He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NIV).
Jesus spoke to his followers in parables, or short stories that use familiar things to teach spiritual lessons. Jesus used the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32) to teach about the Kingdom of God.
The Importance of Setting Goals
We have talked before about the importance of setting goals in the post How to Let Faith Drive You When Setting Goals.
Today we are going to take a look at Matthew 17:20 and discover what the humble mustard seed can teach us about goals.
It is believed that the type of plant Jesus is referring to is black mustard . (We will look at some details about this particular plant. )
1. The mustard seed is tiny – but the plant can grow up to 9 feet tall
I love the first part of Zechariah 4:10 (NLT): “Do not despise these small beginnings…” Mustard seeds are only 1 mm, black or dark brown, and hard  – it is easy to look at something this size and overlook it.
But remember that the greatest things begin in the smallest, most humble way. The black mustard plant makes a definite impression!
It can grow up to nine feet tall with branches that spread outward, broad leaves, and bright yellow flowers.
What dream has God placed in your heart? What keeps coming to mind when you think about your calling? Pay attention to those things because it is the Holy Spirit whispering in your heart.
2. Mustard can grow in a number of climates & thrive in unexpected places
The Black Mustard is native to Eurasia but it grows globally from North Africa, to central Asia and the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
The mustard plant doesn’t necessarily grow in neat rows in carefully cultivated soil. It grows allow roadways or other “waste places” – places that are otherwise overlooked.
The mustard plant is hearty, meaning it can survive a wide range of circumstances: heat and cold, different levels of moisture, and sun exposure.
When God’s dream takes root in our heart, it gives us confidence to face difficult times and thrive!
When you are praying about goals and seeing them come to fruition, remember that God is always at work. The answers to prayers can come in unexpected places.
3. The roots are strong
The mustard plant has a taproot system . (The main root is shaped like a spike and smaller, fibrous roots spread out from the main root.)
This root system is particular tenacious, and one of the reasons the plants thrive in unexpected areas. The roots run deep, and are not easily removed, and spread wide to find nutrients.
A goal that is established in God’s will is deeply rooted and not easily shaken. Difficult times send roots (faith) deeper into the soil. With firm roots we are not easily shaken.
The mustard seed represents how something small and insignificant can grow into something great. Goals can begin small and seem insignificant, but goals established by God will thrive in unexpected places.
 Parable of the mustard seed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Mustard_Seed
 Black Mustard Brassica nigra Mustard family (Brassicaceae) http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/black_mustard.htm
Black Mustard Brassica nigra Mustard family (Brassicaceae) . (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2018, from http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/black_mustard.htm
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