The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." (Luke 17:5-6)
The apostles ask the Lord to help them “increase their faith.” The Lord’s response has less to do with the quantity of their faith and more to do with the presence of faith. Even faith the size of a mustard seed can accomplish impossible things, like uprooting a mulberry tree and planting it in the sea. If these seemingly impossible actions can be achieved with faith as minuscule as a mustard seed, then imagine what could be done with faith much larger than a mustard seed.
However, faith in the Lord is not all that matters, but obedience and humility as well. Jesus tells a parable of a servant who works in the field all day and is expected to wait on his master at the table before he tends to his own needs. At first glance, it seems like the servant is being treated unfairly by not receiving thanks even after all his work in the field. However, Jesus concludes by asking, “is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” In this story we are the servants and Jesus is our master. It is our duty to serve Him, and by serving Him we receive His grace.
To be profitable servants of God, we must go beyond what we are expected to do. This requires faith, obedience, and humility. God may call us to action in many different ways, some more difficult than others. It may also require risk or getting out of our comfort zone. However, no matter how difficult the task, if we have a little faith, God will provide for us.
Faith is a gift from God that can be cultivated over time. We grow in faith as we act in faith. Each of God’s gifts to us is strengthened as we exercise it. So, I invite you to ask God for opportunities to obey and serve Him more fully. He will use what we offer Him to accomplish amazing things as His servants.