If you are keeping track, we are now halfway through the 12 Essential Ways to Copy Jesus. We’ve talked about love, spiritual transformation, grace, forgiveness, spreading the Good News and resisting temptation.
The seventh way to copy Jesus is to have faith in God.
Believe Without Doubt
Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!” Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. Mark 11:21-23 NLT
Let me point out a few things about this story.
First, notice that some time had past between when Jesus spoke and the tree withered. Jesus NEVER says how soon God will act on our behalf. However, we can rest assured that His timing is perfect.
Second, look back at when He cursed the tree. In Verse 14, Jesus says, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” There are a lot of different ways that this could have been fulfilled. God could have had someone come and chop down the tree for example. Jesus didn’t tell the Father HOW to answer His prayer. He simply asked for the result He wanted and was confident that it would come to pass according to God’s will.
Third, you must really believe when you ask God for something. Don’t miss the fact that when Jesus cursed the tree, he didn’t do it in secret. He was bold. He spoke it out loud where at least Peter heard. He believed without a doubt that God would come through. He was willing to put His reputation on the line for what He believed.
These Things Trip Me Up
All three of the things above trip me up in my prayers.
I pray expecting God to answer when I want, the way I want.
Of course, things don’t usually turn out like I expect which leads me to doubt.
My doubt keeps me from asking boldly which further frustrates my prayer life.
It is a viscous cycle.
I Need to Slow Down and Have Faith
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:24 NLT (emphasis mine)
God is not my genie in a bottle. He is my FATHER in heaven. He is the LORD. I am the servant.
I am confident that Jesus’ words here are absolutely true. I simply need to slow down, put my expectations aside and have faith that God will lovingly answer my prayers.
He knows perfectly what I need and when I need it. I cannot see the future. He can. Jesus trusted God. I should do the same.
I need to copy Jesus and have more faith.