The Aim of this devotion is to grow in understanding of Biblical faith, to evaluate to which degree you “live by faith”, and to help put your faith into practice today.
Mark 11:12-15, 19-24
12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
15 And they came to Jerusalem… 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
- Why Peter was surprised when he saw the fig tree had withered so quickly?
- Jesus’ reply to Peter is a teaching on faith in action. Make simple points on Jesus’ teaching on faith. Now summarize it as “my own principles of faith to live by.”
- Jesus’ first principle in his teaching is “Have faith in God.” Write in your own words what it means to “have faith in God”.
- Jesus moves his conversation from “say to this the mountain” to “ask in prayer”. How does it differ in practice? (i.e. when, for what and how will you “say to this mountain”? When and how will you “ask in prayer”?)
- Try a few synonyms for “faith” in this context.
- Look at your “principles of faith to live by.” Think of you prayer life and daily activities and future aspirations. Which principles do you put in practice, and which do you neglect?
- Consider your greatest “fig trees” or “mountains” in your life (relational, financial, personal weakness or sins, or some insurmountable situation – anything too big for you). Write a declaration against it, commanding it to be removed (if it is a situation too big for your) or to die (if it is a sin or stronghold such as addiction, anxiety etc). Read this every day for the next week at least with the confidence “it will be done for you.”
Note: “Our battle is not against flesh and blood… but against spiritual forces” [Eph 6:12] therefore we do not speak death to people, but the situations and sinful habits.
- Considering Jesus promise in verse 24, make a list of things you really need or desire (also consider non-material things, and requests on other’s behalf!) Write the date on the top of the page, and leave space where you can write the date in which your prayer has been answered. Have it somewhere where you can ask that of God daily.
Looking at your application of Jesus’ teaching on faith in this section, talk to God about your life of faith, and how you put it in practice – whichever way the Spirit leads.
Then look at that list of things you ask of God in faith, and start asking God boldly, with the assurance that he hears and will give “whatever you ask”.