By Linda Tancs

How much faith would it take to move a mountain? According to Matthew 17:20, that which amounts to the size of a mustard seed will do. Given that a mustard seed ranges from approximately 0.039 to 0.079 inches in diameter, God asks very little of us in the faith department.

Our faith journey is a lot like the life cycle in the production of a mustard plant: germination, leaf development, stem elongation, inflorescence emergence, flowering, fruit development, ripening and senescence. Of course, we often get stuck at the planting stage. We doubt that germination will ever occur or, if it does, it might not be to our liking. We plant thought or word seeds that undermine our progress and impair the trust relationship we seek to have with God. Seeds need fertile soil to grow, the right conditions to manifest. It’s no accident that Jesus used a seed to make His point. And it’s more than just the concept of growth happening in a dark place. Arguably, the seed is the most powerful symbol on earth. What could be stronger than a seed? It pushes through the toughest elements—rocks, stones, piles of mulch—and yet is unthwarted in its mission to germinate.

Are you determined to nurture seeds of faith? Faith is strengthened by understanding God’s Word. Consider the parable of the sower that Matthew recounts in chapter 13. A seed sown along the path is akin to the Word of God that is not understood by the listener; it’s easily manipulated by the devil. A seed falling on rocky ground is the Word left unpracticed by the listener. It takes no root and is easily forsaken when trouble comes. A seed falling among thorns is the Word choked by worldly concerns and thus unable to bear fruit. The Word that is heard and understood is like a seed sown in fertile soil that yields a good harvest. So using our plant analogy, you’re more likely to flower and ripen if you don’t get choked by thorns. What are the thorns in your life? Do you trust God to bring you to victory?

Now back to that mustard plant. Which stage of the life cycle are you in? How did you get there? Where do you need to go next? Make it to the harvest (senescence) by renewing your mind daily with His Word.

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