Mark 11:22-23- So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. .” NKJV
In today’s post, I want to continue with the withered tree and the lesson I have learned from what Jesus said to the disciples about the tree. I’ll admit, this isn’t a personal revelation that I received from God in prayer or a dream, I have heard this preached over the years. But my spirit leaps every time I read it, hear it preached, or think about it, because I believe it is true.
Jesus cursed the fig tree the night before. He didn’t actually say that He was cursing the tree, but when He said, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again,” it was a curse. He didn’t command the tree to die, He just said that no one would ever eat from it again, and therefore the tree had to die!
On that next morning, when they passed that way, Peter noticed a withered tree. He had just passed that way the night before and there was no withered tree, and now there is. Then he remembered the fig tree that had been standing there, full of leaves, but no figs, and what Jesus had said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again!”
“Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”Mark 11: 21 NKJV
This had to be an amazing thing for them because we are still amazed at this event. It takes longer than a few hours for a tree to wither up! It does! But the tree dried up from the roots, and the people were amazed.
“And Jesus answering saith to them, `Have faith of God;Mark 11:22 YLT
Again! In Young’s Literal Translation, the phrase is “have faith of God”. Jesus spoke these words to the crowd and then describes to the disciples what God’s faith is like.
for verily I say to you, that whoever may say to this mount, Be taken up, and be cast into the sea, and may not doubt in his heart, but may believe that the things that he saith do come to pass, it shall be to him whatever he may say. Because of this I say to you, all whatever — praying — ye do ask, believe that ye receive, and it shall be to you.Mark 11:22-24 YLT
Jesus said that whoever says to this mountain or speaks to this mountain, he shall have whatever he says. Now I know this sounds like “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it” but if you will give me a few more minutes, maybe we can walk away with some things settled about this verse.
In Genesis, God looks at the earth, doesn’t like the state that earth is in and, starts speaking!
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.Genesis 1:2 NKJV
God said! Throughout creation, every single thing that happened was a result of what God said. God said let there be light, and there was light! God said, and things started happening. Waters began to separate from one another revealing land! Trees and grass sprung up at His word. The sun, moon, and stars appeared in the sky because He said so! I think you get the point! If not, here it is, God’s faith was exercised by what He said, and what He said caused those things that were not to become what they are.
The writer of Hebrews said it like this:
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.Hebrews 11:3 NKJV
The phrase “word of God” is the Greek word “rhema” and it means “that which is said”. This verse agrees with the verses in Genesis that the worlds were framed, created by what God said! So this is the biblical base that God’s faith is displayed by speaking. Let’s look at what Paul had to say about God’s faith:
God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”Romans 4:17-18 NKJV
Notice Paul said that God calls those things which do not exist as though they did exist! And then Paul points out that Abraham became the father of many nations according to what was spoken by God!
I think that the doubters have given this concept a bad rap by stating that those who believe this truth think they can “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it”! While I understand that there have been those who have abused this teaching, that doesn’t negate that this teaching is true! There are those who criticize others who believe in divine healing, but that doesn’t make it false teaching. And there are those who don’t believe that Jesus was physically raised from the dead, but that doesn’t cancel out the truth of the event! He has risen!
Jesus spoke to the fig tree and it withered up and died. Whether He was telling the disciples to believe in God who speaks, or whether He was telling them that they could operate like the God who speaks, they are both powerful truths! And can you really operate like Him when you don’t believe in Him? I don’t think so!
Now that we see that faith speaks, the other part of faith is “there is no doubt in your heart.” This is a tough one. I refuse to argue with people about who has faith, and who doesn’t have faith. Nor do I care to address those who use this for their personal gain, causing harm and building distrust around the word of God. My point is to share what I believe that Jesus was saying to His disciples and to us so that we can experience a living faith! God never doubts that what He says will happen because He knows that it is going to happen! That’s the higher level of faith that Jesus is calling us to! Never doubting what God has said!
Jesus used a mountain, that we all know is physically impossible for us to move, yet He said with God’s faith, it can move! Most people lean towards Jesus speaking metaphorically for that reason, but I’m not 100% that a mountain won’t move with faith! However, I won’t tax your patience because those metaphorical mountains are hard enough to move!
God’s faith is not about positive thinking or speaking although it may look like it in some regards. When we exercise the faith of God, we agree with God, what His word says, and then we say it and stand on it no matter what!
What does that look like? Some people say that they have never been sick. That is not my testimony. However, when I am attacked in my body with sickness, I tell my body what God says about sickness:
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV
Sometimes the symptoms leave immediately. Sometimes they linger. But I am not healed because the symptoms have left, I am healed because God said that I am healed. And that’s what I believe! Wonderful Jesus!