We love to tackle challenges that we know we can conquer (or at least we think we can conquer). We can find ourselves taking pride in our accomplishments, singing our own praises, or at the very least, finding our worth in what we do. However, our true worth is not in what we do, what we have done or what we can do; our worth is far greater in God’s eyes –He cares more about the state of our hearts than our accomplishments. So, while the world preaches “self esteem” and “self-made success,” God looks for the heart that acknowledges Him as God. No one would have any ability if God had not first given it to him or her. God is the one who gives us wealth and opportunities to help others. God’s primary concern for us is not what we can do but rather why we do what we do. Jesus made a startling statement to 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 this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:21-22)
When I read these words, I don’t find myself drawn to the incredible ability to kill a fig tree or cast a mountain into the sea on command, I’m drawn to the words that describe the heart –words like “if you have faith and do not doubt.” Is Jesus talking about the kind of doubt that judges whether God can do something or not? Is He talking about the potential we could have if we would just trust God a little more? Or is He really talking about our motives and relationship with God?
In two other places Jesus says:
"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this sycamine tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6)
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches" (Matthew 13:31-32)
Jesus uses the example of a mustard seed to describe our faith because a mustard seed starts out small but is expected to grow into something far bigger than what it started out to be. Jesus expects our faith to grow. And our hearts have to be fertile soil that allows that growth to take place. Do you ever catch yourself saying, “I wish I could behave the way I did when I first became a Christian?” Be careful. God often gives us extra grace in our Christian infancy when we are weak so that we can grow. But He does this so that we can learn to grow more dependent on Him and less on ourselves. God gives us mountain-sized tasks that “cannot be done” so that we can learn that He is really the one who moves the mountains –when we trust Him. So, how’s your heart doing, and what mountain is he telling you and all of us together to move for His glory? And by the way, His glory is our glory.
Love in Jesus,