Mark 11:20-26 The Passion Translation (TPT)
20 In the morning, they passed by the fig tree that Jesus spoke to and it was completely withered from the roots up.
21 Peter remembered and said to him, “Teacher, look! That’s the fig tree you cursed. It’s now all shriveled up and dead.”
22 Jesus replied, “Let the faith of God be in you!
23 Listen to the truth I speak to you: If someone says to this mountain with great faith and having no doubt, ‘Mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the midst of the sea, and believes that what he says will happen, it will be done.
24 This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—believe that you have received it and it will be yours.
25 And whenever you stand praying, if you find that you carry something in your heart against another person, release him and forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also release you and forgive you of your faults.
26 But if you will not release forgiveness, don’t expect your Father in heaven to release you from your misdeeds.”
I have read the above scriptures many times studying God’s word and I have often wondered why Jesus goes from talking about faith to talking about forgiving people. It almost seems as if Jesus changes the entire subject mid thought and teaches on an entirely different subject in a single moment of time.
So, what is Jesus saying? Is there a relationship between what Jesus is saying about faith and moving mountains and forgiving people? I think very much so!
When we study Jesus and His teachings, it is important that we always keep in mind that Jesus was not into superficial thinking. He always went to the very heart and core of everything. He addressed the deepest issues and concerns in everything that He spoke about and taught on.
With that thought in mind, we can extrapolate that there is a direct connection between having our faith become active and yielding results and what we harbor in our heart in the way of hate, anger and unforgiveness.
Jesus gives two critical teachings here; the first is what is possible with faith and what faith can accomplish. The second is what will hinder faith from being activated and what drives faith.
Galatians 5:6 The Passion Translation (TPT)
6 When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.
If we want to see the miraculous, if we want to see the impossible, if we want to see what faith can produce, then we have to allow our hearts and minds to be put into a place from which they are motivated by God’s love.
As believers, more specifically as believers who believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we must be mindful that we do not neglect developing and welcoming the development of the heart and character of Jesus Christ in us first and foremost. I believe that if we allow ourselves to be taught and humble ourselves to obedience in pursuit of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we will naturally and by default see the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].
Ephesians 5:9 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
9 For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.
The gifts are inherently a tool to demonstrate and release the love and goodness of God through us. If we want to be powerful in this area, we must allow the Holy Spirit to create a mind and heart in us that empowers the gifts to be released through us. It is only safe to assume then that anything that hinders the love of God and the character of God from being at work in our lives can certainly hinder our prayers from being effective, our faith being released and the power of the Holy Spirit working through us!
1 Corinthians 14:1 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
14 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).
It is important to God what the condition of our heart is, especially towards others. The Holy Spirit stands ready to always move in power through us. We often attribute a lack of the movement to a lack of faith. While this may be the immediate issue, as with the way Jesus taught, there is often a much deeper concern.
We know that we have faith within us. We in of ourselves do not create faith but more faith in us is activated as we receive revelation and then respond to that revelation in obedience. These two things then produce more of the heart and character of God in us and put us into a place where the Holy Spirit is free to move through us with the supernatural!
Romans 12:3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
3 For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.
Repentance is always a beautiful thing, I think Jesus is making this a large part of this comprehensive teaching in Mark. Repentance is humbling ourselves to receive revelation and then acting in obedience to that revelation. These are the very things that I previously outlined that bring us to a place that we increasingly through experiences become more like God.
We must want to demonstrate His power through our lives because of His love and character at work in our lives not for our own glory and not to build our identity or ministry around. Our goal, is to be like Jesus in thought and emotion as well as outward actions.
So, the next time you want to pray for someone to be healed, the next time you want to see the miraculous released through you, take a moment and offer a humble submission to the Holy Spirit to have His way not only in that situation but in your heart and mind and let go of any unforgiveness, anger, frustration and especially any offense. Humility is so empowering, it give us much grace, which truly is power:
James 4:6-7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
6 But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says,
“God resists you when you are proud
but continually pours out grace when you are humble.”
7 So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you.
1 Peter 5:5-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)
5 In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support[a] the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because:
“God resists you when you are proud
but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble.”
6 If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.