And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” -Luke 17:5
For a long time now I’ve heard people asking (including me) for more faith, “Lord, increase my faith.” On the other hand, people warned to be careful what you ask for. If you ask God to increase your faith He’ll create experiences that would require more. However, in taking a closer look at Jesus’ response to the disciples request for more faith, and asking for revelation, a profound truth was revealed.
"Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it's personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, 'I'm sorry, I won't do it again,' forgive him." - Luke 17:3-4
In the above passage Jesus’ instructions on unlimited forgiveness to an offender prompted the disciples to conclude this command would require more faith. Surely, Lord we need more faith to forgive someone indefinitely— as long as they’re asking for forgiveness. Like the disciples, many of us have experienced the forgiveness struggle; don’t play with me. Yeah, I’ve said, “If s/he hurt me again that’s it! Lord, you’re going to have to help me… I need more faith to deal with this or that. The disciples knew this was a difficult task. They were serious… show us how to carry out this command, surely it requires an additional amount of faith to keep on forgiving the same person over and over.
5So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.[c] 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
However, Jesus’ response was baffling. Remember His ways are not like ours and His thoughts aren’t either. That’s why we have to change the way we think. Come’ on say it, “I have the mind of Christ.” In essence, Jesus said you don’t need more faith (Gr., pistis— the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ); the size of your faith is not the focus. Having “more” or “less” faith does not determine the magnitude of results. The key to seeing powerful, uprooting results is to understand power (dunamis) and authority (exousia) from a servant perspective. In addition to understanding power and authority, and to maximize the faith you have already, you need the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. When your faith, even poppy/mustard seed size faith, connects with the power of the Spirit, and the Word of God spoken out of your mouth things happens! Oh! My God! Thank you Jesus! You will see demonic systems collapse. You will see diabolical assignments overthrown. You will see dreams come alive; lives changed, and conditions altered in your divine favor. No. You don’t need more faith; you need more power to ignite the faith you already have! “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—“Ephesians 3:20 AMP.
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith to do Kingdom business(Romans 12:3).
Moreover, Jesus also wants us to understand that faith is given for serving. If we rethink the faith factor from a servant’s perspective we will realize that faith is like a cord that connects the servant to his master; and because of that connection the servant is obligated to his carry out his duties for the master. According to Romans 12:3, God has given each of us our ‘measure’ of faith to serve. Either we use what He has given to us, or we don’t. If we don’t use what we have, why should He give more? What we have will work for us to get done what He has assigned or commanded us to do.
Faith, like everything else that God has provided is a benefit; it is a gift from God. The provisions, benefits, and gifts of God do not require upgrades like your computers, software and other technological gadgets. The same faith you exercised to accept Jesus Christ as Savior is sufficient enough for a lifetime. What? I know; now you’re probably thinking about the scripture that says from “faith to faith?” That’s Romans 1:17, which substantiate the sufficiency of the measure of faith God gave you when you heard the Gospel, believed according to Romans 10:9, and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. In essence, your entrance into God’s Kingdom started with faith that He gave you, and ends with the faith he gave you. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Therefore, He does not say, “Oops, Esther needs some more faith; I didn’t give her enough to handle that challenge last year, or I need to give Mary another dose of faith so she can forgive her best friend for lying on her again last week.” No, my friends, faith got you in, and your same faith is sufficient to keep you in until your exit from this life into eternity. However, as you live by faith and experience the goodness and faithfulness of God, you are expected to become more faithful (Greek “pistos”— worthy of trust to execute commands, or the discharge of official duties) in your duties and responsibilities as servants in the Kingdom of God.
So again, the focus is not on a need for the Lord to increase your faith, it is you tapping into power of the Holy Spirit and following the instructions of God that will produce the "fruit of faith", and the “spirit of faithfulness” in you so that the Lord can trust you to handle Kingdom business in the earth realm as His representative.
Can God trust you to do what He has assigned to you? Or are you asking for more faith? No. You don’t need more faith, you just need to be an obedient servant that will execute the commands of your Master by using the faith He has already given you to in order to please Him. To be more specific, the focus is on faithful servanthood—having a servant attitude and functioning in alighnment with Kingdom protocol.
7-10"Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, 'Sit down and eat'? Wouldn't you be more likely to say, 'Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I've finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper'? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what's expected of him? It's the same with you. When you've done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, 'The work is done. What we were told to do, we did'" (Luke 17:5-10 MESSAGE).
Conclusively, since we don’t need more faith well then, what do we do need? Ultimately, we need more power to be obedient servants doing what we have been told to do, and what is expected of us. Remember the Spirit’s power will invigorate your faith. In other words, the size of your faith does not matter. What matters most is using the degree of faith you have been given to carry out God’s specific orders for you, and to obey the instructions in His Word.
Therefore, instead of asking for more faith, ask for more power, and then make the sacrifice that will manifest the power of God in your life—live a holy and consecrated life.
Remember Jesus said little “mustard seed” faith can uproot deeply rooted trees, which symbolizes difficult or seemingly impossibilites; therefore, it’s not about the size of your faith.
In addition, don’t be jealous of the measure of faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Whatever degree God has given you will get the job done when you declare with your mouth and believe it in your heart! Be thankful. And finally, when you’ve done what is expected of you according to your faith, don’t think that you’re some great wonder; it’s not about you, it’s about the King and His Kingdom. We are His servants! We have been bought with price... paid for with His precious blood.
9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’ (Luke 17:9-10).