How much faith do you need? I doubt that a month goes by where I don't hear some Christian saying things like "I need more faith" or "I wish I had a stronger faith," or "my faith needs to be lifted." That is foolish talk. The quantity of faith that we have is not what is important, it is the quality of our faith. Let me explain.
In Luke 17:1-6 Jesus had just finished explaining to the disciples the wickedness of those who lead others into sin. He then tells the disciples to rebuke a person who sins, and if that man repents, he is to be forgiven. In fact, they were instructed to forgive a sinner seven times in one day if he repented. I think the disciples understood how difficult of a task this would be because they responded by saying, "Increase our faith!"
And then Jesus gave them a stunning answer, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you."
They only needed the faith of a mustard seed! Not faith the size of a mountain or a tree, or the ocean; but a tiny little seed. The disciples, like us today, still keep thinking that in order to do what God calls us to do, it will take more faith than we currently possess.
But it only takes a little faith! Why is this? Because the power you have in Christ is not something you can muster up inside of you all by yourself. It is the Lord God who works in you and through you. Your faith is only the connector between your heart and God. It is God that does the work. Do you think that by having a truckload of faith you are now going to be used mightily by God?
I am afraid that we often say we need more faith, when in truth we just don't want to do what God is calling us to do. Or we may be too scared to do what he wants, and we think extra faith will help us overcome our fears. I can list for you people who had only "a little" amount of faith and have gone on to do the mightiest of works for God. And it was all because they had the quality of faith in God, and not a truckload of faith in themselves.
How much faith have you been asking for lately? Have you been asking for more than you need? Are you thinking you will be better off if you had an overabundance? Do you think you can produce more for God with an extra supply? It is not the quantity of faith, but the quality of faith that makes a difference.
If you have faith in God, as He is revealed in his Holy Scriptures, then you can move mountains. You only need faith the size of a mustard seed if your faith is in the one who is larger than all of Creation!
Rev. Nathan Dick is pastor of Panton Community Baptist Church. He lives in Addison County with his wife Stephanie and three children. He is a graduate of Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Mo., where he majored in pastoral studies and advanced biblical studies. He and Stephanie serve with Village Missions, a Christian ministry that places full-time pastors in rural churches.