7/29/2004

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY?

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  Matthew 17:20b

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”  Mark 11:24

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea; and it would obey you.”  Luke 17:6

            I am going somewhere with these verses.  Really, I am.
            The last few hours my mind has been filling with questions, and thoughts which might be my own, and might not.  I won’t be able to judge that today, but someday, I will. 
            Almost two years ago, God set me on a journey to discover what I could about authenticity before Him, and grace.  Today, the journey just might be going a little further than I thought.  Each of the verses above speaks of faith, centered on Jesus.  Each of the verses is from a different Gospel account, and as far as I can tell, were spoken in different times and places.
            Jesus is saying something in these verses that I am beginning to believe applies to life right here and now.  I can’t know with certainty unless I take the first step toward continuing this journey.  I have seen some pretty weird stuff in my walk with Jesus, but I am beginning to think that is just the tip of the iceberg. 
            So, I will trust Jesus, and I will see if it is His voice speaking to me, or not.  This could take a while, but then again, if it is Jesus speaking, it could take very little time, all dependant upon Him. 
            If the thoughts I have been getting these last few hours are true, then I am about to go way beyond ministry, or teaching.  If it is true, I am about to learn the stuff of faith, to have faith as small as a mustard seed.  You are welcome to join me.  You may even think I have lost it.  I assure you, I have done nothing of the sort, for how can a man lose something he never had?  I am talking about finding it, finding faith as small as a mustard seed.
            If I seek the Lord in this, and if what I have been thinking is true, then what Jesus said is literal.  I am not talking about moving mountains, but I am talking about the kind of faith that the Apostles had, which puts our meagerly faith to shame.  I have often thought that we who chide the Apostles for their stupidity while following Jesus should be the last to speak when it comes to stupidity.  After all, I don’t see people raising others from the dead, not in our time.  Is that just something that was for their time?  I don’t have the answer for that, yet.
            I will say this; God has taught me so much in such a short time, that to begin thinking that He isn’t once again speaking to me through my thoughts might be a total lack of faith.  We’ll see where this goes.  I may just have an overactive imagination.  History is on not on the side of my imagination.

3 comments:

eddie{F} said...

Tom

You don’t strike me as a legalist, but here is the problem I see; we cannot take verses out of context and then read into them what we think it should read. While I applaud you for seeking deeper depths in the Lord, I must also tell you that my interpretation of those verses is slightly different. Of course you are free to reject it, but here goes:

Faith seen in the light of Gal 2.20, which was translated incorrectly give a new meaning to these verse in context with the rest of the New Testament. It should have been translated as:

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me the life I now live in the body. I live BY THE FAITH of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Wow – he even took care of the faith bit. Because we live by HIS faith (not our own), is why Jesus was able to say the faith of a mustard seed is all that is needed to move mountains. Faith is not a commodity that we can increase or decrease. Faith is a Person who we relate to, and in the measure we lay down our lives and allow him to live his life through us is what the greater things are all about. It’s not that we are able to do greater things, but it’s that he will do greater things through as we yield our lives to him.

There is no recipe or formula we can follow. The faith hero’s was recorded in the annuls of Hebrews after a lifetime of wrestling with God. Because we have the luxuary (and cures) of hindsight, because we can read their whole life story in a single sitting, we think that it can be reproduced in a jiffy – and of course our microwave society doesn’t help us out on this either. But this is not the case with God. We can only relate to him, and as he shows us we do only that which he shows us. More than that is not faith – it is dead works.

Just my 0.02 worth – keep the change.
Peace!
%)

Tom Reindl said...

Eddie, I just tried to respond, and lost my comment. So, I'll try to recreate what I said. I agree with you, and with the interpretation of that verse, as well as the meaning. You might be surprised to know that this verse is one of the verses I hang my belief in predestination on. So, don't worry, you aren't starting an argument. It's just that we see the end run of faith given to us a bit differently, possibly.

What I should have said was that I know I can't increase my faith, it isn't even mine. But, I know One who can, and does. I can't even increase my surrender. I had a dream recently that a friend told me was talking about surrender. As I see these things occuring in my life, and I see the same start to another step in this amazing journey, what can I think? The thoughts and questions leave me with no other desire than to find the answers, and I believe those answers can, and will be found.

No, there is no five step program to this, nor is there a "tried and true" way, unless it all depends on Jesus, then I would say, Jesus is the tried and true way. But, He has me searching, and that isn't strange, I would think it is a normal part of a believer's walk. I'm not searching for salvation, I'm just looking for what I believe He told me to look for. I hope that answers it better than my first pitiful attempt. God bless you, dear brother.

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