Mountain Mover

BulldozerI’ve always thought I had strong measure of faith – until I come across someone who has more faith than me. I remember when my daughter was small, she would say: “Daddy, is it going to snow tonight?” I would say “No – it’s way too warm for snow”. She would then reply: “But God can make it happen!” At that point, the discussion was over. Yes – God can make it snow. In fact, God can do anything He wishes. Her child-like faith would trump my “grown-up” knowledge and understanding.

Jesus was nearing his trial, crucifixion & death. He was near Jerusalem finishing up His ministry. He gave some practical example of strong faith and I just can’t relate. Check this out…

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:22-25 NLT)

I think I have faith until I read this. I often wonder was He talking about literally speaking to the mountain and asking it to move, or was he speaking symbolically or figuratively. The only way I know to move a mountain is with “Mighty Machines” like a Bull Dozer!

He adds one more piece of instruction about praying with deep faith – forgiveness. I learned several years ago that forgiveness was a personal gift to me. Restoration of a relationship was done to me.  It’s fairly simple – Faith combined with Forgiveness calls upon the power of God to do ANYTHING! This really blows my mind. I don’t have this much faith yet but I’m sure improving in the forgiveness area. I do want to have “mountain mover” type faith for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Complete Faith

faith messageI have faith. I think that I have deep faith.  The reason I said I think is because I have doubt.  I have had faith in God for a long, long time. I still nourish doubt in my life as well. I can’t seem to get it pushed out the door of my heart.

I’ve seen ridiculous faith in others. I know people who have done some incredible things because of their faith in God. They feel directed to go and to do by Creator God. I know what that prompting feels like as well. In fact I ask God often what He wants me to do and where He wants me to go.  When teaching His disciples about faith, Jesus takes it to a whole new level. Check this out…

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:22-24 NIV)

I don’t think that my faith will move mountains. Please don’t misunderstand – I believe that God can do anything He wants. I just don’t think the mountain will literally move when I ask Him in faith. I’ve seen people with that strong of faith. I believe that God can heal anyone. I can’t explain why He don’t heal someone that I know has been prayed for with deep faith. I don’t understand why God doesn’t change bad circumstances in an instant when believers pray bold, audacious prayers.

I think the reason I doubt is because I don’t believe that my bold prayer is what is best. I do believe that God has my best interest at heart. I don’t always understand what is happening to my family and me at the moment, but I trust Him. I trust His heart. I trust His Will for my life. When I have this level of deep faith in God, I’m not just looking to move mountains – I’m moving my heart closer to His heart.  I don’t think my faith will be complete until I stand in His Presence for eternity.  Until then I will seek His heart through His Word and through my prayer conversations with Him. I want my faith to grow stronger and deeper every day.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Belief

Hands folded in prayer over open russian Holy Bible on black backgroundI have beliefs about a lot of different topics and ideas. Some things that I believe are not up for debate. Those beliefs have become convictions. Some things I believe are probably not going to happen. For example, I believe the Atlanta Braves will win the World Series this year. I apologize to any avid Braves fans. You see, I want them to win the World Series and if my belief could help them win, then they should win. I get a bit frustrated at sporting events because I usually pick a team that I want to win. Belief is a pretty significant part of my core being. The things I believe in are actually lived out in some form or fashion every day.

Jesus had just come down from a “mountain-top experience” – literally. As He gets near the rest of His disciples, He sees a commotion. Evidently His disciples had tried to cast out an evil spirit of this young boy. The Dad was disappointed because the disciples could not cast out the evil spirit. Check this out…

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. (Mark 9:20-27 NIV)

I have my doubts in the middle of my faith sometimes. I feel like I hear Jesus call me out on my doubts. I believe that there are demons just like there are angels. I can’t see them or always identify them, but I believe they are real. I have prayed some bold prayers and tried really hard not to doubt the Power or the Presence of God. One of my favorite prayers in all the Word of God is found in this passage. It’s a prayer that I’ve prayed along with my bold prayers. “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

The same God who challenges me to pray bold prayers will help me overcome my doubt and skepticism. My role is to continue to grow in my ability to trust the Lord. As I have faith experiences where I’ve seen the Power and the Presence of God, my faith gets stronger and my doubt diminishes.  My growing faith honors the Author of my faith.

Pressing On!
Dwayne