Mark 11: 22 – 24
Our article from last week stressed on the fact that Jesus had just come back from the Temple where He reminded those who cared to hear about the reason and purpose for having the Temple. It was supposed to be a house of prayer but the leaders had turned it into something else – the den of robbers/thieves. The leaders had turned the House of God into a place where merchandizing was the order of the day; the people were being defrauded by the minute.
At this juncture, I would like us to be reminded that, on His way to the Temple, He had cursed a Fig Tree and one cannot but wonder the correlation that had with the Temple He went to. Well, the Fig Tree was a symbol of Israel and at the heart of Israel is their Temple of Worship. Jesus is about to be crucified and He had to put things in proper shape and order: the Temple was the place of worship, the place where the people sacrificed animals for the covering of their Sin. That was going to stop because Jesus was about to shed His blood which was going to take away the Sin of the World. The system of worship is about to change and this is the reason why the Temple must be destroyed.
The disciples on the other hand, were used to Jesus supplying everything needed for the ministry; He was there to say, “Peace be still” as the waves raged against their ship. He was there to heal as the sick were brought to Him. He was there with the disciples when there was a need to feed the multitude as He multiplied the two fishes and five loaves of bread to mention a few. The disciples were used to the physical Jesus always present with them, but little did they realize that Jesus was on His way out. The withered Fig Tree, although representative of the Nation of Israel, became a point where Jesus would hint on His going away and a point where Jesus would teach His disciples on the subject of prayer.
On noticing the Fig Tree, Peter beckoned on His Master, reminding Him about what happened the day before; he was stunned and it was at that point Jesus answered and said to him (Peter) and the other disciples to have “FAITH IN GOD”. To have FAITH in God means to trust God. TRUST has to do with a relationship between two people. In a TRUST relationship, there are two parties – the TRUSTEE and the TRUSTOR. Let us define these two words, TRUSTEE and TRUSTOR.
TRUSTEE is a legal term, which in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another. TRUSTOR is the person who creates the trust. The trustor is the one who contributes property to the trust. The TRUSTEE is the person who manages the trust, and is usually appointed by the TRUSTOR.
This means that the duty of every Christian is to TRUST God at what God has planned for us. It is not a relationship where we decide to use God for the things that we want, even when we know that what we want is completely outside the Will of God. IF WE SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, means that the talking to the Mountain to move must be within the confines of God’s Will. He drove home His point by telling them about their desires – their desires must be aligned with the Will of God before the realization.
In other words, WE ARE MEANT TO TRUST THAT GOD WILL DO AS HE HAS PROMISED IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS WILL. Contrary to popular teachings that God is ready to give us all we desire of Him, the idea in this portion of Scripture is that when we develop a relationship with God, we learn to trust Him because we have learnt of Him and by that, we are able to know what the Will of God is and therefore would be influenced by Him to ask in accordance with His Will.
Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, in the face of excruciating pain prayed to God to permit the cup of death to pass away but did not stop the prayer until He concluded and said, “NOT MY WILL” but yours Lord. Guess what, it was the Will of God for Jesus to drink of that cup because He had to die as a ransom for the Sin of the whole World.
He taught His disciples on how to pray and when He started, He said, “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”. It’s all about the Will of God and not us or what we think we want. Once again, the idea of prayer is to pray that the Will of God be done in our situations and the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
James, the brother of our Lord Jesus said we ask God and don’t get answers to our prayers because we ask amiss. In other words when we don’t pray in accordance with the Will of God, then we are definitely praying based on our carnal desires, trying to force God’s hands so that we can use Him to achieve our aim. I am not sure it is possible to use God as a means to an end.
In conclusion, the great Apostle Paul as he penned down the Epistle to the Philippian Church, made it clear that it was by the Will of God that he was imprisoned. He said, “I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here and everyone else too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learnt all about Him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here, have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.”
I hear of people praying for an hour together. I am very pleased that they can; but it is seldom that I can do so, and I see no need for it. It is like a person going into a bank with a cheque and stopping an hour. The clerks would wonder. The common-sense way is to go to the counter and show your cheque, and take your money, and go about your business. There is a style of prayer, which is of this fine practical character. You so believe in God that you present the promise, obtain the blessing, and go about your Master’s business. Sometimes a flood of words only means excusing unbelief. The prayers of the Bible are nearly all-short ones: they are short and strong.” – C.H Spurgeon
Keep it right here and be refreshed.