“Because You Have So Little Faith.

20He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, 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.” (Matthew 17, 20)

I think most of you might be familiar with the story of Jesus’ disciples trying to drive out a demon from a little boy who was brought to them by his father. As you know, the disciples tried everything they learned from their Master to get rid of the demon, however, they failed miserably.

At the end, Jesus arrives on the scene and drives out the demon successfully. Later, when they were alone with Jesus; the disciples asked Him why they could not drive the demon out; and what we see below is the reply given to that question.

20He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, 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.” (Matthew 17, 20)

Here, in the words of Jesus – the main reason for their failure was – their lack of faith. They did not have enough faith to take authority over that evil spirit.

On innumerable occasions the disciples saw Jesus rebuking and casting out demons; they knew the words and expressions He used to rebuke and command the demons to leave and they thought – if they repeat those same words, they could also drive out demons.

Due to their spiritual immaturity and ignorance, the disciples failed to see the power of faith that worked behind those words of Jesus; they did not know that Jesus was God in flesh operating on earth with the power that He received from His Heavenly Father.

They were also ignorant of the fact that – Power from above can be activated only through genuine faith in the One who gives that divine power.

Anyway, in the above verse we see Jesus leading the disciples to the realm of faith and teaches them about the significant role played by genuine faith in performing supernatural miracles. This revelation also helps us, believers in Christ, to understand the importance of having genuine faith in order to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.

Next, let us analyze a bit more in detail the above words of Jesus.  As you see, in the above verse Jesus stresses the significance of faith; He says:

 you can move a mountain if you have faith as small as a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible for you.  

In other words – we could accomplish great things if we have faith as small as a mustard seed; it also means that – we don’t need great faith to accomplish great things; what we need is a little faith; a faith as small as a mustard seed.

Here, in fact, Jesus is giving us the key to operate in the Spiritual Realm and that key is – faith. But still you might wonder why faith is necessary to operate in the spiritual realm; the answer is:

To operate in the spiritual realm you need spiritual power, definitely, you cannot succeed in the spiritual realm with the skills and knowledge you gain from the physical realm.

However, the source of this spiritual power is God and you need to connect with Him through your faith in order to activate this Power of God in your life. So, faith is indispensable for a Christian to operate successfully in the spiritual realm.

As Apostle Paul says – Our fight is not against the flesh and blood; it is against the dark forces that operate in the spiritual realm and we need the power of God to take authority over them.

The skills and knowledge that you gain from your Bible college will not be effective against these dark forces as they submit only to the power of God and nothing else. For you to possess that power of God, you need genuine faith.

In the case of disciples; they learned all the skills from Jesus but their hearts were void of faith – the genuine faith that could activate the power of God.

Saints, the failure of Jesus’ disciples mentioned in Matthew 17 is not an isolated incident; we see the same failures among born-again believers in the contemporary church too. As you know many of them claim to have great faith but they are unable to produce the desired results.

Nowadays, we don’t see conversions, miracles and revivals taking place in the church as it used to be in the first century church.

As you see in the above verse; Jesus categorically stated to his disciples that: You can move a mountain if you have faith as small as a mustard seed and we know that – it exactly happened in the first century church.  

Believers in the first century church really moved mountains with the power of their little faith.

We see Apostle Paul, by exercising his faith, moving the mountains of idol worship in many of the cities of Asia Minor. We also see in the scriptures Apostle Peter performing many miracles during his life on earth.  

However, the story of the Modern church is different from that of the first century church. Here, you might wonder why the story is different in the modern church.

Listen, the reason is – the way Early church operated was different from the way the modern church operates. In the early church, believers completely devoted themselves to the Kingdom of God. They fully separated themselves from the world and its desires; they lived very holy lives and relied only on God’s power to operate in the spiritual realm. They exercised their faith with full confidence and God responded to their faith.

On the contrary, in the modern church, most of the believers are not completely devoted to the Kingdom of God and many of them rely more on the skills and experience they gained from their churches and Bible Colleges rather than relying on pure faith. As a result, they are unable to move even a small piece of stone let alone moving a mountain.

Saints, let me be honest with you – we, believers in Christ, still seriously lack genuine, uncorrupted faith. (Well, by genuine faith what I mean is – the faith that has the power to activate the power of God in our lives.)  

Though many of us claim to have great faith and seem to be exercising that faith; we still do not see any mountains moving away from the midst of us.

Remember; Jesus said – You can move a mountain if you have faith as small as a mustard seed; but we, who claim to have great faith cannot even move a small piece of rock let alone moving a mountain.

So, the big question is – why our faith fails to produce the desired results?

Actually, there are many reasons why believers in the Modern church are not that successful in exercising their faith as the first century Believers. I won’t be covering all of them but a couple of them that are more common among us.

1.Modern Churches Teach a Light Version of Faith.

Yes, contemporary Christianity teaches a very light version of faith. Though faith is a complex topic – as complex as eternal life and it encompasses all domains in the spiritual realm; majority of the believers still have only a limited understanding about it.

They often look at faith only in the context of Salvation. Many of the Christians also think: the role of faith is to help us obtain salvation and once that is done, there is no need to nurture it further  or exercise it in any other domain.

Of course, we do often come across Pastors and Preachers discussing about faith from the pulpit but these discussions often focus on exercising it in relation to the personal needs of their sheep. They teach about exercising faith in order to accomplish certain personal goals and meet certain personal needs.

But never focus on teaching their sheep about applying faith in order to meet the larger spiritual needs of the church.  In other words; Many of the Shepherds seldom talk about applying faith in the larger context of accomplishing greater things for the Kingdom of God.

What Preachers do is; they cherry-pick and talk only about certain aspects of faith; especially the ones that have more personal application, and they leave the rest untouched. consequently, many of the believers fail to understand the broader application of faith in all areas related to their spiritual life.

Also, faith is not nurtured and strengthened to apply in the larger spiritual domain; instead, it always stays at an infant level and is often exercised to find solutions for the basic needs of a believer. In other words; a very minimum level of faith is maintained and it is exercised to move small pieces of rock instead of big mountains.

2.Believers are Taught to Exercise Their faith only in Familiar Areas.

It is true that the faith that dwells in us through Christ comes with power – power to achieve great things for the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, this faith is different from the faith that we often talk about – this faith imparted by Christ into our hearts is the faith that has infinite power.

However, we are unable to exercise even a fraction of this faith in our lives, because, we try to exercise it from the platform of our physical experiences; or on the basis of what we have experienced through our senses. Let me give you an example for this.

Many times, we exercise our faith for receiving healing from an illness; the reason why we do this is – from both our own experience and also from the stories mentioned in the Bible we know that – an illness can be cured through prayer and this experience and knowledge encourage us to exercise our faith towards achieving this goal.

However, we will not exercise this same faith to multiply a few pieces of bread or increase the quantity of a bucket of water in times of a grave need. The reason is – we never have such experiences in our spiritual life, so, majority of us think it is not reasonable or sensible to exercise our faith in those areas. 

Similarly, we will not exercise our faith to move a mountain or make the sun stand still or to bring rain, though we know such miracles did happen. Here too, the reason is – we never expect or believe that we could get such things done by exercising our faith.

So, the examples I mentioned above prove that – we keep our faith within the domain of our experience. But why do we keep them in the domain of our experience – it is because – our faith is smaller than that of a mustard seed.

Though, the faith that dwells in us has infinite power to make possible what is impossible, we still prefer to exercise it only within the realm of our experience and not within a realm that is beyond the reach of our senses.

To tell you the truth – even in my own life I have exercised many times my faith only in the domain of my personal experience and not outside the realm of what is comprehensible to my senses.

So; here the question is – why I do not dare to exercise my faith in an area that is incomprehensible? It is because my faith is very little; I limit the power of faith that dwells in my heart by exercising it only within the realm of what I have experienced.

So, saints, when it comes to faith, we all have a long way to go, what we have achieved by exercising our faith is nothing much compared to what we can really achieve through our faith. When we look at the early church; we could find that they really accomplished great things by exercising the power of faith in their hearts.

Just imagine – Peter and John while on the way to the temple to worship, sees an invalid begging near the temple entrance and Peter just lifts him up by hand and asks him to walk and he really walks.

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3, 1-8)

Here, why Peter could do this Miracle? Because He dared to exercise his faith beyond the realm of what human senses have experienced.

For an ordinary believer who have not experienced a disabled person getting cured miraculously might hesitate to command a disability of this kind to be healed.

Saints, let me ask you frankly – how many of you who claim to have great faith are daring enough to walk up to a crippled person and ask him to stand on his feet and walk in the name of Christ?

I think most of you won’t do it, probably none of you – because, your faith operates within the realm of what your senses have observed or experienced.

 But, since, Peter’s faith was far above the realm of what his physical senses have experienced; he could believe and command the disability to be cured. (Please remember this same Peter was part of the team that could not drive out the demon from the boy.)

Similarly, if we, believers in Christ, let our faith move beyond the realm of what we have experienced with our senses, then, it will be easier for us to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.

3.Absence of Unconditional Obedience to God’s Commandments.

Yes, absence of unconditional obedience to God’s Commandments is one of the most important reasons why the faith that dwells in our hearts cannot produce any miracles. Faith does miracles when it is powered by God. If you are someone who live in disobedience and teach others to disobey God’s Holy Laws, how can you expect God to answer your prayers that are offered in faith?

The word of God says that – God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. If your heart is disobedient; then, The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in your heart and consequently you cannot exercise your faith to perform miracles.

32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5, 32)

Again, in Proverbs it says: The one who turns a deaf ear to hearing the Law; even his prayers are an abomination. Yes, it is really a very strong statement; God may not respond to a prayer that comes from a disobedient heart; unless he repents and turns away from his disobedience.

9He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. (Proverbs 28, 9)

Saints, listen carefully: genuine faith leads a believer to genuine obedience; lack of faith is manifested in lack of obedience.

If we examine the early church, we could find that they lived a life of complete obedience to God’s Commandments. Consequently, their faith also manifested the power of God in their lives.

On the contrary, modern church is void of Obedience to God’s Commandments and the result is – a church void of revivals and life-changing miracles.

4.Believers are not Fully Committed to Their Faith Life.

Yes, as I stated earlier, there is a huge difference between the believers of the early church and the believers of the contemporary church. Believers in the first century church were fully committed to their faith in Christ. Many of them in order to follow Christ had to give up everything that they treasured in this world.

Hence, they knew the value of their status in Christ and they did not want to exchange it for anything in this world. This world and its passions meant nothing for them, so they rejected the world and separated themselves from it. Consequently, God also strengthened and honored them by answering their prayers.

On the contrary, most of the believers in the contemporary church are equally committed to both the world and Christ. For most of them it cost nothing to follow Christ and hence they are unable to comprehend the value of their status in Christ.

Modern Congregations have adopted the organizational structure of the worldly organizations and the believers who are part of these congregations often behave like members of a worldly organization and not like people who belong to the House of God.

Nowadays, there is absolutely no separation between the Church and the World. Most of those who are part of the Church behave like the people of the world.

In fact, despite their faith, they still talk like the world, eat like the world, dress like the world and behave like the world. They love everything the world loves and admire everything the world admires. The concept of Holiness is completely alien to them; most of them think; they are in the world and are part of the world.

If you love the world more than you love God; how can you pray a prayer of faith and heal someone who requires a healing? If your heart is full of admiration for Hollywood and Bollywood movie stars; how can the Spirit of the LORD dwell in your heart.

Saints; once we are in Christ; we are a new creation; the old self has no role whatsoever in our new life. We have crucified our old self with all its passions and desires. If this experience is not true for you; then you need to examine your heart and your faith.

 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5, 24)

16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians, 5, 16-17)

5.Lack of Unity and Fellowship.

One of the most distinguishing features of the First century church was their unity. They prayed together, they ate together and they had everything in common. They never had a “me centered” thinking in their congregations.

42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 

45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2, 42-47)

However, the story is completely different in the modern churches. One of the Most distinguishing features of the modern church is disunity. There is no area in the modern church that is free from the spirit of disunity.

There is disunity among pastors and Preachers, there is disunity among shepherds and the sheep, there is disunity among denominations and also there is disunity among believers; even among believers who belong to the same congregation.

Saints, disunity is not a simple matter; it manifests the hatred, dislike and strife that are harbored in the hearts of believers. As you know a house divided against itself cannot stand and when we try to exercise our faith with a divided heart; it will not produce the desired results.

Disunity is one of the main reasons why the contemporary church is surrounded by mountains of problems. God Almighty has given us Power and Authority to move these mountains away from the midst of us. But we are unable exercise that authority because we are divided.

The word of God says: if two agree and pray over an issue; God would definitely answer their prayers.

19Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18, 19-20)

However, these days disunity has become a huge hindrance for prayers being answered from Heaven. Many of the congregations today are plagued with innumerable problems despite all the strategies and plans they have implemented to deal with them. Their Smart Managers and Strategists are unable to find solutions for the problems that these congregations face.

Anyway I don’t feel surprised about these types of situations; because the roots of the issues are in the Spiritual Realm and worldly methods do not have the power to influence the Spiritual Realm. The dark powers behind those issues can be taken captive only through the Power of God. However, the power of God is manifested only when prayers are offered from hearts that are united in spirit. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to find a prayer team that is perfectly united in spirit.

So, how can the Holy Spirit work when the Prayer Warriors are divided in their hearts though they seem to be sitting together.

Moreover, due to the busy, technology driven lifestyle; modern-day believers get fewer and fewer opportunities to fellowship with each other and it adversely affects the spirit of unity among them.

As the word says – Iron sharpens iron. Fellowship gives us the opportunity to sharpen each other in faith and ultimately it will result in believers getting equipped with a more productive faith – faith that can activate the power of God in the church. Unfortunately, lack of genuine fellowship is weakening the contemporary church.

Well, what I have given above are some of the most important reasons why believers in the contemporary church lack enough faith that can move mountains.

These issues are really serious and they have already weakened the church to a great extent. However, since the roots of these issues have gone very deep into the foundations, we need to seek help from God through prayer. And also, we need to humble ourselves before God by listening to His Word and living by those Words.

Saints; remember no enemy of ours is too big for God; if we are willing and obedient definitely, He will subdue our enemies. See what the Word of God says:

 13“If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, 14how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!(Psalm 81, 13-14)

Stay Blessed

 

 

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