Luke 17:6 “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
This passage follows Jesus’ instructions about forgiveness and relationships, his disciples response to these instructions was “Increase our faith.” Jesus does not increase their faith but tells them to use what little faith they had.
All believers have been given a measure faith perfectly suited to their gifts and calling. You have enough of faith to live on and accomplish what God has called you to do. As you grow closer to God you will learn to use it properly. Think for a moment about your own walk with God. Whether you realize it or not your new life in Christ began by using faith before you even knew you had any. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).
The very first time you used your faith, it was to restore you to a right relationship with God. Much of the New Testament’s instructions on faith have to do with relationships in one form or another. If you’ve ever been faced with broken relationships you know that the challenges to clear the obstacles between you and the other person can at times seem insurmountable.
Properly Focused Faith
This is a great lesson on the proper focus for the life of faith. Many believers tend to become preoccupied with using their faith to obtain things for themselves. Jesus addresses this misapplication of personal faith in Matthew 6:25-34, by saying in verse 33, ”But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
God’s plan has always been to restore the relationships of a divided world brought about by sin. The first relationship necessary to be mended was between God and people. Almost all of the instructions in the New Testament have to do with relating to God and each other.
Use Your Faith to Relate
God’s priority on relationships can be seen throughout the Old Testament beginning with Adam and Eve. The entire nation of Israel was given the Law to maintain right relationships between God and one another. Look at the Ten Commandments as the centerpiece of relational instructions. The first four commandments govern our relationship with God, and the remaining six govern our relationships with each other.
In order to redeem the world from the effects of sin, right relationships with God and people must be restored and maintained. Unity is the whole point of redemption, and the highest priority for the use of our faith. Psalm 133:1 says “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” This Psalm ends by saying it is in unity that God commands His blessings!
You need not ask God for more faith to live by; you have the precise measure you need. You may at times be impressed to call on Him for special faith to get the job done (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Use your measure faith to build and maintain relationships. You’ll have ample trees and mountains to practice with. Moving obstacles out of the way to redeem relationships demonstrates the purpose of God’s Kingdom on the earth. Healing relationships will also strengthen the faith you have.
Ask God for grace to keep the unity of the faith in the bond of peace as Paul instructs in Ephesians 4. Call on God if you need the special gift of faith to believe Him for seemingly impossible situations. Be a helper of others, Be a healer of relationships, Be an example of God’s kind of faith in action, Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and Be Encouraged! -JSP