When you pray in God-given faith and your heart says yes to God, you know the answer's on the way.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Well, I’m fine thank you. I’m singing bass so far; my voice is a couple of decibels lower and not quite so high-pitched. Well it’s nice not to have somebody shout at you, isn’t it? It’s very early in the morning. I do these broadcasts very early in the morning often times, so that I get a morning feel that my own life and attitude. I know so many of you listen to the broadcast just as you’re waking up or just on your way to, to work. Some are just packing a lunch for the children, then for a, for hubby or whatever. Well, I feel like you do today and I’m glad to be alive, glad to have a chance to share with you from the Word of God. Oh God’s precious Word. Aren’t you glad you have the Bible? Do you ever thank God that He’s given you His precious Word? I do, day by day. Well, I’ve just been praying that His truth and His love and His blessing might be in my voice and in the words that I speak to you. May God answer that prayer for you today. Somebody needs whatever will be said and I pray that it may be just exactly what you know, custom made, just for your need.
Well, we’re in Mark chapter 11 you and I, and we’ve come now to the answer that the Lord Jesus gave to the surprise that Simon Peter voiced when he saw that a fig tree, to which our Lord had spoken 24 hours earlier, had now dried up from its roots, not from the top down, but from the roots up. This of course was not a, an instance of divine pique. Our Lord Jesus didn’t become the victim of irritation at that point, He was teaching an object lesson for the fig tree in Scripture is a type of God’s chosen people and He was saying to them that they had rejected their Messiah and that the whole plan and purpose of God, as wrapped up in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, had been rejected and so, they were indeed in a manner speaking, fruitless.
Well now, Peter said, he says, well I’m surprised, look the fig tree dried up, and Jesus answering said, fellas listen, you’re dealing with God, you’re dealing with God. Have faith in God. I think the most sobering realization that any of us can have is to become aware of the fact that in daily life, ordinary living: get up, get dressed, have breakfast, get ready for school or work or homemaking or whatever it may be, and go on through the day. Make the usual operating decisions. Come on home, have dinner together, talk, read the paper, look at television, whatever it may be, go to bed, an ordinary day–that in the process of living an ordinary day, you and I beloved, are dealing with Almighty God. Our lives are a continuing relationship with God, the Father. “Have faith”, said He, in God”.
Do you want to look at life that way today? I tend to get wrapped up with my troubles. I tend to get my eyes on circumstances, do you? I have to do this and I have to do that and I have to take care of the other and what if this doesn’t work, what if there’s not enough money to pay that and so on. We get our attention on circumstances. Instead, God waits for us to put our attention on Him, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee”. Have faith in God, “He trusteth in Thee”. “Unite my heart to fear Thy name”, the psalmist prayed. Point of view means everything. Fix your attention upon your blessed Lord and all of life is going to be different, as a result.
Now, what brings that result into reality in your life? The answer is prayer. He says, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things, which you sayeth, shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he says”, verse 23 of Mark 11. Whosoever starts a verse, whatsoever ends the verse. And then in verse 24, “Whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive, ye shall have them”, and then 25 and 26, when you’re praying you better forgive. These are the verses we want to talk about now for a while.
Now there’s some wonderful, “whosoever’s”, in the Word of God. “Whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely”, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Whosoever.
Now, the whosoever of salvation is John 3:16, but the whosoever of prayer is in this passage, and our Lord Jesus took an impossible physical situation. How do you move a mountain? Well, He said, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he sayeth shall come to pass. He shall have whatsoever he sayeth”. Now, you know in your own heart, when you’re praying in absolute faith, there’s a sense in which, when we pray for something we want very, very much, we try to convince ourselves that we are really trusting God and that we really believe, but down in our hearts there may be the, the feeling well what if nothing happens. That’s why our Lord Jesus added, “and shall not doubt in his heart”.
I guess I told you, some years ago, the story what happened to me when I was a little boy. I played the violin in those days, taking two lessons a week and practicing two hours a day, that was some regime, and so it was that a lady at the church we attended give me a piece of music and said, “Try this Robert”, and I took it home and put it in the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers that was my own particular bailiwick. I had one chest of drawers sitting in the hallway of this little basement flat in which we lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and promptly forgot it. Well, the weeks and months went by. Finally, the lady approached me church one day and said, “Have you ever played that music that I loaned to you”? “Oh, no I hadn’t, but I would”. Well she said, “When you get through with it, bring it back”.
Well, I thought I’ll bring it back to her so, I went to the chest of drawers, opened the bottom drawer and dug out that piece of music, and to my horror I found that the mice had been in there and had chewed it up, and one corner of it was completely gone. I looked at that chewed up piece of music realizing that it was not mine and that I had to bring it back to the lady, and I thought, “What am I going to do?” I thought oh well I’ll pray.
So I prayed, “Oh God, fix this”. Can’t you see me standing there? I think I was seven years old, something like that, or eight. And I said, “Oh God, fix this”. Well, I knew in my own heart that I was in bad shape, but I prayed about everything, then and I do now, and so I prayed, “Oh God, fix it”. Well He didn’t and I knew even as I prayed, I had that, I had that sinking feeling, you know, that you’re sunk, nothing’s going to happen of this. Well, I thought I’ll risk one eye, so I opened one eye. Looked, it was still in bad shape. You know in your heart when you’re asking for something that is either ridiculous or out of the will of God, but you also know in your own heart when you’re praying in the Spirit, isn’t that true?
I remember the night that I came home after having made a pastoral call and this would be a great many years ago. The people who were involved have now gone to their reward, but it serves to illustrate what I’m saying to you. I came back after having made a pastoral call and I was completely devastated, for what had happened was that when I called upon this family, the lady invited me in and her two daughters were there and they were very kind, attentive. I suppose because I was single at the time, but anyhow I had come to talk to the man of the house and he was sitting in the front room, reading the paper, and so I came in and sat down and his wife said, “The Pastor’s here”, he didn’t move. So she raised her voice little said, calling him by name, said, “The Pastor’s here”, very slowly and, and deliberately lowered the paper, looked at me and sort of greeted me, and we made small talk for a short time, and then I came to the point I said, “You know I’m, I’m concerned about your soul. I’m praying for you that you might trust Christ as your Savior”. He began to laugh and he laughed and he laughed, and he laughed and laughed. Well, the girls got embarrassed and retreated to the kitchen, and I don’t know what the lady did. I was there with this man laughing. He laughed me right out of the house, almost literally. I finally gave up and went to the front door and went on out and went back to my place. Well, what are you going to do. I got down on my knees and began to seek God about that man and I prayed, I don’t know how many hours, but when I finished, I knew in my heart that God had answered. I knew it and I thanked him for it and went to sleep.
Well, that was a Monday night, came Wednesday night and of all things, this man was at midweek service, smiling and greeting people, and then come the next Sunday evening and he was there as well. He was there as a matter fact, 45 minutes early, and I thought, well, he’s early, we always have a deacon’s prayer meeting. Why don’t I invite him in to that? So, I did and we prayed around and then gave him his turn, and he didn’t say anything, so I said, “Well, fellows we got time, let’s pray around again”, and we did and when it came his turn again he said in this agonized voice, “Oh, somebody pray for me. I’m a sinner”. We prayed for him and with him, he gave his heart Christ, confessed the Savior publicly that very night when I gave the alter call.
Well, I knew the preceding Monday that the answer was there. When you pray in faith beloved, the faith that God gives, “That not of yourselves”, Ephesians 2:9 says, “it is the gift of God”. When you pray in God-given faith and your heart says yes to God, you know the answers on the way. That’s what Jesus was talking about. Oh, open your heart to God when you pray, let Him guide your praying so you’re praying in the Spirit, and I can guarantee you that the answers are on their way. Yes, they are. Halleluiah for that! Aren’t you glad?
You my friend, are dealing with Almighty God. Let that determine your attitudes and your decisions this very day.
Dear Father today may we have the kind of faith that doesn’t doubt Thee and may all of our life be controlled by the realization that we are indeed dealing with Almighty God, through Jesus our Lord I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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