On our trip to Israel, the travel company gave us a bag of gifts as a sign of appreciation for using them. In that bag, was a smaller bag that contained mustard seeds. It was a nice gesture that showed us the size of the seeds since most of us had never seen one before. I’ve heard many sermons preached on them and have been told how small they are. I’ve even quoted Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 17:20, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move” (NLT). The question is, what does that even mean?
One of the things I love about the Amplified version of the Bible is that it puts additional words into verses to show the original intent and meaning of words. For this verse, it says, “If you had faith that was living.” Jesus used a mustard seed because it’s a living thing that has a ton of potential. The seeds in my bag will never grow and reach their potential as long as they are in that bag. They’re dormant until I plant them. We can’t cast mountains aside or into the sea of our faith is dead or dormant.
To reach their potential, those seeds must be planted. Surface level faith doesn’t produce anything. Our faith needs to be buried deep inside of us so that it can grow. Until it has been tested and can grow roots deep inside of us, our faith remains small. It was never intended to be contained in the small package of a seed. Your faith has always been intended to grow. Think of how big a tree is compared to the size of the seed. God’s desire is that our faith would grow exponentially, but we’ve got to plant it first.
In my yard, I have sweet gum trees and oak trees. This time of year, my yard gets filled with the spikey fruit of the sweet gum and also acorns. Year after year, they scatter their seeds all over my lawn in hopes of reproducing other trees. God’s desire is not just for your faith to grow into a tree, it’s so that you will scatter seeds of faith and reproduce as well. A tree that doesn’t reproduce is worthless. Remember the fig tree that hadn’t reproduced figs (with seeds in them) when Jesus walked by?
Today, let’s stop focusing on casting mountains aside or into the sea part of this saying. Let’s focus on having an alive faith that grows and reproduces. Yes it would be nice to be able to do those things, but that is the potential of our faith. It is the end result of a faith that is planted and grows inside of us. I’m thankful for my bag of seeds from Israel, but quite honestly, they’re useless if I just leave them in the bag. Don’t leave your faith in the bag.