So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:21-22)
Our receiving is proportionate to our believing and our believing is proportionate to our ability to believe which is proportionate to our relationship with JESUS and with our FATHER which art in Heaven.
Our small believing is indicative of our small relationship with Jesus.
By small, I mean, undeveloped. We may have known Him for a long time, but are still on the milk of the Word, and even that is only on special occasions. Instead it seems, we prefer the sugary water of Facebook or television or any of a myriad of useless, life-sucking distractions that so easily beset us.
This morning with my amazing wife, we dove deep into the Scriptures and it was like scuba diving off the coast of Columbia and finding the largest sunken treasure ever found off the coast of South America. It seemed like every verse was a golden goblet or a ruby necklace or a sparkling diamond. Only better. So much better.
I can hardly wait to tell you what we’ve been getting from God and His Word as we spend time in the Inner Court of His Presence. But for today, let me tell you what Judy told me… Jesus left Heaven to come to earth, where He was despised, abused and ultimately crucified by His own creation. And He let it happen. In fact, He planned it.
And then we wonder whether Jesus meant it, when He said…
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Do you think it’s possible that God would send His Son to earth to live among us, bear witness of the Truth, then give His life for us, but then say something that was either false or merely metaphorical?
Does not Paul tell us in Romans 8:32, that “He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also, freely give us all things?” Do you see any restrictions there? I do not.
The only condition on the promise Jesus made in Matthew 21:22 was “believing”. And our ability to believe is directly tied to how well we know Him, the quality of the time we spend with Him and the level of desire to get with Him. As we spend quality time with Him and in His Word, those wrong things we thought we wanted to believe God for, that were really to fulfill the desires of the flesh, we no longer want to ask Him for.
We only ask for those things, when we don’t know Him well. It’s kind of like asking your spouse if it’s okay to date the neighbor next door. The answer is NO. And if you were close enough to your spouse, you would never ask such a vile thing.
Our capacity to believe is much different than our capacity to desire.
We come out the shoot with the ability to desire and in our immaturity, we ask God for many things that we never see fulfilled. Some of those things are actually good things, but again, there is a prerequisite – and that is we must believe.
Where so many folks miss it, is that they absolutely believe God can do it, and because they believe God can, they think they are in faith. That’s not faith. In Mark 11:22, we read, “Have faith in God”, but a more literal translation would read, “Have the faith of God”. In other words, possess the same kind or quality of faith that God has. To the extent you do that, you will see what things you desire, coming to fruition.
Remember, anyone can develop “faith in God” because we all know, God can do anything. But having the “faith of God”, will allow you to speak to the mountain and tell it to jump in the sea and it will obey you. By the way, that is not a metaphorical mountain. Jesus had just spoken to a literal fig tree and immediately it withered. That tree was not a metaphorical tree. It was real. So is the mountain.
So today, if you’re prayers are not coming to fruition, maybe we need to ask ourselves, do we really believe? And that begs the question, do we really find Jesus believable? And if He is, then let’s lean into this faith thing harder. Let’s believe God. Start where you are and believe God for something you perceive as small, but requiring God’s help. Develop your faith. Build your spiritual muscles. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
The time is short. The day is well spent.
Let’s leave behind our childish ways and grow up in Christ. Then let’s impact this world for Christ, make a difference, and show the way for the next generation. Are you in?