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Mustard Seed Faith that Moves Mountains




Happy New Year!!

I hope you all had a wonderfully blessed New Year's Eve to usher in 2017.

Wasn't it just yesterday that we heard all the hype about Y2K and all that could happen that fateful very uneventful New Year's Eve.   I can't believe it has already been 17 years!

Yet,  here we all are, 17 years later, and God has sustained us through every one of those years.


"But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.
Deuteronomy 11:11-12

Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? But here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, "The Lord thy God careth for it."  L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert

I read these words on New Year's Day, words that cheered me as I looked ahead to 2017.

Despite the fact that the hours leading up to the new year were marked with disappointment, a common thread throughout the previous year...

I was excitedly waiting to get together with very good friends for a New Year's Eve celebration.  It has been a standing tradition for many years.  One that has evolved over time; from a house full of adults and children to this year where it was just going to be the four adults.  

I had planned my New Year's outfit, and in fact, had just tried it on.  A cozy, beautiful blanket scarf; a Christmas gift from my daughter, and my new knee high boots which I love!

Just a few minutes later, I received a text from my friend who was cancelling our plans for the evening due to unforeseen circumstances.  I completely understood the necessity of cancelling the New Year's Eve plans, but I struggled inside with great disappointment and woe is me feelings of trying to understand why this happens all the time.  Whenever I am really looking forward to something, the plans always fall through. It doesn't matter who it is or where we are going, it just always  seems to happen.  And we are talking years now.  I ended 2016 resigning myself to the fact that 2017 was just going to be another year of disappointments, and vowed to lower my expectations to not expect anything.

Then the legalist started to come out in me.  "Well, the plans probably fell through because I originally wasn't planning on attending my home church for Sunday morning worship so I could "sleep in", and opted instead to go to our old church which happens to have a 4 p.m. service every weekend in addition to the Sunday morning service."  I was believing that the cancelled plans were surely a consequence of my desire to attend the Saturday evening service at our old church...

I know these thoughts are not pretty, but I'm just being very honest here. 

At this point, I was thinking we should go to our church's Sunday morning service.  But because we were already out near the other church we were going to attend since we had originally planned our day accordingly, my husband and I both decided that we should just go to that Saturday evening service anyway... 

...And I am so glad we did!! I heard what was probably one of the most powerful sermons on prayer and faith that I ever had! 

Pastor Matt was preaching from the following text:

Afterward the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” “Because you have so little faith. He answered. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ 
and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” …
Matthew 17:19-20

Before starting the sermon, the ushers passed this out:



A tiny mustard seed stapled to an index card.  

I had never saw a mustard seed before!  It was the perfect hand-held visual for the object lesson Pastor Matt was about to share...

He began the sermon by stating that when we face struggles and trials in this life, too often we focus on the situation.

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.  And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
Matthew 14:28-33

Much like Peter did when he began to focus on the wind and the waves rather than on Jesus who was standing right there.

By focusing on the situation and not on Jesus, our faith shrinks.  Becoming overwhelmed, we lose sight of the power of God.  And this is where doubts are born.

WE CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING THROUGH CHRIST'S POWER.

When we pray, are we putting our faith in the God who hears or the prayer itself?

I pondered these words of Pastor Matt and realized too often I am putting my faith in the prayer rather than in the power of God.

This was an incredible realization to me.  It was upsetting to think that I could fall into this way of praying; to so easily forget the Who my prayers were directed to.

For with God nothing will be impossible.
Luke 1:37

Look at that!  That is the very same phrase Jesus used when He spoke in Matthew to the disciples about their {our} ability to move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed...

“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” …


IT IS ABOUT THE KIND OF FAITH WE HAVE NOT THE SIZE.

When we put our faith in God, and trust ONLY in His almighty power to save, even if our faith is the size of a mustard seed, we will move mountains.  Nothing will be impossible for {us}.

The rendering of mountain in the verse from Matthew means "obstacle".  We tend to stand in the way of the mountain.  We literally get in our own way to answered prayer.

Instead of looking to the prayer to supply the answer, look to God and His power, love and mercy.  Pray with boldness trusting that God WILL move that mountain despite faith the size of a mustard seed.  It is not the size of our faith that will move the mountain, but the size of our God.

We go to God for answers,  but HE is the answer!

Pastor Matt shared some incredible testimonies of miraculous answers to prayer from his own experience.  Our own family received a miraculous answer to prayer that Pastor Matt had a front row seat to.

He reminded us that when we pray for the will of God, we must be open to whatever path He uses to bring about the answer.  I can attest to many answers to prayer that went in the complete opposite direction I had hoped, but in the end, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the perfect answer.

Pastor Matt closed the sermon by sharing that "Every battle is won on our knees."

But wait, there were more blessings which resulted from my New Year's Eve Divine appointment...

You see the cancellation of our plans wasn't a punishment consequence of choosing to go to our old church's evening service rather than our home church's Sunday morning service, it was ordained by God to grow my faith walk and my prayer life...

Around 11 p.m. New Year's Eve I received an urgent text from my daughter to pray for my granddaughter whose asthma was not responding to the nebulizer treatment.  With serious asthma in our family, I knew the seriousness of this prayer request.

I will admit there was part of me that doubted that my granddaughter's lungs would clear up without needing another treatment sooner than was technically safe to have as I have been down that road before with my son.

But I prayed...  I put my mustard seed faith into God's power to open up Lexi's bronchial tubes without need of another treatment.

The next morning my daughter shared God's amazing answer to my mustard seed prayer.  Not only did Lexi not require another treatment; she slept through the entire night and woke up happily jibber jabbering with lungs totally clear!!

Not  only did my God heal Lexi, but He healed my doubting heart and used the object lesson of the mustard seed from the sermon the night before to put into practical use just hours later.

Had I been out at my friends house, my phone would have been in my pocketbook, and I wouldn't have seen the text until much later.

Another Divine appointment!  God knew exactly where I needed to be at 11 p.m. New Year's Eve to accomplish His plans and to show His great love and mercy.

Mustard seed prayers that move mountains; mountains ordained by our loving God because...

"If life were all one dead level the dull sameness would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys. Ah, so it is grace and brings down the shower of blessing; the hills, the bleak hills of life that we wonder at and perhaps grumble at, bring down showers. How many have perished in the wilderness, buried under its golden sands, who would have lived and thriven in the hill-country; how many would have been killed by the frost, blighted with winds, swept desolate of tree and fruit but for the hill- stern, hard, rugged, so steep to climb. God's hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!"

L.B. Cowman Streams in the Desert


The Lord your God cares about your 2017 and mine; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.


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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this! Thus principle, that it was who I had faith in, not how much faith I had, was a big help to me when I was struggling with assurance of salvation. It's a wonderful principle to go back to all throughout our lives - it's His power and grace that accomplished anything. It's hard when our initial desires seem unfulfilled, but I'm so thankful we can always trust His wisdom. Thanks for visiting my blog today!

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    1. Barbara, You are very welcome!

      Thank you for sharing how God worked having faith in Him rather than how much faith you had in your own life here in the comments. It added blessing to my post. :-)

      I enjoyed my visit there! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. Oh, wow! PRAISE GOD for hearing and answering that heart-wrenched prayer for little Lexi and for orchestrating your life's details so that you were right where you needed to be at that particular moment. Oh, He is a GOOD God, Who is absolutely going to do what is best for us. Dear Zach told me the other day, "Mama, if God has something better for us than what we are praying for, our prayers won't hinder it." Oh, that has blessed me over and over! Sometimes, God allows us to be disappointed or our hearts to be broken, all because He has something BETTER for us. I am so thankful for you, dear friend, and for the constant encouragement and support and blessing you are to me. May God just bless your 2017 in amazing, exciting, and brand-new ways! Sending you much love and many blessings!

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    1. Dear Cheryl, Oh your son is just such a precious treasure. How blessed you are to be his Momma! He has wisdom beyond His years; a testimony to how you and your husband raised him.

      Amen!

      Awe, and you encourage me as well sweet friend. May God bless you abundantly and may you feel His presence and peace.

      *HUGS*

      Delete
  3. Hello Karen. I am stopping by from Jennifer Lee's link-up. I'm your neighbor there. 'Every battle is won on our knees'. Boy, that is the truth. I'm a controller and God has used several battles won on my knees to show me that I really don't control much of anything. He is in control. There is so much comfort and freedom in that. So glad your Lexi is okay. That is frightening. Bless you, Karen.

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    1. Leah, It's so nice to have you here. :-)

      I am a fellow-controller, and have learned that same lesson. Amen! There is so much comfort in knowing that He is the Sovereign Lord who is in control of all things and brings redemption out of everything.

      Awe, thank you. She is a bundle of energy now and doing great!

      Blessings to you. :-)

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  4. Mustard seed prayers moving mountains. I'm so glad God answered your prayer for your granddaughter! Thank you for encouraging me today, Karen. May we go into this new year remembering that with God nothing is impossible!

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    1. Trudy, Awe, thank you.

      You are very welcome!

      Amen!

      Your visit was a blessing. :-)

      Delete
  5. I love the visual of the mustard seed, it reminds me of the fact that no matter where we stand in our faith walk it is not about us when we pray but about the ONE who we are praying to. God is always good. Praising Him with you that your little granddaughter was healed!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. Dawn, Me too! :-)

      Indeed!

      Thank you so much!

      It was a blessing to have you visit.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful testimony of how God works things out. Similar occurrences in my life have helped me to stop sweating the small stuff.

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    1. Praising God for how He always works things out for His children. Our great Redeemer!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

      Delete
  7. Amen Dawn! our faith is not in our ability to pray or to hold out hope against all hope. Hour faith in in the ONE to whom we pray and as we seek Him, we are strengthened and stabilized in HIM even if the answers we want never come!

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    1. Karen, Thank you so much for joining in the conversation. I appreciate it! :-)

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  8. Thanks for sharing! I needed to hear this today!
    #SittingAmongFriends

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    1. Praising God that He used this blog post at just the right time for you.

      It's amazing to think that when we pray for guidance to write a blog post, He has such bigger plans in how He will use our humble words.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  9. Visiting from Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent!

    A very inspiring post Karen. It reminds me of the day after I found out our daughter (now 14) was on the way. I had to leave my graveyard shift at the local PD to go to the hospital because it seemed like I may be miscarrying. I prayed and surrendered to God's will for me and my child...and felt such peace afterwards, words fail me to describe it.

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Here's my Booknificent Thursday post!

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    1. LuAnn, Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement and for sharing the amazing testimony regarding your precious daughter.

      Praising our God who hears.

      You too!

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  10. "It's about the kind of faith, not the size" -- that hits me. So glad I found your blog today.

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    1. Heather, Praising God for His encouragement. :-)

      Me too! Thank you for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  11. This is awesome! Confirmation of what God has already been dealing with me about... challenging me to believe BIG this year! Because He is a BIG God! Did you see my post that I posted just above yours on the #FaithFriday post in the Sisters Spurring Sisters FB group? My post has a similar message and the main Scripture I mention is Luke 1:37. Coincidence? No. I believe it is a God-incidence. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. JoDitt, I'm so glad for you! Indeed! He is a big God!

      I did read it! Love when God brings Believers together in a common lesson.

      Love it, "God-incidence". Awesome!

      You are very welcome!

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  12. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week! Always a pleasure to have you!
    Tina

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    1. Tina, You are very welcome!

      Thank you for your sweet words. :-)

      I always enjoy stopping by.

      Delete

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