Faith in God moves mountains – and more

Published 6:43 am Friday, January 12, 2007

By Staff
How does faith work? That is a question that will remain long after any feeble explanation, because if faith was fully understandable, it would no longer be faith.
As mystical as faith may seem, we are bound as Christians to pursue it. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews declares in chapter 11, verse 6, that "without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
We are to live and walk by faith. God does not leave us clueless in our faith journey. We must seek out what He is about and join in.
Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20, that "if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." That statement of Jesus intimidates us because none of us have moved a literal mountain by our prayers.
There may be two things Jesus is teaching here. First, it only takes a small amount of true faith to move God on our behalf. The second is, Jesus used a seed as an illustration, not a lifeless grain of sand or something else minute. A seed, even a mustard seed which is said to be among the smallest of seeds that will produce a tree, has immense power.
God created the heavens and the earth in full maturity. The trees were big, fully leafed, and if you had lived then and had cut one down, you would have found the usual growth rings. He created them bearing seed (Genesis 1:11-12).
God ordained after creation that every living thing would continue and increase through the process of agriculture. The process of agriculture is the process of life. There is soil, there is moisture, there is the planting of seed, either by God's means in nature or by the hand of man, and then a miracle occurs when the seed meets moist soil with the right temperature and life sprouts forth.
We cannot create agriculture; we must cooperate with a process that is already in place. So it is with faith. We do not have to reinvent anything, but we need to find out what is important to God and invest ourselves and our resources to see the work of faith grow.
What is important to God? One thing is His Word. Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 24, verse 35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." If you want to see faith work, invest yourself in the Word of God.
Along with the Word of God is the gospel of God. The gospel of the kingdom of God will continue to the end, long after nations and civilizations have crumbled.
The church is God's instrument and will not be prevailed against, even by the "gates of Hades" (Matthew 16:18). The church is not a building with a cross or steeple. The church is God's people, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, banded together to utilize the Word of God to propagate the gospel of God throughout every corner of the earth.
Faith is never about maintaining; faith is about pushing forward. The gospel of God through the Word of God is advancing God's church in ways beyond our cultural understanding. As scientists continue to unmask the secrets of God's creation, so the seeking Christian continues to see God's church emerge in the most unlikely places, by the most unlikely means, but with the predictable results of people loving and caring for each other.
As our faith is tested by personal health issues, loss of loved ones, financial reversals, etc., remember that God has not necessarily promised us health, wealth, and comfort. Our hope must be in the truth of God revealed in the Word of God, the work of the gospel of God first in our lives and then in those around us, and in the worldwide growth of God's church.
How does faith work? By planting our lives and resources like a seed in the work of God and watching that seed sprout forth to move mountains.