Posts Tagged Mark 11: 24

I Dare You!

Psalm 12: 6            Passion Translation

For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.

Oh, if we only believed this. Wouldn’t life be different? The truth of the matter, sorrowfully, is that most Christians aren’t really believers. We believe in Jesus but not necessarily all his words. This is lamentable, but you know what, this is something we can change individually and globally.

Today’s psalm is a song of David, I think you might hear his voice in this verse. He trusted God. He believed in Him. Not only did he believe in God but even more importantly, he believed God. David believed that whatever God said was true and sure, that there was no way it could not come to pass. He believed that ever promise of God was yes and amen to him, that it was undeniable. He believed in the purity of God’s promises and every word which proceeded from the mouth of God. And David’s belief had no choice but to manifest in his life. You see, what we believe is what we will manifest.

The heathen know this. Why don’t we? They know that what the heart believes will become reality. And they are right. That is the way God made this realm to operate. It’s not a big secret. David has told you right here that all of God’s words are absolute truth. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you,” (Mark 11: 24). Or think on this from Mark 11: 23 as recorded in the God’s Word Translation, “I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him.” What you believe is reality. Period. That is really a huge statement and yet so easily read over. Let me say it this way, if you will teach and train yourself to take God’s word, and yes, even God Himself, at face value, then all that He has said will be your reality. What you believe is the truth you will live. Actually, the life you are living right now is that which you have believed in the past. If you want to up your game, believe bigger. God said that He was willing and able to do above and beyond all that you are able to imagine (Ephesians 3: 20). So . . . think bigger. Take Him at His word.

How can you teach yourself to believe God? You must commune with Him. There really is no other way. David learned to walk with God daily. He invested himself in the relationship. The more you come to know Yahweh personally, the more you will believe Him, the more you will believe His word with your heart, not only your mind. We have to learn to hang out with God more.

The other thing we should all do is to press our friends to become believers. It is a pain to be around me sometimes but when my Christian friends say something totally unbiblical, I nudge them, even correct them, if the truth were told. Why should I let my friends wallow in lies and deceit? I cannot. There are those, however, that I can’t teach, can’t train, can’t move. The veil of their Christianity is just too thin, and it may tear. You do have to leave those people where they are no matter how it pains you. Your committed friends though, hold them accountable for their words and beliefs and invite them to hold you accountable.

Let’s do this. Let’s push each other and ourselves to become Davidic believers, people who trust the Lord our God at least as much as David did. Maybe we could even believe God in the same fashion as Abraham whose belief was accounted as righteousness by God. Believe God. Take Him at His word. I dare you!

Never Give Up

Luke 18: 1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

The word of the Lord to you today is that you should not give up. Jesus has sent you this word of encouragement so that you will know that God hears your pleas.

You can go to Luke, chapter 18 and read the parable but the essence is that this parable is about justice and prayer. Jesus is teaching us to be persistent in prayer. Wait a minute, you say, Mark 11: 24 tells us that when we pray we should believe we have already received our petition and it shall be granted us. Why then should I continue in prayer when the Father has already heard my request and granted it? Good question.

Some prayers actually take importuning, or persistence. Do you remember what happened to Daniel when sought the understanding of a vision he received? An angel came to him and said, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia,” (Daniel 10: 12 – 13).

There is so much rich content in that quote alone that we could be kept busy for days. The point for today, though, is that Daniel did receive his answers. He persisted until the angel appeared.

We are in a different situation today in that Jesus has the victory and we have the Holy Spirit. Notice, however,  that in today’s verse Jesus is the speaker as well as in Mark 11: 24. So what is going on here? You have probably prayed a prayer before and not received the evidence of your answer immediately. That does not logically mean, however, that your prayer was not answered the moment you prayed, hence Mark 11: 24. The angel told Daniel that his prayers were heard and answered the very first day. Therefore, we should never lose heart and, as Jesus encouraged, we should never give up. You can continue praying for the same thing over and over again, but we should pray according to Jesus’ direction from the book of Mark, believing that at the very first moment we prayed, God heard us and sent the answer on its way to us. We stand in Thanksgiving seeing from Daniel’s experience and from faith in Jesus’ words that our answer is in route. Give your angels continued authority in your life by speaking words of faith. You can always inquire of the Holy Spirit as to the need for any prayer other than thanksgiving and positive affirmations. He will lead you. It’s his job. Stand firm believing and never give up. You are not forsaken.

Believe

Matthew 8: 13

And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; let it be done to you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very hour.

A Roman soldier, a centurion, asked Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus offered to go to the centurion’s home saying, “I will come and heal him.” The officer did not feel worthy for Jesus to come under his roof but understood that if Jesus just said the word, his servant would be healed. He believed the servant would be healed if Jesus granted it, even from afar. We know the officer believed that what he asked Jesus would be done for him because Jesus said, let it be done to you as you have believed. We also know, the servant was healed. Therefore, the Roman soldier, believed.

In Mark 11: 24 Jesus said, “Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” He taught the lesson in this chapter of Mark, but he showed it in application in Matthew. This is the same principle. If we will believe, we shall receive. God isn’t holding out on us. He is just looking for some believers.

It is great that people pray. However, most of us pray hoping rather than believing. We are called to believe and trust that whatever we pray we shall receive. The anointing of Jesus and his Spirit are right there in the room with you. All of the universe is subject to the word of Jesus which he has given you. If you understand that everything is subject to him and that he has given you his authority, then it should make it quite a bit easier to believe.

Don’t look at yourself. Don’t get involved with whether or not you are worthy or have any power. It’s all in Jesus and you have him. If you doubt that, then we need to have a talk. If, however, you know that you are saved and that Jesus is the Lord of your life, then ask believing that whatever you say will be done for you. With that simple shift, we really can begin to change the world.

Beliver Receiver

Mark 11: 24

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

This verse really struck me this week. Like you, I have heard it and read it many times. Still, something was louder this time. I believe Jesus is trying to show us something important.

Have you ever noticed that some people are better at getting their Christianity to work for them than others? This has bothered me for years. We all pray, right? So what makes some people different? I suspect the answer is in this verse. Listen to how it reads from the God’s Word translation, “That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.” Jesus tells us to believe before we receive. Okay, I guess we have heard that before but that isn’t exactly what this says, is it? Jesus said as you pray, believe that you have ALREADY received that for which you are praying. What? If I have already received it, why am I praying for it?

If we can wrap our heads around this and the truth of it sink down into our hearts, I believe we will have the key to unlocking many mysteries in our lives. Hasn’t Jesus already won everything for us: salvation, redemption, etcetera? So, if he has already purchased my salvation then why did I need to pray for it? Has not the Father already provided everything we need? Then why are some of us under provisioned? It seems we have failed to requisition the supplies which have already been put up for us. We ask for them not believing that He has already accommodated our wants and needs.

It turns out that receiving is an action. In order for these things to move from the warehouse to your house, you have to do something. That “something” is this act of receiving. Apparently, receiving does not mean laying on the couch while manna rains down out of heaven on us. Drats! We are required to actively participate in the delivery of the supplies.

Perhaps we need to picture a warehouse with our name emblazoned on the outside. Within the warehouse which sports your name is everything Jesus suffered and died to give you. Also upon the shelves is the substance of every promise God has ever made. That is not all, though. As you walk down the aisles you see that the warehouse is stocked with everything for life. There are cars, houses, clothes, food, and computers. In fact, everything you can even think of is in that warehouse and it is already yours – if you believe it. If you believe that God has already provided, already stocked a warehouse for you then you need only to order it to be sent to you. If we pray believing not that God is going to do something for us but rather that He already has, does it change our experience?

Jesus’ statement is pretty bold. It also has a problem in that it does not fit into our theology but what if he said exactly what he meant? What if we must believe we already have it when we pray? It changes our prayer and our attitude doesn’t it? This represents part of the reason we are called believers. Belief is a key component of the warehouse distribution system. You can have what you believe for so, what do you believe?

Believer Receiver

Mark 11: 24

Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.

If you want to receive, then you must believe. I was imagining a football wide receiver running down the field anticipating a reception. You know, those guys want to catch the football, they want the quarterback to throw it to them. They are eager and they believe that if the ball is thrown to them, they will receive. I imagine, though, that if they ran down the field not expecting the ball, not believing the quarterback will pass to them, that it would be quite difficult, if not impossible, to receive. There is a direct connection between believing and receiving. Jesus certainly makes that point in today’s passage.

There are three words in this verse that stand out to me. They are pray, believe and receive. That is basically the formula. There is, however, another word which is perhaps the most important in the verse. That word is “have”. Jesus said that as we pray we should believe that we HAVE received. In other words, we should believe that we have already received that for which we petition him. If we want our petitions granted then we must believe that we have received. 

This is a very radical way of thinking. It certainly is not the way we were taught as we grew up. We were taught, at least most of us, that seeing is believing. What you see is true. It is reality. Unfortunately, that logic does not hold in the Kingdom of heaven. If you wait to see it in order to believe it, you will be waiting a long time.

A pastor friend of mine was accosted this weekend by a “believer” (complete misnomer) who was perplexed about a prayer of his. He had prayed for someone to be healed and that person was still exhibiting symptoms. He questioned why his prayer had not been answered. There are two faith answers to his question. First, who says it hasn’t been answered. If you prayed, believing then Jesus said your petition will be granted. Secondly, I want to ask, “Where is your believing?” Is he praying believing or praying hoping? He looked at the evidence from the world and concluded that his prayer had not been answered. Well, he is going to have a hard time because clearly he is not in belief. That is big time doubt. Jesus didn’t say to look to the evidence of the world for ratification. As a matter of fact, that is the absolute worst thing you can do. Where, do you suppose, that information comes from? Well, from the world at best, so it is carnal not of faith and certainly not of the Kingdom. Worst case scenario, it is the evidence that the devil is presenting. Why do want to believe that? No, you can’t believe what your eyes see, you must believe what the Word says. You have to let that Word from God issue from your heart and overwhelm your believer. Then if the worldly evidence does not agree you get to choose who to believe. If you stick with Jesus then he will grant your petition. If you choose to side with the world’s view of circumstances then that is the result you have selected.

The one thing that seems to trip up people the most is the duration of belief. We stand in prayer and during that time we confess our belief. We screw up our faith and commit our hopes and prayers to Jesus. Then here comes the problem – after we pray, we run out to the world to “see” if our prayer has come true. So, we are letting the evidence of the world validate the Word of God. Instead, your belief needs to survive beyond the duration of the prayer. If you believed, then keep on believing. So when you see that friend still sick your response is, “No, I have believed he is healed so I receive that healing and will not be talked out of it.”

Christians are often called believers. I think we need to make that a true declaration of how we interact with the world and with the Kingdom of God. Believing really is not some big “faith” thing, it is a obstinance thing, a decision really. Just refuse to be dissuaded. You have all the faith you need. Now, do you have all the resolve you need? Believe and keep on believing. Pray, expect and receive. It is time for you to look back up field for the ball coming towards you. Open your eyes, open your heart and receive.