This is a guest series by Phil Cate. If you missed previous chapters, you can read them all by clicking on ‘Phil Cate’ under the Categories heading in the right panel. Watch for new installments every Friday.
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Faith — Don’t Underestimate God
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Now that will preach, won’t it! That doesn’t even sound like much faith is required; a mustard seed isn’t very big at all. Faith that small can move a mountain? Wow.
Then why isn’t my life going better at times? I guess sometimes my faith is even smaller than a mustard seed. My problems have always stemmed from one and only one thing — I don’t trust God. If I trusted Him, why wouldn’t I do things His way? Simply put, because I don’t trust Him and I think if I don’t do things my way I might miss out on something. So I cave in to my fear and make a mess.
I do it in every arena of my life. I’ll shave the truth a little at the office or manipulate a little at home. I’ll put a round corner on that deal I’m doing or I’ll try to tell my friends my side of things to get them to endorse my irresponsible actions. I’ll put myself before a friend or before my wife, fearing I’ll miss out if I don’t.
It goes on and on . . . I just don’t trust that He will supply my needs and what’s good for me. I don’t believe He wants what’s good for me; I believe He’s out to take something away or restrict me. After all, us free spirits need a little elbow room, right?
How can we have such little faith? As Christians, we say we believe our God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. We say we believe He healed the lame and the crippled and the blind, He raised His friend Lazarus from the dead, then He himself rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples and others.
But no, He couldn’t fix our marriage. There’s no way He could get involved in our finances and get our checkbook squared away. Of course he parted the Red Sea for Moses, but He couldn’t handle our businesses or our jobs or our kids while they’re away at college. There’s no way He could handle our addictions or get someone out of an affair. He couldn’t repair that friendship or that parent-child relationship. Certainly He could never help me forgive someone or help them forgive me. No, that stuff is way too big for Him. He needs to stick to small stuff like making dead guys walk around or restoring sight to the blind or creating kangaroos and azaleas and clouds — the simple things. He couldn’t possibly handle my stuff; it’s too big for Him.
The second we say that in our minds, we start taking matters into our own hands.
Oops, that’s what got us into this mess in the first place.
Maybe, though, God is too busy for me; yeah, that’s probably it. Let’s see, He sent His Son to die for me, yet I’m not important, hmm… I’ve got three kids and a grandson, and I’m not about to even have them spanked for anyone else, much less killed. Yet God did that for me . . . and I think I just don’t fit into His schedule? Besides, my issues are too trivial for God; I’d even be ashamed to ask.
Where do we get this stuff? This again is just lies; we’re deceived into separating ourselves from the Father and not trusting Him with our concerns large or small. I love it when my kids trust me enough to come to me with their concerns. Why wouldn’t my heavenly Father want me to come to Him?
I’ll just share this very personal story from my family.
When my daughter Sara was entering her teen years, she was going through some difficult things. Kay gave her a mustard seed spice bottle with that scripture printed on a small piece of paper inside the bottle.
The Christmas Kay and I were separated, Sara put the bottle and scripture in my Christmas stocking. Finding it, I burst into tears and realized if I just held on to my faith, God could repair my marriage. I believed when no one else did, and God showed up strong in the middle of my crisis. He moved mountains of issues right before my eyes. He created Kay, yet I had doubted that He could sway her — until Sara handed me that message.
OK, how about it? Got any mountains in your life that need to be moved? Is your faith even as big as a mustard seed? Do you believe God has a plan for your life? Do you believe in Him to help you carry that out? Are there things in your life that need more faith in Him? Are you shorting yourself because you just don’t believe He wants the absolute best for you? Here’s where the rubber really hits the road; the challenges you’re facing right now in your life — do you think God can handle them?
Would you be willing to try something new? The next time you think a situation is hopeless or you think the only way through it is to grab it by the horns your way, would you just pray instead for Him to show you His awesome ability to move mountains?
Just believe He will, start digging, and get ready for the show. Even the slightest flicker of faith as small as a mustard seed saves my butt over and over.
Next: Serve Others
Phil Cate is a resident of the Atlanta, Georgia, metro area and runs a small medical equipment resale business. He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at PhilC@ER3.biz or by phone at 678-429-0901
Printed by permission from Phil Cate, Mama told me Jesus saved my soul, but who was gonna save my butt??? Confessions, lessons, and revelations of a born rebel, © 2008.