“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Mark 11:22-23 (NLT)
This devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Daily Hope Devotionals and author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's ‘The Cost of Discipleship.’
"Jesus saw it as a matter of fact that his disciples would be able to develop a noteworthy faith."
We often speak of a radical faith in Jesus and what we mean is an extreme faith where someone is committed to Jesus to the exclusion of anything or anyone else. We think of someone who sacrifices everything, who irrevocably alters his or her life in order to follow Jesus. The sacrifice is so significant that there is no turning back to the old way of life.
We are amazed by this sacrifice and we tend to think these people have an unusual and exceptional faith. Yet, the truth is their exceptional faith is what Jesus expects of us all.
In a sense, we’ve been lulled into believing there are two tiers to discipleship – there’s the basic plan and then there’s a premium package for the more pious. We think there are only a few among us -- monks, missionaries, and ministers – who are called to be more saintly while the rest of us must settle into an average discipleship.
Jesus, on the other hand, saw it as a matter of fact that his disciples would be able to develop a noteworthy faith. He said, “Have faith in God.” He didn’t say, ‘Only some of you should have faith in God.’ His command to have faith includes you and me. And, because he’s told us to grow in faith, we can not only be certain we can develop greater faith, we can also know he is working to help us become more faithful.
Jesus says our faith is based upon our trust in him. We will see the power of God working through us when we believe it will really happen and when we have no doubt in our hearts. As Pastor Rick teaches, our faith increases through our obedience to Jesus.
Jesus calls every one of us to develop an exceptional and extraordinary faith. He won’t allow us to settle into a ‘discipleship’ where we think Jesus may mean what he says but we’re not sure; or a ‘discipleship’ where we sort of agree with Jesus and sort of live according to his commands. He knows God created us for so much more.
For us to confidently live out our Decade of Destiny, we must learn to trust that Jesus really means what he says and that he will do what he says he will do. Instead of trying harder to be a faithful disciple, we must learn to trust him more.
That trust will allow us to see the kingdom of heaven like the man who finds hidden treasure in a field. He re-sorts all of his priorities because nothing is as important as buying the field. Our trust in Jesus will make us like the shopkeeper who finds a rare pearl and realizes everything else he has pales in comparison and so he never looks back to the things that once were important (Matthew 13:44-50). You will be someone who is characterized by an extreme faith.