Matthew 21:18-23.…Now in the morning He returned into
the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it,
and found nothing thereon, but leaves, only, and he said unto it, Let no fruit
grow on this tree henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, how
soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I
say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which
is done to the fig tree, but ye also shall say unto the mountain, Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things,
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Why did Jesus curse this
poor little fig tree? Actually, He was using this tree as an object of
illustration. . The non-bearing fig tree represents the fruitless-Christian. It
shows that God frowns on those with a lack of faith. Do you recall the story of
Jesus and the disciples being on the ship and the storm blew in? The disciples
ran to Jesus, saying, “Carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus arose from His
sleep and went to the bow of the ship. He said to them, “Oh, ye, of little
One of the things Jesus
rebuked the disciples for… was their lack of faith. God wants His children to
walk by faith. Our purpose it to bear fruit for the Father. That is why God
saved us and left us here to be fruitful Christians. A Christian without faith
is like the fruitless fig tree.
Verse 21 puts our attention
on the power of faith. A Christian lives by faith, not by what he/she can see
with their eyes. We don’t live by what we can touch with our hands, we live by
the faith we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says anyone can believe
what you can see, or what you can touch; but those who believe and have not
seen, blessed are they.
Jesus uses two objects the
disciples could relate to. The smallest, being the mustard seed, and the
largest, being the mountain. In Matthew Chapter 17, it says if you have faith
just as the size of a mustard seed, you can speak to the mountain and it will be
In Matthew 21: 22...All
things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
The question is…Do all
things as stated here mean, all things? I know we serve a God who is
able to move Heaven and earth, if it is His will. Do all things mean that God
is going to give us everything we ask for? Everything our little hearts desires
to have. No, it does not. And you better thank God He does not give you
everything you ask for. There have been times we have all prayed and prayed for
something. We felt God did not answer our prayer. But you see, God can see the
whole picture and we were praying for something He knew we did not need. Let me
give you an illustration. I am praying for a better job.
“God, if I could just have
this high-paying job, I could do so much more for my family. I could buy things
for my kids I didn’t have myself.” You say, “What is wrong with that
Preacher?” The answer is this; you may have a better paying job starting with
all these things looking up. Before long, you are required to spend more and
more time on the job, robbing your family time. God looked through His
telescope of time and He saw you being robbed of His time
also. You have less and less time to come to the house of God. In the
end, you have lost far more than you may gain. God knew that.
So now, does all mean all?
James 4:3 says…Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may
consume it upon your lusts. The word amiss means, badly. When you pray
for something that is not wholesome and decent God will not answer your prayer
no matter how long you pray for it.
God does not always answer
our prayer with, yes…Sometimes He says, NO!
As Lisa and I experienced
first-hand, Ashley laid in a hospital bed for eight years. Not a day went by we
did not pray for her healing. God had other plans. We don’t always understand
Let’s talk about the
mountain. If you look at the symbolic nature of a mountain, it can mean any
obstacle. It could mean fear. It could be doubt and anger. It could be family
problems, a painful past, or broken heart, it could be many things. So we pray,
“God, remove this mountain of doubt, fear, anger, depression, whatever your
mountain may be."
What if the mountain does
not move. Then what? The way I see it, we have three options.
1. Turn around and go back.
2. Stand and wait.
3. Climb the mountain.
Option # 1. Retreat is
never an option. The armor of God only protects the front part of the body.
That is why you should never turn your back on God. There is nothing to protect
you and no place to go.
Option #2. A mountain of
troubles is in front of me. I am not saying that God caused your troubles to
happen; but I am saying God may be allowing a mountain to be in front of you for
a reason. Maybe He wants us to become strong for the journey ahead of us.
they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on
wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not
Option #3. If your mountain will not move, climb
it! God may allow the struggle to come, but there is joy on the mountaintop. He
gives His children grace to climb it.
Psalm 30: For his
anger endureth for a moment; in his favor is life; weeping may endure for the
night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Pastor Earnest Fields, Jr.
July 27, 2008