Posts Tagged Matthew 17: 20

To the Sky

Mark 10: 27

Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Do you believe this statement? I know Jesus spoke this but do we really believe it? It is hard to believe, is it not? But then, Jesus takes us out of our comfort zone every time he speaks. Of course, he did remarkable things so maybe his performance has something to do with his belief system. Perhaps, he believed that all things are possible with God so he changed water to wine, walked on water, translated from one place to another and healed everyone who went to him. Does any of this answer the questions for us though, I mean, afterall, he is Jesus.

The problem with that justification is Matthew 17: 20 which reads, “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’” Nothing is impossible to us, according to Jesus but then, what does he know? Maybe he only spoke metaphorically. In other words, he didn’t really mean this. Of course Mark 9: 23 stands in the way of that logic as well, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Now we are back to that belief thing again. And in Luke 1: 37 Jesus is recorded saying, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Not to God, but with God.

I am forced to some conclusions. First, I don’t think Jesus wasted his breath saying things that are not true because: 1) he is the truth and 2) he knew his time was short. Yes, he spoke in parables but that is not the same as speaking metaphorically. I think accusing him of poetic rather than illustrative speech is just a way for me to justify my failures and lack of belief. If, however, I wish to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and stand on the high ground my Father promised me, then I think I must come to grips with this language in its truest and most literal form.

Second, in none of these verses is my doing of the impossible a solo act. It is our belief in and faith in God along with doing everything “with” God which empowers the supernatural so that all things become possible. Jesus didn’t do anything in his own might either (John 14: 10). He believed in and relied in the might of the Father.

Third, I must conclude and accept that Jesus consistently spoke about us doing these acts. Not only that, but Jesus gave us this very problematic verse in John 14: 12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” Though we cannot do them in our own might, we must also recognize that he talks about us doing the impossible just as he did, well, even greater really. My point is that none of these verses describes a scenario wherein we pray and God manifests and does whatever needs doing. It seems, in fact, it is quite the other way around. God empowers us to part the sea, heal the sick, and do all the other “impossible” things which each day presents to us.

As for me, I choose to believe that Jesus meant exactly what he said. Am I performing impossible tasks everyday? No, but I am reaching a great deal higher than I would if I did not believe Jesus, the Holy Spirit and my Father are capable of carrying me to mountain tops. Come with me. Let’s explore the boundaries. How far can we go if we believe?

God . . . never fails

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Today ends this series. I hope you have enjoyed it. We know better than ever the very nature and character of God. Today’s final entry is a good conclusion. If we cannot remember all sixteen attributes of love, this one certainly seems to say it all, Love never fails. Yahoo! Translate that – it means God will never, ever fail us. We may fall short of the prize but God never has, never will. He does not fail.

You are born of this great love, you know. So, you have all the power of love living inside you. You need not fail, ever. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4: 4). The great one is He who has taken up residence within you. His power is yours, even His love is yours. We can express all that God is but not through our own strength and willpower. As we intertwine with Him we learn to express that integration. God brings out the best in us. He infuses everything that we are with everything He is. It’s like having a constant blood infusion of God’s blood, or should we say, of Jesus’ blood. There is so much revelation buried in that statement that we could camp out for months on its truth. This is who you are though, the born of love, born of the greater one you. You are God’s greatest miracle. You may see flaws but they are only skin deep, truly.

Love truly is power and you are heir to this unfailing power. I think you are justified in shouting right here. Love never fails, so God never fails and He, God, is enmeshed, intermingled, intertwined, intermixed and co-mingled in your DNA. You have God’s life blood flowing through your veins. When we all get a big revelation of all of this we will walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead and do even more than Jesus as he said we would (John 14: 12). If we knew what a great miracle God had wrought in us, truly nothing would be impossible to us . (Matthew 17: 20).

Whatever you aspire to, whatever dreams and ambitions you hold in your heart the love which is God longs to fulfill them all. Regardless of past failures, despite the naysayers, the most powerful force on earth believes with you and in you. Don’t give up and don’t give in because love never does and . . . love never fails.

The Audacity

Romans 4: 21

Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.

This verse was written about Abraham who is called the father of faith. This is the picture of faith; not questioning whether God is able to fulfil His promise to us. Verse 20 reads from the NASB thus: “Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Abraham did not waver. He was fully assured that the God who made him a promise was well able to deliver on that promise. Fully assured, not partially, Abraham was convinced that God would come through.

After reading this verse I felt compelled to look up assurance and assure in the dictionary. This is what I found.

Assurance: 1. The act of assuring. 2. A statement or indication that inspires confidence. 3. a. Freedom from doubt; certainty. B. Self-confidence. 4. Boldness; audacity.

Assure: 1. To inform confidently, with a view to removing doubt. 2. To cause to feel sure; convince. 3. To give confidence to; reassure. 4. To make certain; ensure.

Wow! Those are strong words. I love the boldness with which we can be assured that God is with us and for us. Can we even go so far as to be audacious? Sure we can and some are. We can have absolute certainty that the one who promised is prepared to follow through on His promise. What, then, makes us different from Abraham? That is to say, how many people do you know personally with audacious faith? My goodness but I would like to aspire to be known as one with that kind of outrageous, radical faith. Can you imagine how much the locals made fun of Abraham and Sarah? People probably said, “Oh, you know, they are those ‘faith’ people. They think they can have a baby at their advanced ages because their God made them a promise.” Oh that we could be that daring, that bold in our believing. Jesus said that with just a little bit of faith, nothing would be impossible to us (Matthew 17: 20). 

God is mighty and able to deliver on all His good promises. Do you believe it?

Overcoming Faith

1 John 5: 4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

We are born of God. That makes us world overcomers, does it not? Well, according to the Apostle John it does. The victory which overcomes the world is our faith. Surely John knew what he was writing about. This guy walked with Jesus daily. Additionally, he received great revelations from Jesus after Jesus ascended to heaven. So, if what he says is right, why am I not experiencing this overcoming faith in my life? And as I look around I see that other Christians are struggling with their world overcoming faith too.

Recently I determined to learn more about this overcoming power. I turned to an inspired book, clearly one of the best books I have ever read on faith. The subtitle of the book reads: The key to putting your faith to work for a successful life. That is what we all want isn’t it? We hear so much about faith and living by faith but sometimes preachers might as well be speaking in a foreign tongue for all the good it is doing me. I want to live by faith. I have determined to walk by faith but what do I do when my faith isn’t working.

The title of this life-altering book is The Fourth Dimension by David Yonggi Cho. The first time I heard of it I was handed it by my pastor. I stayed up all night reading it. The very next day things began to break my way. Cho built the largest Christian church in the world and he did it in Korea where Christianity was not widely accepted. None the less, he learned that if he would apply the laws of faith that all things were possible to him. I strongly recommend this book. 

Cho explained that there is a fourth dimension and that this dimension is the realm of the spirit. This is the realm of creative power. Cho teaches how we can operate in this realm. The first chapter of the book is dedicated to teaching us the foundations of faith. There are four cornerstones. First, you must have a clear cut objective. Second, you must have a burning desire for the attainment of that objective. Third, you pray about that objective until you have the full assurance in your heart that it is God’s will for you. It may take some time to gain the full assurance so we must be persistent and patient in prayer. Last, we must learn to speak the word according to that burning desire which is within us and which we have the full assurance of. Once God has assured us that He is in agreement with us then we speak to the mountain and call those things which are not as though they are (Romans 4: 17) until they manifest in the physical realm. God has already given us everything but it is in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 1: 3). So, we only need to appropriate it and bring it into this physical sphere. To do that we use our faith. It doesn’t take a lot of faith, only as much as a mustard seed (Matthew 17: 20). The key is knowing how to apply that faith to our needs or to situations in our lives.

Have a burning desire for a clear cut objective. Pray until you have the full assurance of it in your heart, until you know that you know that it is yours, and then start talking to it. Like speaking to the rock to get water you must speak your desired end as well. Start calling forth water and the rock will have to yield. That is the way faith works.

And buy and read The Fourth Dimension by David Cho.

Talking to Rocks

Numbers 20: 8, 11

Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink. Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came for abundantly and the congregation and their beasts drank.

This is undoubtedly one of the hardest lessons for us to learn. Moses sure learned it the hard way. God told him to speak to the rock and the rock would then yield its water. Moses, instead, struck the rock with his rod. It was an act of pure defiance and it cost Moses dearly. Because he disobeyed God, striking the rock instead of speaking to it, Moses was not allowed to go into the land of promise.

I don’t believe Moses was kept out of the Promised Land as some form of punishment. I think God couldn’t use Moses to take the people into the Promised Land. God was teaching His people that you must speak to your mountains if you want them to move. When they finally did enter into the Promised Land behind Joshua they took Jericho with obedience and a shout. God knew what lay ahead and He had a plan to turn over the land to the Israelites. In order to receive their new land the Israelites need to learn obedience, when to speak and when not to speak. There is a deep message here and it has a great deal to do with the words of our mouth. 

Our words are containers for God’s power. However, if we cannot marshal our tongues then He cannot give us His power. When God instructed the people to march around Jericho He also gave them explicit directions about when to keep silent and when to speak. When the appropriate time came they were instructed to shout. Then the walls of Jericho fell at their feet and all they did was march, obey and speak.

Jesus told us to speak to our mountains in the same way that the Israelites spoke to those walls. (Matthew 17: 20, Matthew 21: 21, Mark 11: 23). He learned from his father that the way to get water from a rock or to get a problem to desist was to speak to it. This is the lesson we must learn if we would live the life of success and grace that Jesus meant for us. Jesus did not say that if we would pray to the Father the mountain would get up and jump in the sea. Now I believe most earnestly in prayer but I am also fervent about doing what Jesus said. That means that I must eventually embrace this notion of speaking to the rock and commanding it to give me water, and talking to that mountain and ordering it into the sea.

I do not expect this teaching to be comfortable. It isn’t to me but I understand that this is where a great number of us are missing it with God. He has told us to speak to the rock and we’re running around hitting it with a stick. There is a time to pray. There is a time to seek. There is also, though, a time to speak to that mountain and this we must learn. Whatever that mountain is that is blocking your way, start speaking to it in the name of Jesus. Tell it what the Word says and tell it to move out of the way. It has to obey.