A Method for Measuring Faith, Part 1

By Clarissa Middleton

January 25, 2020

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of 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.

Matthew 17:19-20 (NRSV)


As a former finance professional—and a nerd—I find it interesting to note that a mustard seed is less than 1% the size of the average mustard tree or bush. God truly marvels and appreciates the granular details in life. All things matter to God, even the tiniest things. This is why by faith we can do all things through Christ. We serve an omniscient and omnipresent God who can see all, do all, and is the beginning and the end of all.

A large pile of mustard seedsWe are at the top of the year 2020, and we are also at the start of a new decade. If you are like me, you have visions, dreams, aspirations, and goals in mind for how you’d like this year to end. If you are also Type A like me, you have strong feelings about how you’d like the next decade to end as well.  After all, our Bible teaches us that without a vision the people will perish. I’d take vision over perishing every day.

In Matthew chapter 17, the disciples also find themselves in predicament of hoping for a particular outcome. They are trying to cast a demon out of a little boy. Prayerfully, none of your goals for 2020 necessitate rebuking demons, but per Jesus all things are possible if one has no more than faith the size of a mustard seed. And per Jesus’ observation, the disciples’ failure to cast the demon out of the little boy rests on their lack of faith the size of a mustard seed.

Our visions, dreams, and hopes are like mustard trees. They are easily visible and accountable outcomes. However, the birthing, development, and harvest of our desires begins with a seed and labor. Seeds are granular and they require daily tending to once they are compacted in the earth. We must water seeds, and we must insure they get enough sunlight. We must also protect the soil we plant our seeds in from predators and toxins.

The harvest of our year and our decade rests in us tending to our faith as if it were a mustard seed. It is not enough to be faithful about the outcome of a thing. We must also be faithful in the details of our desires. We must apply our faith in a granular and specific manner. For example, if losing weight is a goal of ours, we must adopt daily eating and a weekly workout schedule. The loss of the weight is the mustard tree, and the daily control of portions and regimented exercise routines are the mustard seed.

In the finance world, we have a term “simple interest,” which is financial increase applied to the principal amount of monies saved, invested, or loaned. Then there is compounded interest which is applied to all monies, principal and interest earned over the life time of the savings, investment, or debt account. Faith the size of a mustard seed is akin to compounded interests: it accounts for everything on a granular level.

Is your faith simple or is it compounded? In addition to being saved and being granted access to Heaven, do you also have granular faith that you will live well on earth as in Heaven?

I have learned that the more present and faithful I show up moment to moment, the more momentum I build towards my desired outcomes in life over time. In tomorrow’s devotional, I will break down a methodology I use for activating granular faith the size of a mustard seed.

Something to Think About:

What were you faithful for today?

How often you apply your faith to the mundane details of your everyday life?

Do you consider your faith to be equally as important in the details of your life as you consider it important when it comes to salvation?

Something to Do:

Think about your hopes for the next 24 hours. Make a prayer request to God for assistance in manifesting these hopes as they reside in your heart. Monitor how easy or difficult it is for you to trust God’s power and provision for your life today into tomorrow.


Heavenly Father, we thank you for today. We thank you for the breath in our body, the joy in our hearts, and the sun on our face. We thank you for food on our table, and a warm bed to sleep at night. We thank you for good Samaritans, and the good shepherd, your son Jesus Christ. Lord, we thank you for being Jehovah Jireh. We also thank you for your Holy Spirit who ensures that we have everything we need. We yearn to experience more and more of you on a granular level. We know that by asking this we shall receive.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
The Mustard Seed Kingdom

Clarissa Middleton

Artist and Business Consultant

Clarissa Joan Middleton is an artist and business consultant committed to making media for social change. On May 10, 2019, Clarissa graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with her MFA in Interactive Media. Her thesis “Cognitive Science, Belief, and Interactive Media as a Dist...

More on Clarissa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Learn Learn Learn Learn

the Life for Leaders newsletter

Learn Learn Learn Learn