What Must We Believe?

“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21,22 NIV)

Most of us know the story of Jesus and the fig tree that had leaves, but no fruit. When Jesus saw the leaves, He expected to find figs, but there were none and since He was hungry, and now frustrated, He spoke to the tree and said it would wither and die. When the disciples came back past the tree, they were amazed that the tree was withered.

The tree with leaves had the appearance of bearing fruit, but was barren. When we look at ourselves in our walk, following the precepts of Jesus, how do we look? Do we have the appearance of bearing fruit, yet no fruit exists? Are we just superficial Christians–mimicking phrases, following traditions that have no meaning, giving lip service, but no real praise, mumbling words resembling prayer, but have no power, carrying our bibles that we won’t read, and wearing crosses that bear no witness of our understanding of the work on the cross?

Do we know how to generate love in any environment we find ourselves simply because we know how to love? Is there real joy in our lives that overflows onto all we meet? Do we have peace in our hearts, homes and community? Do we know how to teach with gentleness, remembering that we too are imperfect people? Do we know how to show kindness and compassion to those in need? Are we faithful–totally committed to do that we do, to do it well? Have we disciplined ourselves so others can see we live a disciplined life–free of anxiety, anger, and intolerance? Are we fruit-bearing Christians or do we just have the appearance of being one?

Now, what Jesus referenced to His disciples was more about their faith and what they would be able to do if they believed what they heard. They heard Him what He said to the tree, but apparently did not believe it would happen since they were amazed at what happened. He knew there was doubt lingering in them which is why they were amazed and told them that if they “didn’t doubt” they could say, to the mountain, “go move into the sea and it would.” Why must they say it? So they could hear what they said and since Jesus told them to do it, it would be so. “Faith coming by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.”

We must believe The Word (Jesus is The Word) and when we pray, we can have whatever we ask for when we don’t doubt The Word. In another passage, Jesus reminds us that whatever we ask of the Father, in His name, He would do it–as long as we don’t doubt it will be done.

The reason many do not see answered prayers is because of doubt and unbelief or because of asking for things that do not align with The Word. When we know The Word, we do not pray amiss (out of alignment with The Word) and we know that God is not hard of hearing or forgetful. Those are our weaknesses, not His.

So when we pray–we only need to ask for what we want–once–and then we give thanks for it until we receive it. Giving thanks to God what we have faith to receive--removes doubt. For if we know, we already have what we ask for, why would we need to keep asking for it?

In order to see faith operate on a daily basis, we must “hear” The Word and keep hearing The Word, building our faith in Him so He will move on our behalf since He is moved by faith, not by feelings.

Instability Gets Nothing!

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8 NIV)

If we lack wisdom, as stated in verse five, we should ask of God, who will give it to us liberally, without finding fault with us. Starting at verse six–when we ask, we must believe, not doubting–this premise holds true for anything we ask of God. We know this because Jesus, we must have faith and not doubt, believing we receive what we ask for.

If we doubt God will do what He says He will do–heal, deliver, save, prosper, lead, guide, counsel, protect–The Word says we are unstable and will receive NOTHING!

This is why when we pray–WE ASK ONCE, THANK HIM FOR WHAT WE HAVE ASKED, AND KEEP THANKING HIM UNTIL WE SEE WHAT WE ASKED FOR COME TO PASS! That is the benchmark of faith–believing we have received–without doubting.

People who believe they have to keep asking for the same thing, or get loud or shout, or cry loudly, apparently think God is either forgetful or hard of hearing. God is not moved by our emotions; He is moved by our faith. Declare the situation is resolved and keep thanking Him for the resolution. This is how we see prayers answered. It is not because of our begging, being loud, or our tears.

When we repeat ourselves in prayer, we demonstrate doubt and our doubt keeps us from receiving. God hears us the first time, but He may not respond right away. All we need to do is wait, patiently thanking Him, knowing He will do what is best for us at all times.

Father, forgive us for our lack of faith in You and Your Word. Help us to understand that You are faithful, even when we are not. We thank You for healing bodies–from crowns of heads to soles of feet and every part in between. We thank You for peace in the land and protection from the enemy on all sides. We thank You for love, liberty, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We thank You for family and friends who love like You love. We thank You for the ability to love the unlovable and desire to see all saved. These things we ask and thank you for in the name of Jesus! We declare all of it done to Your glory!

Divided Loyalties!

“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:6-8 NLT)

When we ask Him for what? Wisdom and anything else we need, when we ask in faith, we shall have it. But we cannot waver in our faith that He will do it because if we do–we allow doubt to enter and undermine faith and doubt will negate the faith to which God responds. James, in his letter, is simply reiterating what Jesus told the disciples about prayer. He told them when we ask in faith–doubting nothing–whatever we ask for, we shall have it.

For those who criticize others for having faith in what they do not see–get over it. When we speak–in faith–those things we are believing God for–we are going to see them in His timing as long as we do not allow the “world’s way of thinking” to interfere with our faith. When we try to have faith in God and then allow the “world” to influence how we think--we have divided our loyalties and God says–we can expect “nothing” from Him.

Is this why you have not received what you have been asking for? Is your loyalty divided between God and the world?

God says, “Ask and it will be given” when we ask in faith. The world says, “Why are you expecting anything from someone invisible?”

One of the reasons why the world does not understand “our faith” is because we do not understand and exercise our faith in the manner that God tells us. Faith in Him does not waver–no matter what–whether what we ask for comes immediately or is delayed–the faith for those things we ask–remains in Him!  But the moment we start listening to others who influence doubt–we might as well stop thinking that God will do anything because He will not respond to doubt!

Whatever it is we are expecting from God–salvation for loved ones–no matter how “they” act–keep believing; financial security–no matter what our bank account says–keep believing; peace in the world–no matter how violent people get under the influence of the enemy–keep believing; for love to overflow in the hearts of all–no matter how much hatred you see–keep believing. If we ever stop having faith in God–we will never see those things for which we ask. Faith that–remains immovable in the face of adversity–can overcome anything and move mountains as long as doubt–never creeps into the situation or our minds to deter us.

Our loyalties belong to God and our faith should be in Him and Him alone–to guide us in all we must do to see faith for what we ask, manifest itself!

Don’t Throw It Away!

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward” (Hebrews 10:35 NKJV).

Of course, to understand exactly what Paul is saying (and we can conclude that it is Paul from verse 34) one would have to read the entire preceding verses. Does this have application to us today?

Absolutely! We cannot allow all the trials and tribulations we suffer to deter us or to cancel out our faith and confidence in the One who gives us life!

So what–if a job was lost–take a deep breath, look up and see the favor of The Lord being showered upon you!

So what–if a bad report is given by a doctor about an illness–look up and remember to thank Him for your healing when He was beaten before being raised on the cross.

So what–if a spouse leaves–look up and remember that we are never alone because He promised to always be with us.

So what–if people think our faith in God is foolishness–I’d rather God judge my foolishness in my obedience to Him than be a tool for the enemy to use.

So what–if things don’t always go your way–stop and think about whether your way is also God’s way and if not, turn and adjust–keeping your sight on the path on which He would have you follow.

If we don’t quit when the going gets tough, but persevere until the end of the matter–we will reap the reward for endurance and know the blessings of The Lord!

Don’t allow the enemy to trick you into throwing away your confidence in God–just because stuff doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen or when you want it to happen. Our timetable, is not God’s timetable and we should really seek Him to get on His.

We were warned,” in the world we would have tribulations and persecutions,” but He has overcome the world and we shall triumph and have victory in every situation that comes against us. Hallelujah for our Risen Savior who has given us the victory over sin, doubt, and unbelief–carving our confidence in Him in our hearts with His Word!

Now, get up and shake the dust from your feet (and the doubt from your mind), He is able to do all things and do them well and because we have confidence in Him, so can we!  Move ’em out! In Jesus’ name!

It’s Already Done!

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV).

There are many people who “say” they believe something, but then their doubt creeps into their conversation and anyone listening realizes that–they didn’t really believe what they said.

Within the context of this very familiar passage of scripture (for most Believers), we find Jesus talking to His disciples about faith and prayer “after” they see the withered fig tree. Their comments triggered the response Jesus gave them. “Have faith in God, don’t doubt what you say and whatever you say will come to pass” (verses 22,23). Then He gets to the good part–“believe you have already received and it will be yours.” It’s already done when we believe we already have it.

But then–in John’s conversation about prayer, there was something added. “Whatever you ask the Father for in my name, shall be given” (John 14:13,14 15:16, and 16:23,24 paraphrased).

There are no magic bullets to seeing prayer answered. Our faith determines what shall be done in response to our prayers. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again.  When we pray–believe, without doubting, that when you ask for anything (in alignment with The Word),  you can receive it and it will be done. Don’t wait until you see it to believe you’ll have it. Act like you already have it, continue to thank God for it, and rejoice when it manifest itself.  This is His response to our prayers. I dare you try it–and don’t doubt--but have faith in God!

Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask for quick resolution for all the unrest in the land, healing for sickness and disease, and receptivity by all who are promoting the Gospel and their safety. We thank You and receive it because it is done!

 

Wind Tossed!

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6,7).

Watching the waves of the sea roil, without consideration for anything in its path can be terrifying and yet it can also be spell-binding. The wind–the mass of air that no one see–can be an awesome wonder to watch. I’ve watched the wind–a tornado–tear the roof off of an apartment building right behind the one I was in. I’ve watched the damage of the wind–from a hurricane–turn lives upside down. I can only imagine how absolutely petrified people might become when watching a tsunami, fueled by angry winds destroy their livelihoods, homes, and lives. The wind–a force by which no one can control or see–has the power to change lives. 

Now, think about that power and how James compares doubt to that power. When doubt moves us from faith, we give doubt the power to change our lives and keep us from receiving that for which we have asked of God. In the beginning of this chapter, James is talking about asking God for wisdom, but he references something the Jesus said when He was teaching His disciples about prayer. “Whatever we say and don’t doubt, we can have (paraphrase). “When we pray, we believe we receive and we shall have it,” (Mark 11:22,23). Jesus shows us how powerful faith can be, but James demonstrates how powerful doubt can be with the illustration of the wind and waves.

The question we must ask ourselves is, are we wind-tossed or are we standing in faith, believing we can have what we ask of God? Perhaps, the answer lies in whether or not we can honestly say we have asked and received or we have asked and doubted (if only for a nanosecond) and not received. Therefore, “since faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” we have two powerful forces working in our lives that no can visibly see–faith and doubt. If we stand firm on our faith in God, we shall see the “stuff” which is the evidence of God’s working on our behalf, even though we didn’t see how He did it. And like the wind (we see the results of wind’s movement, not wind itself) so too shall we see the results of faith or doubt in our lives.

Whatever it is we need right now–we can ask of God, in the name of Jesus, stand firmly in faith that we will receive it and we shall have it. If we need healing–we ask and receive; if we need a financial blessing–we ask and receive; if we need direction–we ask and receive; if we need wisdom (the first request)–we ask and receive.  We shall have whatever we ask for when we do not allow doubt to deter (move) our faith! Glory to God for favor and faith to accomplish all He has planned for us! Hallelujah!

Standing In The Gap!

There are so many people who have yet to experience the goodness of God and all that He wants us to have because of either lack of knowledge or doubt about His Word.

“If” you would today, receive the Good News and accept that Jesus is the Son of God, walked with us in the earth realm, obeyed His Father unto death for our sins, died, rose, and is now sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf, then today, I stand in the gap, praying for all of God’s blessings to be poured onto you in abundance so your experience with Him, will not be in vain.

Father,

Your Word declares through Your Son, that if we would believe without doubting, whatever we asked for in Your Son’s name, would be given. There is no doubt in my heart or mind and I know how faithful You are in keeping Your Word. Therefore, I boldly come to You, on behalf of any and all who have needs that have not been met before this day, asking You to bless them mightily so they will know that it is You who has provided every need.

For those who need a financial blessing that will help them move forward with wisdom, bless them. For those who need healing in their bodies, remove all traces of sickness and disease and make them whole. For those who feel unloved and abandoned, remind them they are loved and that You will never leave them alone. For those who are experiencing depression, speak to their hearts and minds and guide them into Your rest and peace. For those who are fearful, remind them that perfect love casts out all fear and that they are more than conquerors, victorious in all things. For those who do not believe, provide them with an experience that will bring them into knowledge of You and dispel their unbelief.

All of this I ask of You, in Jesus’ name and I thank You for hearing and responding to this prayer. It is done, to Your glory, Amen!

Lord, I Receive!

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NIV).

This response from Jesus to Peter was regarding the withering of the fig tree and Peter’s amazement of it.  Jesus said to him, “have faith in God,” and then He continues about telling the mountain to move into the sea, having faith without doubting.  Does this principle of faith apply to us today?

If we believe that The Word of God applies to all for all eternity–the answer is yes.  If we don’t, then the answer is no.  Personally, I believe that what Jesus said to His “followers” then is applicable for His followers today.

When we pray, we must ask--believing that God will do and we have already received it–until the prayer manifests itself in the natural.  First the answer is manifested in the spiritual realm, then in the natural.  If we go back and look at verse 23, we have to see that it is what “we say” that will determine when we receive.

Therefore, I will continue to say, “Thank You Lord for the 1 million copies sold of my books and for the 1 million + readers” until it manifests itself.  I have already received it in my spirit which is why I can say, “Thank You!” Many will doubt and never receive the answer to their requests, but I choose to believe and will stand on that belief that everything I have asked for is already done; I’m just waiting to see it in the natural.

What about you?  Are you asking in faith or in doubt?  When we ask in doubt we keep asking for the same thing.  When we ask in faith, we ask once and keep thanking Him for the expected result until we see it happen.  I’ve experienced seeing the results of answered pray–with this principle– for myself and I know it works. I survived a number of illnesses that doctors could not explain. I have journeyed into places that could have been hazardous.  I went back to school to finish college past the age of 40 and excelled, I have fought legal battles and won when everyone else said, it wouldn’t be possible. I have accomplished most of my dreams and much that I did not even request of God.  My faith is Him and I trust Him to keep all of His promises, based on His Word.  Remember, we can not receive if we doubt for if we doubt, there is no faith.  If there is no faith in God, He is not obligated to respond since He responds to faith.

Hallelujah!  Lord, I receive everything I’ve asked for and everything You desire for me to have in abundance so I may be a blessing to others. I declare it done in Jesus’ name.

No Doubt

Believe and doubt not and whatever we say, will come to pass!

Discouragement and doubt are the tools the enemy uses to make us feel insignificant or defeated. The Good news is–whenever the “thought” is planted we can immediately dispel it by saying out loud–I have no doubts about anything God has promised!

The Word tells us that if we have the faith–the size of a mustard seed, we can “say” to the mountain–“move and it will have to go!”

“Mountains of doubt and discouragement–go sink into the sea, never to be seen again. I will have all that God has said I will have and nothing, absolutely nothing will deter me!”

Glory to God! Unmovable Faith–removes all doubt!