Tag Archives: Mark 11:22-26

Fig Tree Faith

fig-treeI am so very human so very often, and the times that I am most aware of it is when I get in the flesh over spiritual matters. It seems like an oxymoron but its truth none the less. So this morning as I read the scripture in Mark of Jesus’ frustration with the money changers my mind drifted to empty seats and lackadaisical attitudes toward church attendance and Christian service. I had to wonder why this story was in the middle of the story of the fig tree?  I get Jesus’ frustrations with fruitless lives, and I can more than understand His frustrations with thievery in the church house, but what does one have to do with the other? Pew sitters seems a far cry from what the money changers were doing that caused Jesus to throw tables over and drive people out for using God’s house for their own gain rather than the soul saving station and to edify the church. But then I began to think of the cost of an apathetic attitude toward the work of God, and the number of them who attend church, I understood why God could pair those two stories together.

Unfruitful servants of God are like that tree and the money changers in the fact that they rob God of the fruit He so desires. I’d also have to include myself in that category, because I could certainly do more fruit baring. Jesus’ closing words Peter, when asked why the tree died, was “Have faith in God.”

It was a kick in the pants to me, as if to say, “Let God handle everyone else Shari, you worry about your fruit.”

Mark 11:12-22

And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. And when even was come, he went out of the city. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

 

How to Mess Up a Blessing

In the midst of our annual tent meeting and a great moving of the Holy Spirit through the people, I have to examine my own life; because I believe that every Word of God, jot and tittle in the King James Bible is truth. So when I read Mark 11:26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasss,” I believe it. And I think to myself, is there anyone that I have not forgiven? Because it’s certainly possible. And though I’m not a grudge bearer, (I don’t waste my time with people who have wronged me because I truly consider it their loss), I still have people in my life who when someone brings up their name, my heart sinks a little. And I don’t want that coming between me and the full blessing of God.

Did you catch that? Not only will we not be forgiven of our own sins (which for me is many) but we’ll also miss out on the blessing of God. Let’s look at the scripture leading up to the previous text. Mark 11:22-26. It lays out a message outline as clear as day on how to mess up a blessing.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Doubt. Woah baby! I’ve messed myself up with that one on more than one occasion. I did not realize that there was a method to this mayhem that I created. Jesus said if we have doubt in our heart it will come to pass. Good night a mighty! How many times have I doubted something good was going to happen and what I essentially did was cause it not to? Now God’s allowed many things to happen in my life that I doubted… that’s called grace. But how much more would He have allowed if I had not doubted it; and spoke it aloud allowing Satan and his band of havoc wreaker’s to hear.

The second step to messing up a blessing is to ask for something while carrying un-forgiveness in your heart. Jesus said that God wants to give us our heart’s desire, but… as you’re standing there praying for it, examine your heart because God won’t give over un-forgiveness.

If you ask me the desires of my heart today I can tell you flat footed and eye to eye it is this:

  1. That my church catch fire to see soul’s saved.
  2. That my entire family get right with God so that there will be no eternal separation.
  3. And for health and stamina to continue on in the ministry that God has blessed me with.

Three serious prayers with eternal ramifications. Why on earth would I let anyone stand between me and those requests? Look seriously at your own life. What has anyone done to you that is worth holding onto and losing that?

I hope today find you and I both with hearts full of love, faith that moves mountains, and forgiveness in abundance.

Psalm 51:10 ~ Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.