Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Have Faith In God

Have Faith In God


Key Scripture: Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (KJV)

Rightly rendered the main focus of this scripture is better read: “Have the God kind of faith.”

Jesus is going to use this moment when His disciples are amazed that His spoken words have had so much affect. Jesus takes the fig tree event and their reaction as an opportunity to further their discipleship. This fig tree becomes the object lesson.

This story is set during the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry prior to the cross. It is a few days before Passover and Jesus is staying with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus in the town of Bethany on the Mount of Olives less than 2 miles from the city of Jerusalem.

The day before was a Monday and Jesus, on His way to the Temple, was walking across the Mount of Olives and saw a fig tree. Since He was hungry He turned and approached the fig tree. Seeing that it was boasting of ripened fruit but actually was bearing none, Jesus cursed it with the words of His mouth.

At that time His disciples thought nothing about it one way or the other. They all walked on and had their day, a very busy day, in Jerusalem. Afterward they returned to Bethany and spent the night.

Tuesday morning, on their way returning to the Temple in Holy City, Jerusalem, they walked past the fig tree once again. To their amazement it was dried up from the roots. This astounded Peter.

“Master”, he said, “The fig tree which You cursed is withered away!”

Seeing their utter amazement that words coupled with faith had such affect, Jesus decided to use this as one of His last opportunities to teach the fundamentals of faith to His disciples.

Jesus said:

“Have faith in God.”

or - “Have the God kind of faith.”

You can have the same kind of faith that God has when He speaks.

The clear implication and definite instruction from this passage is that this ‘God kind’ of faith is available to each one of Jesus’ disciples. Indeed, we find in the whole counsel of God’s word that this effective faith is available to all who will believe and act in faith.

After this initial statement, “Have faith in God.”, Jesus goes on to describe how this type of faith is put into action. Lets read on …

Mark 11 (KJV)

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

To break this scripture down we would easily see that:

* Jesus declares that He is revealing a truth that is not to be argued with. (Verily = Most Assuredly)

* Whosoever means anyone.

* ‘Say’ is a Greek word that means ‘Command’.

* The first time saith is used it is a Greek word which means ‘to describe’ or ‘to direct’

* The last time saith is used, Saith is the same Greek word that is used for the word say, which again means ‘Command’

* Doubt is a concept of being at variance with oneself - to hesitate; waver; stagger; vacillate.

So, if I may paraphrase this truth: Mark 11:22-23 Pastor Ron’s Para.

This is the God kind of faith and you can have it.

It is the truth. Anyone who commands a thing, giving specific description and direction to it, believing it will be done, and not at variance within themselves, hesitating, wavering or vacillating in their belief that they can command such things, shall have whatever they have commanded, just as they have described it.

Wow! This seems too good to be true … and yet it is!

Remember the Children of Israel on their journey through the wilderness. They were not all happy campers and often found themselves doubting God and believing that they were going to die in the wilderness.

These descendents of Jacob were confused about God’s love and God’s power toward them. At each obstacle of life they doubted God, but much more than that, they actually began to believe and confess that God had brought them out into the wilderness to kill them. That their bones would be bleached in the wilderness and birds of the air would pluck their flesh.

Through the process of continual bad confession they built a case in their minds and then actually believed their own confessions. This is an awesome combination, as Jesus reveals in Mark 11:23. The combination of believing in your heart, not having a doubt, and then speaking what you believe, is the same kind of faith that God used to create the universe. It is powerful!

The ‘Faith and Confession’ message did not begin with Kenneth Hagin or with Kenneth Copeland and what came in the 80’s to be known as the ‘Hyper-faith’, ‘Name It, Claim It’ crowd. Oh no! It did not even begin with the fig tree on the Mount of Olives 2000 years ago. Rather, it is an eternal principle that has been in effect since before God created the heavens and the earth.

In Numbers 14, we see this truth, this principle, this law in action.

Here the children of Israel have been confessing their faith once again. They did not realize they were prophesying their future with their faith filled words. Nonetheless, they were.

God wanted them to go into His promised land for them. However, they believed those who brought up a negative report and decided against God. They crossed the line.

Numbers 14 (KJV)

26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; …

Notice verse 28:

This is the truth … as you have spoken in God’s ears, so will He do to you.

Wow! Don’t you know they wished they had spoken some better things about their future and God’s care and love and provision for them. They were going to get exactly what they had said about their future. We reap what we sow.

What if God told you that you could have anything you would believe and ask Him for? What if God told you that you could have anything you say? Would you be more careful with what you allowed yourself to believe and what you allowed yourself to say?

Well, God did say that to you. And it is working right now and will continue to work in your future … either for you or against you … depending on what you believe and speak.

The only difference between the hundreds of thousands of Israelites who died in that next 40 years in the wilderness without having inherited and enjoyed what God had provided for them and those other two, Joshua and Caleb, who did go into and possess their promises, was what they said. It started with what they believed because of Who they believed.

The Apostle Paul said, ‘I believe, therefore I speak.’ 2 Corinthians 4:13 This is what happens to us all. We eventually and then continually speak what we believe.

This is a powerful combination. Next Wednesday night I want to show you how to put this into practice. How to prepare yourself to speak in faith and then how to actually make sure your faith is working for you and others.

But before we close this evening, let’s read the next verse together from Mark 11, to help set the tone for the rest of our week.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

See you next week. But for this week - watch what you allow yourself to think and believe, and for your future’s sake, watch what you allow yourself to say. Believe Jesus, it does make a difference.

Romans 10:14 Faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Philemon 6 That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in you in Christ.

John 14:12 He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and even greater works than these shall he do …