In Luke 17:6, the Lord says, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”
In Matthew 17:20, the author records Jesus as saying, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Do seeds have faith? They must. They have a spark of intelligence. They are not dumb matter. Their creator endowed them with potential and when placed in the proper environment and cared for, they fulfill the measure of their creation by obedience to their divine design.
Humans? We’re a mess. Much bigger spark, same agency, not so obedient.
So how do we as humans become more like a mustard seed?
I would like to recommend for your consideration, a few books that have changed my life and given me a vision of what this looks like. Sometimes we just need to see faith in action to know that’s how we want to live.
These are powerful books that will make you question how much faith you exercise. These first three books are stories that are easily read or listened to (which I did). There are a few others that I’ve listened to but these had the biggest impact.
This was the first of these books I listened to. It is the story of an individual that joined a theology program that lived by the notion they were to go out without purse or scrip, but rely on the Lord to meet their needs. After that introduction, Brother Andrew spent his life doing the very dangerous work of smuggling Bibles into communist countries during the Cold War. This book chronicles his adventures in faith.
This is an autobiography of a Chinese man whose life was full of miracles because of his faith. He was persecuted and delivered repeatedly. He made mistakes and acknowledges where he failed to heed the spirit’s promptings. This book reminds me of the book of Acts for the things this brother endures and the deliverance he experiences.
This book is about a prominent woman in Pakistan who converted to Christianity. She was the wife of a high ranking official in the government. Her daily walk and attention to the influence of the spirit in her life is a remarkable example. This sister in Christ had an acute spiritual sense that we all need to develop.
So how does one develop faith like a mustard seed?
With total reliance on God.
Terminate fear, embrace faith.
We must go where God wants us to go and embrace the Spirit exclusively.
Plead for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and align our will with God’s to accomplish our purpose in mortality.
It’s the greatest adventure one can experience as these stories attest!
Now there are many other great books and stories and I would like to mention a couple others as well that can be life changing on this topic of spiritual awareness and obedience. These are by Brother John Pontius.
This book is more doctrinal than the stories above. It has been described as the book we came to earth without, which always reminds me of the decades old TV show “Greatest American Hero” where the hero is given a super suit and then the instruction manual falls out of the bundle in the middle of the desert. Then he’s got to piece together how it works as he uses it which to me seems a lot like our journey in life and developing faith. Well, this book is a bit like that instruction manual and using scripture points us through the degrees of spiritual growth like no other I’ve read.
When John Pontius was diagnosed with a terminal condition, he started a blog. It was called Unblog My Soul. He wrote some of the most inspirational posts I’ve ever read sharing doctrine and personal stories from throughout his life. These books contain some of the best posts.
These 2 fiction books by John show the progression of the principles above in the life of a character in the novels. What’s interesting is if you’ve read Journey to the Veil, some of those stories make their way into this book in the life of the main character. This is a well written novel that is both fun to read, but also very uplifting and encouraging to set us on track to develop the spiritual gifts and awareness we need.
Open up Scripture Notes and do a search for “mustard seed” and read all the references. Pay close attention to Lectures on Faith, lecture 7, verse 3. If you don’t have it in your library and you’re a pro member, click the Manage button at the top of your library pane to add the extra content into your library.
(Featured image of mustard seeds by stanislavpalamar @ 123rf.com)
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