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. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
If faith has footsteps, it also has a voice. Last week we discovered that within God’s voice is the grace (or provision) to walk out what he says. But in this text, Jesus models a different aspect of faith. The voice of faith! Abraham had to climb his mountain, but we can speak to it! We do not negate the importance of taking real action in obeying God, but Jesus is revealing another aspect of faith that we must pay closer to attention to.
Jesus is teaching his disciples (us) how to exercise the voice of faith. He speaks to the fig tree and it withered in a day. There is power in the voice of faith to tear down or to build up. The Proverbs say that life and death are in the power of the tongue (18:21). We can speak life or we can speak death.
One of the mountains in my life was my own sinfulness. More specifically an addiction to pornography that I struggled with as a teenager and into my early twenties. It was my understanding that I had to learn to conquer this mountain by climbing it. If I read my Bible, prayed and had enough accountability I would be able to overcome it. I was trying to walk in the footsteps of faith but I was actually walking in the footsteps of my flesh. It wasn’t until I learned to SPEAK to this mountain of sin, based on what I heard God say, that I was truly set free.
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11)
I discovered that this was what God was saying over sin in my life. Consider yourself dead to it. Consider that it is no longer a mountain to be climbed. Stop trying to climb a mountain that Jesus already climbed. He has conquered the mountain of sin and the mountain of the devil. There is provision IN HIM to count myself dead to it and alive to God. I belong on a different mountain. The mountain of the Lord! It is there I get to belong to God in covenant, union and intimacy.
The prophet Zechariah speaks to us along the same lines.
Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”
As we speak the Word of God, in prayer, believing that God is able to move the mountains that stand in our way, the grace of God is released. The power of God begins to move those mountains. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you which mountains you have been trying to climb in your own strength. Ask him to teach you how to speak to these mountains. To release God’s grace to move them!