Mountains, Again?

Mark 11: 23 – 24

“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, shall be granted you. 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.”

Well, here is our mountain again! Is it still insurmountable?

When Jesus began a teaching or a sentence with “truly” he was trying to get people’s attention. He was saying, “Listen to me. I am telling you something important which is the absolute truth.” He wanted people to hear him yet he knew that some hearers would not be able to accept the truth.

We are back to “all things.” What does “all things” mean to you. I know for myself that I exclude things. It happens in my brain so fast that it could outrace lightning. I read a verse like this and think, “Yes, all things! That means, my knee can be healed,” but in the back of my brain I hear, “but not my finances, not my relationships.” In my heart and mind, God has limitations, and it is true. I do have the ability to limit God by my lack of faith and belief in Him and His desire to bless me. Let’s go back a few sentences though.

How many of you caught me? Should I think “my knee can be healed” or should the thought spring quickly to my mind, “my knee is healed?” Is there a substantive difference? I think there is.

If we believe Jesus healed us 2000 years ago when he endured the torture which injured every part of his body, then isn’t it true that I am healed now? My believer needed to kick up to my brain that I am healed. I should read a verse like today’s and have my spirit recognize the truth and then inform my brain. By his stripes, we were healed. So, when I ask Father to heal me, I am simply asking Him to fulfill the truth in my experience. I am saying to Him that I accept His truth and with my faith, I lay claim to it by asking Him to reveal His health and restorative power in my body. He has healing in His hands and truth be told, that healing power is running all through our bodies right now. Do you believe me? I can prove it.

I am not asking you to cut yourself, but what do you think would happen if you got a paper cut right now? Would you have that cut for the rest of your life? Why not? You see, you have the two necessary ingredients working on that cut, the Father’s healing power and your faith. It might take a day or two, but you are going to manifest healing. Right? You probably aren’t even going to ask Him to heal your finger because you know you already have the healing. See, you are a faith machine.

When you were a child, you couldn’t jump over items you now step over without thinking. There was probably a time when you practiced jumping over things, each obstacle getting progressively higher. It’s the same thing. We need to practice jumping with our faith. What is bigger than a papercut? Just jump a little higher. Practice jumping. Increase your ability to believe bigger. Remember Jesus’ words, “all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.” Believe you have already received the healing Jesus bought for you 2000 years ago, then pray, ask, and watch that mountain move!

What do You Want?

Matthew 21: 21 – 22

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the seas,’ it shall happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

Jesus was keen on prayer. All things, when approached through prayer, are, he taught, possible. He didn’t need to speak to us directly on healing because he was interested in all things. The conclusion being “all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” So, here is the question, have we asked, while believing, for healing. Let’s do that today, shall we?

What physical ailment have you? I know we often have several but let us choose one to focus upon today. Imagine Jesus is holding a healing meeting. You see yourself walk up to him. He asks, “What do you wish healed?” You tell him. Then he asks, “Do you believe I can do this?” What do you respond?

Jesus deals with a world of unbelief. In fact, most of the people who read this verse read it in unbelief. Want me to prove it? When Jesus spoke of casting the mountain into the sea, was he speaking literally or metaphorically. Most people do not believe Jesus was speaking plainly. In fact, Jesus had a very difficult time being understood because when he was being quite literal, people took him as speaking figuratively. Let me give you the inside scoop on the meaning of today’s verse. Jesus spoke literally. He meant exactly what he said. You don’t have to look for the hidden meaning. He meant that if we understood and believed, we have power over the physics of this planet and could, literally, cause the mountain to be removed. However, because of doubt and unbelief, we have made his words capricious, though that is not how most of us would describe Jesus. So, it turns out that we only categorize him as fanciful when we encounter statements that our faith is too small to handle. This, then, is the task, to believe Jesus. How can he teach us if we will not take him at his word? Do we believe him or do we not? If we will answer this very basic question, we can move forward.

In yesterday’s Word of the Day, Jesus taught that God would do what we ask when two or more of us agree about anything. Today we learn that anything we ask will be done for us if we ask without doubting. This is where the work comes in. Twice Jesus has said that Father will do all things for us, but the condition of faith is sometimes a tough hurdle to get over. We have a difficult time believing Jesus’ words. How, then, are we going to believe he will actually do what these scriptures promise? Harder still is that we must move out of our thinking centers, our minds, and into our believing centers. You would either call that your heart or your spirit. You see, we sometimes “believe” with our minds though doubt remains in our hearts. How can that be? Well, your mind is not your believer. What we really should say is, “I think that is true,” because we are actually thinking in agreement, but have not graduated to believing in agreement with Jesus. How do you get your spirit to come into alignment with Jesus’ words?

It comes down to these tools again: mediation, prayer, visualization, rehearsal. This is where it is beneficial to write down a key verse and talk with Jesus about it continually. Visualization is very helpful. See Jesus sitting in a chair at your house and ask him to teach you how to have the kind of faith you need. See him sitting there teaching you and even praying for you. Watch as he lays his hand on you and prays for your healing. Do this until the switch goes on inside you. All of a sudden you have an “aha” moment.

These things should be the most natural things in the world, but because the world is broken, it has come down to work for us to believe and see as we should. You, however, are built as a faith machine. You are God’s own handiwork. Listen to me in this! He has prewired you with the network to believe all things. You even have the capacity to look with your God given visionary ability and see that mountain get up and jump itself into the sea. Do not be discouraged. Jesus sends you this good word today so that you will be encouraged. All things for which you ask and believe, you shall have. It has been proven time and time again. You are the blessed, living in the blessing. This is your birthright and God’s will. Fire up that believer and ask what you will because the Father is willing and waiting to get into agreement with you. What do you want?

Choosing the Twelve

Luke 6:12

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

Would you consider this a verse on seeking God? You won’t be surprised that this verse is about Jesus. Since he is our model, we can learn what our lives might be by studying his life and practices.

The back story here is that Jesus needed to choose his executive council, we know them as the twelve apostles. He had a big decision to make so he went off to the mountain to be alone with his Father and pray. He spent the whole night talking to Father.

Sometimes when I really need to hear from Father, I pack my tent and go camping. During the days I might hike and chat or ride my bike and talk with Father. In the evenings I would sit by a fire and contemplate. Like many of you whom I have spoken with, I find it easier to hear God when I am surrounded by the beauty of nature. It seems that sitting by a bubbling brook is just right for conversing with Him. Others of you have your special ways of slowing down the world for a bit and whatever your retreat, it is perfect if it helps you to connect with the Father. You don’t have to spend all night at the top of a mountain.

This verse is in the Bible to show us how we might approach big decisions. You might need to go sit on a beach, but one thing seems certain, there is a time element involved here. Jesus spent all night praying. One would think he could make a quick inquiry, get his answer and move on. What do you think he said throughout an entire night of prayer? This is an epiphany for me because I know if Jesus spent all night praying, I am going to need a weekend or more. The truth is, it sometimes takes me a day to slow myself down from the hustle and bustle of everyday life so that I can hear.

The reason I chose this verse is because it astounds me that Jesus continually went to the mountain to pray for long periods. It suggests to me that we might need times, extended times, of dedicated prayer. Perhaps there is something to locking away the world and its demands for a day and letting God fill the environment. I wonder, too, if it isn’t a healing therapy. Perhaps Jesus, like the rest of us, needed time in the presence of God, to keep his emotional and spiritual health at 100%. In any event, ponder this verse and idea and see if there is enlightenment in it for you.

The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23: 2

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
Do you notice that Jesus doesn’t lead us into valleys of destruction? He leads us to mountain tops and to green pastures. We get the crazed notion, sometimes, that God is leading us into the storms. Nope, He is trying to lead you out of the storm. He is there helping you out of the trials and tribulations. He always leads you to the light.
David wrote in verse four that even though he, David, walks through the valley of the shadow of death he would not fear because his shepherd, Jesus, would keep him. Interestingly enough, David wasn’t pitching a tent in the valley of the shadow of death. He was walking through. Challenges sometimes come but Jesus is there to lead you out and he will keep you safe in the interim.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all leading us to quiet green pastures where there is plenty of food and cool, clear water. All things are good where they lead us. There is always plenty. Just follow your shepherd.

To Catch a Thief

Proverb 6: 31

Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry, but when he is found he must repay sevenfold.

The devil is a thief. Jesus said that he comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10). If he is caught, though, he also must repay seven times. That is the law by which he is bound. He is not allowed to run around stealing from you. Jesus has already defeated the devil. We are not awaiting some battle that is going to take place. It is done. Jesus went into hell and took the keys of death, hell and the grave. Everything that the devil ever had is now under Jesus’ feet and therefore under our feet. How long, then are we going to allow the devil to steal from us?

The problem that I often have is that I wait for God to do something when the power of the Almighty is alive inside me. Jesus said to speak to the mountain (Mark 11: 23); he didn’t tell us to pray about it. That’s kinda tough. I am supposed to do something about the situations of my life. I am supposed to wield this power. I would rather whine to Dad and Him do something about it but He says, “I have, I have done it all. I have given you everything you need. Now go forth and use the sword I gave you.” “Oh yeah,” I think, “I have the Word and the Word has already whipped the devil.” The Word is in my heart and now it must be in my mouth. I have to say something.

No one said there was anything comfortable about this. In fact, many of our churches don’t teach us this so we kind of look like deer in the headlights when we hear this message. Kenneth Hagin spent 50 years of ministry teaching people to speak to their mountains. I guess it is time we start talking. Speak protection over your family and belongings. Cover everything with the shed blood of Jesus. Then start telling your mountains to jump in the sea.