My Mustard Seed.
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; 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.’”Matthew 17:19-20
So in context, the disciples had been trying to cast a demon out of a boy. They were trying to do ministry in God’s name, but they were unsuccessful. Jesus rebuked them for being unbelieving, then casts out the demon himself. After Jesus had cast the demon out, the disciples came to him privately and asked why they were unable to drive the demon out. Jesus promptly attributed it to their lack of faith.
What Jesus is saying is that there is a direct correlation between the size of our faith and the success of our ministry. As I think about Malawi Children’s Mission and this new school year, I’m wondering what I can “do” to make the most significant eternal impact on the people we have the privilege of serving. However, I’m asking the wrong question. Based on what we can infer from the passage, the disciples did the correct thing. The issue was in their heart, not their actions.
Instead of asking, what can I do to make the most significant eternal impact, I should be asking what must I have. I can do all the right things. I can teach the best bible lesson, share the gospel clearly, teach basic life and relationship skills with excellency, and utilize the Arise2Read program to its maximum potential, and still yield no significant results. How tragic would that be? To avoid that tragedy, I need a focus shift. Instead of focusing on my actions, I need to focus on God’s power.
Faith. Without faith, success in ministry is impossible. That certainly does not imply that those who do not see substantial tangible results in their ministry are failures that lack faith. God reaps a harvest if we do not give up. Some people have the privilege of being the sower, while others have the benefit of being the reaper. Faith does not automatically guarantee us success by the world’s standard, but without faith true eternal success is impossible. Lack of faith is why the disciples were unable to drive out the demon, and I do not want it to be the reason why the people we serve aren’t eternally impacted.
Looking forward to this new school year, I am asking God to grow my faith. All it takes is faith as small as mustard seed to move mountains, yet most days I struggle to muster up that much faith. But there are mountains I want to see moved this year. I want to see mountains moved as we watch English language learners excel in reading the language they must know in order to pursue higher education and break the cycle of poverty. I want to see mountains move as young boys who likely don’t have a father figure learn about biblical manhood and servant leadership. I want to see mountains move as children brought up surrounded by witchcraft and Islam hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God, grow my faith. I am expecting You to move mountains this year. With You nothing is impossible.