"So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." - Mark 11:22-24 (NKJV)
We all want to have real, strong faith, but seriously, what does that kind of faith look like? Is it only for the "anointed," the super-spiritual and those who are called to a position of leadership in ministry, such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, the so-called five-fold ministry?
Let's look at what the Bible has to say.
It's for all who believe
First of all, it's for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't believe me? Let's read what the Lord Jesus Himself said:
"I say to you, whoever says to this mountain..."
Read that again. According to Webster's 1828 dictionary, "whoever" is a pronoun that means "Any or without exception; any person whatever." This simply means anybody with faith can say such words to their mountain and the mountain will obey, if the person has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Think about that.
Jesus' own words had no qualifier, except that the person be of faith. You don't need to be a pastor or lay minister to have faith. If you believe in Christ Jesus and His finished work, that's enough.
It doesn't need to be super-spectacular
If we keep asking God for more faith, then we should also act on it. Romans 10:17 tells us, "then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." James 1:22 tells us, "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
"But I love God," we say. "I just find it hard to do what the word says."
Jesus responds to that, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (see John 14:23).
He simply asked us to keep His word.
Picture this: His own disciples asked Him one time, "Increase our faith." He simply replied, "If you have faith as a mustard seed..." (see Luke 17:5-10 in context). We only need to do as He says.
It's believing that He will do as He said
So here's what I want us to see: faith is simply believing in Him, His nature, and character. It's believing He will do as He promised, believing without a doubt that He will do as He said.
Read this short story from Matthew 8 to see what kind of faith is this.
"Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."
And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour." (Matthew 8:5-13)
Think about it, friends. That centurion wasn't even a Jew. He wasn't listed as a disciple. He was a Gentile with no special rights or claims on God's blessing or favor. But he believed that Christ had authority to heal, even with His words alone. He believed that Christ Jesus didn't even need to go by Himself, that His word was enough to do as He wished. And he had the audacity to believe Jesus would grant his request.
How about us? Do we take God at His word? Do we really believe His word will never fail? Do we really believe that He will not fail to fulfill all that He has promised and declared?
Do we believe Him, that what He said He will do? That's faith.