Today we continue to teach on our overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.” Within this series, I have been honing in on the importance of your words. We will continue to flow in this vein today by going back to 2 Corinthians 4:13, and then looking at a situation Jesus dealt with where He spoke words of faith from a believing heart.
(2 Corinthians 4:13 NKJV)
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak.
In Mark 11 Jesus was leaving Bethany on His way to Jerusalem. He and His disciples were accustomed to staying at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ house, and then walking just under two miles to go to Jerusalem. This particular morning Jesus got up with a purpose. Remember, Jesus always received His ‘orders from headquarters’. The Father revealed to Jesus that His assignment for the day was to kick the money changers out of the temple area. So Jesus and His team left for Jerusalem early in the morning. He left so early, and He was so focused, that He did not eat breakfast.
On the way, Jesus saw a fig tree. He went to the tree to see if it had any figs on it. He was hungry. But the tree had no figs. This is where you must remember that Jesus only said those things He heard (in the Spirit) the Father say and He only did those things He saw (in the Spirit) the Father do. So, in the Spirit, Jesus saw the tree dried up from the roots. Since faith is something you SAY based on what God revealed, Jesus said, “No man will never eat fruit from you again.” Although Jesus said it with authority, nothing happened immediately. It did not matter to Jesus because faith is not moved by what you see. In eternity (or the UNSEEN realm), the tree was already dead. In the earth it was going to take some time.
The next morning Jesus and His disciples made the same walk and they passed the same tree. This time the tree was dead. It was dried up from the roots. Peter remembered what Jesus said the previous day and screamed, “Master, look! Yesterday you told that fig tree to die. Now it is dry and dead!” This is where we will get our lesson today. Jesus took this as an opportunity to teach His disciples (and us, by proxy), about faith. Let’s look at what happened next from two translations:
??(Mark? ?11:22-24? ?New Living Translation)
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
??(Mark? ?11:22-24? ?New King James Version)
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. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
So what does this mean for you today? I am going to teach on this for today. I will give you a few thoughts for this morning.
1. Faith vs. Sight.
a) The Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7). You are a tri-partite being like God. God is Father, Son, and Spirit. You are Spirit, Soul, and Body. The real you is a Spirit, your Spirit possesses a Soul, and you live in a physical body (for now). Your body communicates with this world through your five physical senses, your Spirit communicates with God’s world (the UNSEEN) through the Holy Spirit, and your Soul decides which one you will believe and act upon.
b) When Jesus stood in front of the fig tree His body was seeing the tree as it was, in this world. However, in His Spirit, He saw the tree dried up from the roots. In His soul Jesus decided to speak what His Spirit was saying to Him, over what His body was transmitting through His eyes, even though the two were clearly contrary one to another. Living by faith means you are willing to SAY what God is revealing to you, even when you do not have any sense-realm evidence to support it. Further, even when the sense-realm evidence you do have it against it. To live by faith you must SAY what God is revealing, even at the risk of looking foolish. Jesus looked at the tree and said, out loud, “No man will never eat fruit from you again.” He then walked away like it was already done. It did not bother him that the tree did not die immediately. As far as Jesus was concerned, the tree was already dead. This is the life of faith. This is the type of confidence we are called to live with. Where we can SAY what God revealed, and then walk away, like it’s already done, knowing it is only a matter of time.
c) Faith and sight are opposites. Either you are going to live by what you see with your body (in the natural), or you are going to live by what you see in the Spirit (the UNSEEN world). To live by faith you must develop the courage to live by what God is revealing in the UNSEEN, and then not be moved by what you see with your natural eyes.
2. You will have what you say (this is a point I will drive home over and over again).
a) In our text (Mark 11:22-24), Jesus taught us that if we speak what God is revealing, believing what we say, without a single doubt in our hearts, we will have what we say!
b) Jesus heard a Word from God, and He spoke it, no matter how crazy it seemed. He was so convinced that what God led Him to say would come to pass, that he walked away like it was already done. This is the type of confidence we are called to live with.
c) When God leads you to say something that is beyond human ability, that is beyond the natural laws or rules of this world, He is inviting you to operate in faith, so you can experience the supernatural. By faith you get to SEE the invisible. After seeing it, by faith you can ATTEMPT the impossible. Part of what sets the impossible in motion is opening up your mouth an SAYING what God revealed and believing what you say. With your mouth, you are activating your faith. With your heart, you are believing the impossible. If you have the courage to SAY what God reveals, no matter how crazy it seems, and you do so without a doubt in your heart, Jesus said: “you will have what you say”. Like Jesus’ situation with the fig tree, it may not happen while you are standing there. But if you give it time, and you do not lose heart while you wait, you will have what you Say!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I take You at Your Word. I know You will watch over Your Word to perform it in my life, no matter how crazy or supernatural it seems. I am a believer and not a doubter. I walk by faith and not by sight. I live by every Word You speak to me and reveal to me. As You give me words to believe, and as you reveal things to me about my future, I open my heart to them, no matter how big or impossible they seem. I believe what You reveal in my heart. I then muster up the courage, which is my faith, to openly SAY what You revealed, out loud, at the risk of looking foolish. I say what I believe, without a doubt in my heart, and You have promised me that I will have what I say! Because I am saying what You have SAID! I am declaring what You have DECREED over my life! This is how I live! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!