I've been thinking about faith a great deal the past few months. I've thought I understood what faith is, how it works and what it does. Remembering the "Walk of Faith" from one of the Indiana Jones movies and the Bible's explanation of faith, I was sure that I not only knew what faith is, but that I had it. Today, I'm not so sure.
Now, I know I have faith. I know that my relationship with Yahweh is based on faith - I can't see Him, but I know Him and I know He loves me. That's all faith and I'm grateful for it! I know I have faith to walk onto a second story floor and believe that the builders built it correctly to hold all it has to hold and not fall down. But, the "mustard seed" faith that Jesus spoke of in Mark 17 - that, I'm not so sure I have. In Mark 17, the aspotles asked Jesus to increase their faith. He told them, "You don't need more faith. There is no 'more' or 'less' in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy (mustard) seed, you could say to this sycamore tree; 'Go jump in the lake,' and it would do it." (MSB)
In Matthew 21, Jesus tells his disciples, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to the mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."(NIV) So, looking at those two chapters as well as many others in scripture, I've been thinking about faith a great deal this summer.
I think Jesus was quite clear when He stated that we don't need more faith. I believe we may have some fuzzy thinking when it comes to our own faith. That mustard seed that Jesus talked about, is one of the smallest of seeds and yet, grows a large six to eight food plant that is big enough and sturdy enough for birds to nest in. That's a very small start to a very big faith that is sturdy and safe - bird's only build their nests in protective, safe places! So, our small seed of faith needs to be coupled with our absolute trust in our Father, with no doubts, in order to become alive and useful in our lives and the lives of others. Doubts are faith destroyers that prevent our faith from being active! The best destoyer of our doubts is an intimate relationship with our Father. The more we understand His love and heart towards us and others, the more we can trust Him with the details of our lives without doubting whether He has our best in mind or whether He can bring good out of the circumstances.
It seems to me that the "bare kernel of faith" has to be an absolute, pure knowledge of Who He Is and who I am in Him. That "bare kernel" has nothing covering it; no fear, no doubt, no worry or fretting, no unbelief. Its just pure, undiluted, joyful and expectant faith! I don't think we're seeing too much of that "bare kernel faith" in the Church in America. We seem to have too many distractions, too many choices that start covering our kernels and prevent us from experiencing the Glory of Yahweh in our lives. So, my prayer today for me and my fellow believers;
is not for more faith, but for our faith to be pure and bare; not covered over with the circumstances and worries of our lives, but fully open to the touch and voice of our Master, Jesus the Christ! Then, I believe, we'll experience the active work of our faith and experience the Glory of God being visited on and in us. That's what I want and that's my prayer