Fruitless Faith

fruitless faith

Luke 17:5-9 (TLB) One day the apostles said to the Lord, “We need more faith; tell us how to get it.” “If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus answered, “it would be large enough to uproot that mulberry tree over there and send it hurtling into the sea! Your command would bring immediate results! When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, he doesn’t just sit down and eat, but first prepares his master’s meal and serves him his supper before he eats his own. And he is not even thanked, for he is merely doing what he is supposed to do.”

We ask for it. Pray for it. Sing for it. Look for it. Try to muster it up now and again. But the awesome truth is that you and I already have a measure of faith within us. “Give me faith to trust what you say… that You’re good and Your Love is great.” Sound familiar. I have faith. God placed it inside me as a part of His Divine Creation Plan. He also put eternity inside my heart. A plan and purpose to pursue a love so great that it would one day overtake my life completely for the better.

Faith is the key that releases the resources of Heaven into our situation. Faith fills our life with those things that God promised as provision and inheritance that are the benefits given through Jesus Christ to all God’s Children. It belongs to us. No one else can have our portion for it is prescribed specifically for us by the Father. Faith also releases divine resources into our situation. It shakes things up, moves things around and gives new life to dead dreams making all things possible for those who believe.

Obedience is the hand that turns the key. It is evident in today’s passage as Jesus responds to the disciples request for more faith. If your faith were only the size of a mustard seed…how big is your faith today? Where is it planted? Two questions that must be dealt with in order to decide how to get more. Faith is a commodity in God’s People. However, like the widower who had a great need, she did not realize the potential of our small flask of olive oil until she decided to obey the instructions of the prophet. I wonder what unrealized blessing or yet to come to pass promise is just waiting for an extended hand to turn the key of faith in obedience to God’s Word.

Mark 11:22-24 (TLB) In reply Jesus said to the disciples, “If you only have faith in God—this is the absolute truth—you can say to this Mount of Olives, ‘Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and have no doubt! Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours!

Jesus told the disciples, “If you only have faith in God…” Where is your faith today? Faith is confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness and persuasion. Faith is invested in the place you believe will yield the best return in the form of time, talent and treasure. The disciples had a type of faith. But was it completely and fully in God? “All that is required is that you really believe and have no doubt.” Doubt is marked by fear, worry, anxiety, stress, hopelessness and despair. It is always looking for darkness rather than living in the Light. It is marked by religious overtures and not the intimacy of relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is all that is required to restore a right relationship with God the Father. But if you want the benefits and blessings of the Kingdom – your faith must continue to grow into fruitful obedience.

Matthew 17:19-21 (NKJV) Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Faith is given to us. (Romans 12:3) It is up to you and I to sow the seeds of faith invested in us to produce the supernatural life God has promised. Obedience influenced by belief in the Goodness of God and His Faithfulness will change our life – it doesn’t change God. Faith comes alive in divine purpose by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) His Instructions are clear. Those who sow will reap. Our faith left by itself produces nothing. Obedience that is spirit led and Word fed will begin to produce the byproducts of faith which is every promise that God ever made us. It is the application of faith in obedience that produces God’s Power in our life.

However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Many translations do not include this scripture. It is just left out for some reason. However, as I read this today during our 21-day fast – I wonder if this is the Lord only confirming the importance of our obedience. Fasting and prayer is not about outward appearances or for others. It is time set aside for Presence. To press into the Father removing the distractions of life. Faith is not the problem. Faith is in us. Perhaps, it is the obedience issue. Our life becomes so routine and scheduled that religious obedience fits right in but to listen and obey the Voice of the Living and Speaking God escapes us. I have faith. I desire to be obedient. God has already released every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms to me. The frustration of my faith is not because My Father is not completely faithful or the Work of Christ completely finished. I will see the fruitfulness of God in my life if I have faith, believe, and obey. Many Christians fast this time of year. Will their prayer and fasting bear good fruit? Will they find more faith? More trust? Will they experience God’s Goodness? Will they know His Love is great? Only if we obey…the Voice of God is speaking to you right now. To listen is one thing but to have all that He has promised – you (and I) must obey.

Ephesians 1:3-4 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

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