more faith. You need to use the little faith you have and it will get the job done.
He then shifts from the metaphor about the mulberry tree to describing the protocol of a servant. This isn’t disconnected from the seed-faith principle discussed in verse 6, it’s a continuing thought about how to use our mustard seed of faith. Let me explain. When we have a servant work for us, do we let them sit down and eat before the job is done? No. They are to work until they have finished serving us and the job is completely finished. Then the servant is allowed to eat, drink, and rest.
This is how our faith is supposed to work. Faith is our servant and we aren’t supposed to let it relax until we have the promise we are believing for and the job is complete. Faith’s job is to bring the promises of God into manifestation in our lives. Unfortunately, many people let their faith rest before the job is done so they don’t receive the promises of God.
I just had to overcome the temptation to let me faith rest prematurely in my own life. We just believed in $25,000 in three weeks to finish our second building at our church property. We still need some big things such as more furniture, artwork, sound equipment, and lighting, etc.), but they weren’t essential to us finishing the drywall, paint, flooring, and plumbing on the building itself, so I was tempted to think, “Look at the miracle God just did in three weeks. I’m exhausted from believing so big. I need to take a break and not believe God big for a while.”
When I started thinking that way, it was the equivalent of an employer letting his employee leave for the day before the job was done. God reminded me of this story and told me to keep believing Him big. This is because I am supposed to put my faith to work! It doesn’t bless God when I don’t ask and believe Him for big expensive stuff to finish a job He has called me to. He wants me believe Him big because it’s the way God brings His will to pass my life.
HE WANTS ALL OF US TO BELIEVE HIM BIG AND NOT LET OUR FAITH REST BECAUSE THAT IS HOW HE BRINGS HIS WILL TO PASS IN ALL OF OUR LIVES! WE NEED TO PUT OUR FAITH TO WORK!
I want to encourage us to believe God big today. When we see a promise in the word of God or if the Holy Spirit speaks something to us, we don’t need more faith. The word spoken is the mustard seed that will bring the promise to pass. We just need to take the faith we have and make it work like our servant. We don’t stop believing, confessing, and celebrating our victory until it manifests.
If you would like to learn more about how to walk in faith, check out these previous teachings from my series on faith.