Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moving Mountains (8/18/08)

Mt.17:20 - “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith is important to God (Heb.11:16), it is the mechanism through which we are saved (Eph.2:8-9), as His children we are called to live, walk and stand by faith (Rom.1:17, 2 Cor.5:7, Is.7:9) and everything that does not come from faith is sin (Rom.14:23). So what is faith? Heb.11:1 defines it as, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If you are sure of what you hope for you step out in that confidently. Erin and I define faith as doing our part expecting God to do His part. My part is pretty simple. So how do I get this faith that moves mountains? Well, first of all, realize you’ll never get more faith than you have now. That may shock you but it’s true. Rom.12:3 tells us that God has given each of us a measure of faith. Interesting. But I know I need more. There is hope. You will never get more faith than you have now, but, the faith you have now can grow and develop to be much stronger than it is now. Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Cor.10:15 that he desired to see their faith grow, and he related that growth to the expansion of God’s Kingdom, the fulfillment of His Great Commission. James 2:22 tells us that Abraham’s faith was made complete by what he did. Think of faith like your muscles. You were born with every muscle you presently have in your body, already present. Becoming a strong and mature adult did not require you to obtain new muscles, you simply exercised the muscles you had from birth to the point where they were strong enough for all you need to do now. Faith is the same way. We don’t get more of it but we grow and strengthen the faith we already have. So how do you strengthen the faith you now have? Rom.10:17 says that faith comes by hearing God’s Word. Many people have said that means audibly hearing the Word (that’s a bit shallow). The Greek word for “hear” is the same word used for understand. This verse is promising that as you hear and understand God’s Word your faith will grow. Now understanding the Word comes through applying it (James 1:22) so application of God’s Word is the way to understand it and therefore the way my faith grows. That is why Paul tied the growth of the Corinthians’ faith to the Great Commission and it is why James said Abraham’s faith was made complete by what he did. It is also why being faithful with little is the prerequisite for being trusted with more (Lk.16:10) - as I am faithful and obedient with little, God is developing my faith to the point where I am ready to be faithful with more. Before I can trust God to move a mountain, I must learn to trust Him in my every day life. Think of your faith like you’d think of building muscles - develop a workout plan to grow your faith. What faith “muscle group” will you work out today? Evangelism? Giving? Something else? As you get in God’s Word daily and apply what you learn, your faith will grow from where it is now to a point where you are ready to move mountains.

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