The Measure of Faith

God isn't confused. He isn't uncertain. He never has doubt. Never.

God only speaks words of faith, and He fully expects everything He says to come to pass. To assure it, He has filled every word with more than enough power to be accomplished. (Is 55:11)

He is the LIVING God, after all. He sent Jesus to earth to give LIFE, and because He has so much of it, it's ABUNDANT LIFE. (Jn 3:16) The Scripture says He will do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Eph 3:20) This means you can't outthink God. He's prepared to be exceedingly generous before you speak a single word. (Ps 139:4)

He prepared to rescue mankind from sin before He even founded the earth, before sin even happened. (Heb 10:5; Rev 13:8) He knew what He would do through Jesus and had not one ounce of doubt about its success when “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” But notice, the "Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Ge 1:2) The Holy Spirit, the Holy Breath of God, was prepared to act.

What was He waiting on? Words of faith.

John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

I want you to notice several things from this passage. First, the Word created all things. Verse 14, tells us "the Word was made flesh." This is talking about Jesus’ life on earth. But also notice, the Word WAS God, AND the Word was WITH God. The word “with” in this verse means “by the side of.” (G4314) How can He BE the Word and also be AT THE SIDE OF the Word?

There are two answers. One lies in the word translated “God” which is used in Genesis 1. There, the Hebrew uses the word Elohim, a plural word meaning “gods.” (H430) We see this in Genesis 1:26 at the creation of man. The Scripture plainly says, "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” The Father, our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were all the Word at creation.

The other answer lies in the definition of faith. I admit Hebrews 11:1 was a mystery to me for a long time. As many times as I've reread it, I was just as confused the last time as the first. Then the Holy Spirit, the Teacher of our hearts, showed me a new perspective.

He led me to the story of David being anointed as king. In 1 Samuel 16, we find the prophet Samuel sent to the man, Jesse's, house to anoint one of his sons as king, and Samuel picked Eliab. He looked kingly. But God spoke clearly and said, "No, not him." This pattern is repeated through all of Jesse's sons until, exasperated, Samuel asked Jesse, "Don't you have another one somewhere?"

Jesse says, kind of surprised, "Yeah, there's the youngest, but he just keeps the sheep."

So they send for David, and I can imagine they’re all standing there, shuffling their feet, with his brothers probably thinking, "Seriously? We're waiting on David?" But when David entered the house, God spoke up, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”

The Holy Spirit asked me a question then, which changed my point of view of faith completely. "What did God see?" He asked.

I rolled that over in my mind. What DID God see? A shepherd? A kid with a good heart who could sing and play the harp? The youngest, ignored little brother? What was God’s perspective?

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV)

God KNEW all of those things about David, but God SAW a warrior who could kill Goliath. God saw an upcoming battle between Israel and the Philistines. He heard the taunts of the giant before the situation ever developed. He looked at David before He was formed in his mother's womb and saw Israel's most beloved successful king. (Ps 139:15-16) He saw the Messiah, a descendant of David, placed on His father's throne. He SAW David’s heart, and He spoke with complete assurance that His words would come to pass.

This is faith. Faith is seeing from God's point of view.
If we would grasp hold of that and keep it always before us, we will never doubt our walk of faith again. For God has given to each of His children the MEASURE of faith. (Rm 12:3) We all have the faith of God. (Mk 11:22)

I asked the Lord what that meant. How big is THE MEASURE? The size of a grain of mustard seed? That is the analogy Jesus gave, “For verily I say unto you, 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.” (Mt 17:20; see also Lk 17:6)

The Holy Spirit reminded me of a parable He had explained to me recently. In Matthew 13:31-32, Jesus describes the kingdom of God as a mustard seed that grows large enough to become the “greatest among herbs” with many branches that can house the birds. In this parable, the mustard seed Jesus spoke about was Himself. He was born a baby, as small as a mustard seed, but would become the root of the greatest "tree" that would support all who would believe, Jews and Gentiles alike. He was describing what God, the Father, had sent Him to do.

How does this apply to faith? Well, THE MEASURE of faith is not a cake and we each get a tiny mustard-seed slice, which if we'll work really hard, we can cause to grow bigger. It isn’t God dividing up faith into minuscule increments so that all of His children have a little and no one’s left out. No! Upon salvation, we are each given ALL OF GOD’S FAITH. In other words, WE ARE GIVEN THE ENTIRE CAKE. See this as in the parable. The mustard seed we are given is our Savior, the Messiah, Christ Jesus, and without question, we have ALL of Him and ALL that He did, now working in us!

The point of Jesus’ words was—Look at what a mustard-seed amount of faith can do! Throw a mountain into the sea! Now imagine how much His faith in us can do as a multi-membered church! No wonder He said we would go and do "greater works” than He could do. (Jn 14:2)

Our growth in faith isn't a size-growth but a growth in understanding and application. We grow stronger in our knowledge of how to walk by faith. We lean more upon Him and grow more confident. In short, it is as I heard a minister describe of our heavenly armor listed in Ephesians 6. The purpose of the armor is to make us look so much like God, to talk so much like God, that the enemy can't tell the difference.

This is faith. We speak like God speaks with complete assurance that our words are filled with God’s power and will come to pass. God expects His every Word to be fulfilled, and He never has any doubt about the power of His faith.

So should we.

Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash

Suzanne D. Williams, Author