CHALLENGE OF THE MUSTARD SEED?
It is nothing short of staggering! Jesus said if one had faith as a grain of mustard seed, he could remove mountains. Matt. 13 & 17. Now think with me for a minute about this.
The tiny mustard seed slips through the fingers of a clinched fist, yet it makes a tree-like plant. The possibility is simple but awesomely complex: God programmed it to do so. Were the tiny mustard seed blessed with a brain, it would surely object to the prospect.
The mustard seed might say, “do not plant me in the ground. It is cold, dark and lonely there, and I would not be happy.” It may also offer: “to expect me to produce a mighty plant is ridiculous.” Furthermore, it might offer: “even if I did sprout, the chances are too great that a flood or drought would kill me, and if that were not enough, the sod is too hard to break, and even if I did someone would step on me, and that would be the end of that.” The negative odds are overwhelming.
I submit that the success of the mustard seed lies in its absence of a brain, so it simply does what God programmed it to do. One cannot escape the idea that if the tiny mustard seed succeeds in such a mighty, formidable task, what could the Christian do who is resigned to follow the will of God? Regardless of the “mountains” of potential opposition, he would accomplish mighty things!
Dwelling on the subject at hand reminds one of an old story. It seems a tavern was to be built in a town that had always been dry. Christians in that town opposed it and called for a prayer rally. They asked God to intervene in the proposal. The next day, lightening struck the tavern then under construction and it burned down. The tavern owner filed a lawsuit against the town churches, declaring them responsible for his loss. The churches hired a lawyer, and denied all responsibility. Responding to this unique case, the judge declared that regardless of how the case comes out, it is evident that the tavern owner believes in prayer and the churches do not.
Ouch! That is close enough to home to hurt! Yet, it illustrates human reaction in contrast to mustard seed programming.
But is it possible to have faith as a grain of mustard seed? Readers should consider the faith of Job in agony; of Daniel in the lion’s den; of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace; of the church praying for imprisoned Peter; of Prisoner Paul in cold, wet shipwreck. If that is not enough, some time should be spent meditating on the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
The apostle Peter walked on water so long as his attention was on Jesus, but the sad reality of modern day saints is that they are like those other disciples on the sea that night: they never get out of the boat. “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed. . . “