Month: March 2016
If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall SAY unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20).
If you have faith and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall SAY unto this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, it shall be done (Matthew 21:21).
Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAY shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he said (Mark 11:23).
If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might SAY unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root and be planted in the sea, and it should obey you (Luke 17:6).
In order for the word to work in your life, it must be mixed with faith. The people of the Old Testament didn’t just obtain promises through faith, but they stopped the mouths of lions through faith. They were made strong and became mighty through faith. They won battles through faith (Hebrews 11:33-34). When you fail to believe what you heard, the message will not do you any good. You must accept it. You must receive it. You must believe that you will receive. Otherwise, it will not profit you. The enemy will tell you lies, but God has given us His word, which is true. It is our job to read and meditate on the truth every day. It is our job to say what is written – with confidence.
And the devil said unto him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread (Luke 4:3).
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Luke 4:4).
God has given us power over all the power of the enemy. We’ve prayed long enough about our problems. Now it’s time to SAY something to the spirit that is causing the problem. In Mark 9, there was a father who took his son to Jesus’ disciples because he was tormented. The son would convulsed and have seizures, but there was a spirit operating behind this. This spirit would cast him into the fire and into the waters. Its purpose was to destroy this young man (vs 22). The disciples couldn’t cast out what was in the boy so the father brought him to Jesus. Jesus rebuked the foul spirit and He SAID to the dumb and deaf spirit, “I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him”. Jesus didn’t talk to the young man (physical). He spoke to the spirit. The words He spoke are spirit and spirit understands spirit. Our fight is not against what we can see. It is against what we cannot see.
We’ve been talking about our health problems when we should be rebuking infirmity and disease. You have been given power to do what Jesus did to the fig tree (Matthew 21:21). We’ve been talking about our money problems when we should be rebuking the thief, mammon and the devourer. And let me just add – If you want God to forgive your debts, first forgive your debtors. Forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against. Then, the above scriptures will work in your life.
Because you will have whatever you say, make sure that you only say what you want to come to pass. I wish I could tell you that it will be easy, but attacks will come. I was attacked in my sleep just a few nights ago. A hand was covering my mouth. That only proved to me how powerful the tongue is (Proverbs 18:21). Jericho was securely shut up because the people were afraid of the Israelites. None went out and none came in. This is what the enemy is trying to do to us. He wants to bring fear (as well as other things) in our lives so that we will shut up, but if nothing comes out of your mouth, then nothing can come into your life. The devil wants us to be weary in doing well. He wants us to stop praying (or pray less). He wants us to stop asking because he knows that when we ask and keep asking, it shall be given. He wants us to quit, but don’t do what he wants you to do. Do what God is telling you to do. If we do what God tells us to do and tell that ‘mountain’ what to do and where to go –
It shall move (Matthew 17:20).
It shall be done (Matthew 21:21).
It shall come to pass (Mark 11:23).
You will have whatever you said (Mark 11:23).
It will obey you (Luke 17:6).
This year, nothing will be impossible to us.
Jesus spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the dresser of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why cumber it the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it and dung it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down” (Luke 13:6-9).
Like this tree, you were planted on purpose – for a purpose. The owner picked this tree, but he didn’t plant it. The dresser planted it for him and he was responsible for taking care of something that didn’t even belong to him. It belonged to another man. The bible doesn’t tell us how many times in three years the owner examined this tree, but he was a very patient man.
Just like God has expectations of us, this man had expectations of this tree. He expected it to produce fruit. So it was very disappointing to keep looking, but never finding any fruit on the tree especially when he knew what this tree was able and capable of producing. There should have been fruit by now. He, along with other people, needed what this tree could produce, but they never got the opportunity to eat from it and enjoy it.
When he picked this tree, he didn’t pick it for nothing. He didn’t pick it so that it could look good in his vineyard while taking up space. There was a reason why it existed yet it wasn’t fulfilling its purpose. So after three years of finding no fruit, he told the dresser to cut it down. He never called it useless. It just wasn’t useful. Cumber means to be in the way or to be idle or inactive. The tree was just taking up space, using up all the soil. He could be using that ground for something else.
But the dresser said, Lord, give it another chance. Yes, he interceded on behalf of the tree. Have mercy, Lord. Let me do this one thing. No one is saying that the dresser was lazy or that he wasn’t working, but sometimes what we’re doing is not productive. Either we’re not doing the right thing or what we are doing just isn’t enough. We can always do more.
Isn’t it interesting that the owner didn’t have to tell the dresser what to do? He already knew exactly what he had to do. Some of us know what we should do, but we don’t want to do it or we are afraid to do it or we don’t like change. To see change, that man had to change what he was doing. He had to do what he wasn’t doing before. That’s what repentance is. It is change. The dresser’s words revealed repentance, but his actions following his words revealed true repentance.
Every tree (believer) has leaves, but not every tree (believer) has fruit. Producing fruit is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m examining my life and I know there should have been – not just fruit, but much fruit by now. I’m in my forties and I’ve been saved since I was a teenager, but this has nothing to do with age. This has everything to do with growth. Whether it’s the fruits of repentance or the fruit of the Spirit, someone should be able to see it, eat from it and enjoy or benefit from it. If we’re not bearing fruit, then that means there is something we are refusing to do during the process. It’s not the Dresser’s fault. It’s not the soil’s fault. We are the ones refusing to grow in certain areas of our lives.
But I thank God. Someone prayed for us. Someone didn’t give up on us. Someone didn’t leave us nor forsake us. Someone is pleading on our behalf. God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy and He chose to have mercy on us. He spared us. He gave us space to repent and He has given us grace to do this year what we haven’t done in past years.
God is longsuffering to us. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So let us repent of laziness, procrastination, unfaithfulness and disobedience. The only time I hear believers talk about their assignment is when it comes to the church, but your assignment is beyond the four walls of the church building. The family God gave you is your assignment. That job God gave you is your assignment. That neighborhood or that city you live in is your assignment. God has given us many things and He is looking at how we are dressing and keeping what He gave us (Genesis 2:15).
Some of you may see yourself as the keeper of the vineyard and some of you might see yourself as the tree, but however you see yourself, do what you were placed on the ground or in the ground to do. This parable was really about repentance and I just want us to examine our lives, see where we’ve come short (not anyone else) and repent of our sins.
We will not be the tree that God cuts down, but we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in season (and out of season). Our leaves shall not wither and whatsoever we do shall prosper (Psalm 1:3).
She gave me of the tree and I ate it (Genesis 3:12). Adam was very honest with God. He told Him what Eve did and he told Him what he did, but instead of taking responsibility for what he did, he blamed God. The woman who YOU gave to be with me. What got Lucifer kicked out of heaven was the same thing that got Adam kicked out of the garden – pride. Pride finds fault in others and God hates it. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
I felt stupid. I felt used. I felt sorry for myself so I threw a pity party, but only demons came. Their names were Anger, Rage, Hurt, Disappointment, Bitterness, Retaliation, Unforgiveness, Doubt, Unbelief, Loneliness, Rejection, Suicide, Accusation, Pride, and Blame.
Blame is when you transfer responsibility from yourself to someone else. When you blame other people, it blinds you to the truth about you and the truth that I refused to admit was that I disobeyed God. I didn’t listen to Him. The truth is God warned me beforehand, but I refused to heed His warning. He is using you. I thought God didn’t know what He was talking about. That person would never do that to me. When I think about it now, something had to have been seriously wrong with me. The Spirit of Truth was speaking to me. I know His voice. He was warning me, but I still didn’t believe Him. Instead of trusting the Truth, I put my trust in the Father of lies and now I was angry.
How did it all started? Talking to the wrong person. Be careful who you hold a conversation with. When the serpent was talking to Eve in the garden, he just wasn’t talking. He was impregnating her with words and she gave birth to doubt and unbelief. How do we know this? Had she believed God, she would have obeyed Him.
God did nothing to me, but I was angry with Him. I allowed my relationship with people to affect my relationship with God even though He wasn’t the One who hurt me. I no longer believed God’s word. I didn’t want to go to church. I didn’t want to hear scriptures, but one day God asked me, Why are you angry? If anyone should be angry, it should be Me because you disobeyed Me. You touched what I told you not to touch.
Here I was blaming God, but I really had no one to blame. God sent a word to deliver me from heartache, stress and trouble, but I chose not to trust and believe that word – and that led to trouble. I had a choice, but I chose to connect with the wrong people. I trusted the wrong people. Unfortunately, I was so angry and focused on what someone did to me that I never considered what I did to God. I deliberately disobeyed Him, I grieved the Holy Spirit and my decision not only affected me, but it affected other people – innocent people. I can talk about it now, but initially it was hard facing the truth about myself. I had to accept that what I was going through was a result of my rebellion and disobedience.
For months, the devil was tormenting me and reminding me of what this person did to me and what that person did to me and I finally told the devil, ‘No, you did this!’ You meant to harm me, but God meant it for good’. You see, the devil knows that such things as unforgiveness and strife (hidden and repressed anger) blocks the answers to our prayers. He also knows that when you allow any root of bitterness to grow, it not only troubles you, but it can contaminate and ruin the lives of many people (Hebrews 12:15).
Every day I have to choose to forgive. Why? Because if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. If I don’t forgive others of their sins, my sins won’t be forgiven. There are people that I’m interceding for daily and I want them to be delivered through the cleanness of my hands (Job 22:30). Job went through a situation worse than I did yet in all that he went through, he didn’t sin nor did he charge Him foolishly (Job 1:22). In other words, He didn’t blame God nor did he accuse Him of wrongdoing. It’s impossible for God to do anything evil; no way can the Mighty One do wrong (Job 34:12)
When you know you’ve done wrong, acknowledge it (Psalm 51:3). Accept responsibility for what YOU did. If you want to prosper, confess and forsake your sins. Ask God to forgive you, forgive those who hurt you and forgive yourself.
Prayer: Father, forgive us for our disobedience. Forgive us for grieving your Spirit. Create in us a clean heart. Because we operated in the wrong spirit, we need you to renew a right spirit within us. Holy Spirit, help us to forget what the devil wants us to always remember. We loose and set ourselves free from bondage, hurt, disappointment, anger, grudges and self-pity. Lord, heal the brokenhearted and turn us from bitter to sweet. We receive the love of God and we choose to walk in Your love every day, in Jesus name. Amen.