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Mountain Moving Faith

by Tom Brown

Faith is the most powerful force that God has given us. With it we can move mountains, receive remarkable answers to prayer, and experience the impossible. "Nothing is impossible to him that BELIEVES."

Jesus gave us an important, unforgettable lesson on the power of faith (Mark ll). On a spring afternoon Jesus and His disciples were traveling by foot across the dry middle-east desert when they came to a lonesome fig tree. As they approached it they found nothing but leaves. Then surprisingly Jesus said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." He said it loudly enough so that His disciples heard Him.

The next day as they began their journey back down the old familiar road, Peter saw that the fig tree had withered from the roots.

"Rabbi!" he exclaimed. "The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

And with that miracle Jesus began to expound on the subject of faith. "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."

It's important to note that the original Greek text reads, "Have the faith OF God." There is a subtle yet important difference between having faith IN God and having the faith OF God. You'll never move mountains by having faith in God. Many people have faith in God and are still not seeing the power of God in their lives. Circumstances are changed only when we use the faith of God.

If you're born again, then God has deposited within your spirit His very own faith. You have God's faith!

Several years ago, a critic of the faith message wrote a scathing book in which he unfairly criticized those of us who preach that believers have God's faith. In summary, he wrote that believers could not have God's faith since God doesn't have faith. As I read that I thought, "If God doesn't have faith, then He must have doubt." If you don't have the positive, you must have the negative.

Of course God has faith! It's terrible to accuse God of not having faith.

The Bible unmistakably teaches that believers have available to them the faith of God. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:11, "Put on the full armor of God..." Whose armor are we to put on? God's armor! This is not called the "Christian armor"; it's called the armor of God for the Christian. The armor is God's fighting clothes!

Paul then lists for us the pieces of this armor: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, salvation, the Word of God, and FAITH. Faith is part of God's armor--it is a piece of His suit. In Romans 13:14 Paul says it another way: "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ..."

This armor is the character of Christ, who is God. Faith is one of God's characteristics, which the believer is entreated to have.

In another place Paul enumerates God's characteristics that the believer should possess. He writes in Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,...FAITH..." Notice that faith is one of the fruit of the Spirit, and the Spirit is of course God. The Greek word used here for faith is pistis, and it is translated consistently throughout the scriptures as "faith". The faith Paul mentions is none other than the faith of God!

The other fruits that the believer should bear is "love, joy, peace..." The love we should have is the "love of God shed abroad in our hearts." The peace we should possess is the "peace of God that passes all understanding." And the joy we should experience is the "joy of the Lord which is our strength." Consequently, the faith we should have is the "faith of God that moves mountains."

And how does this faith work? Jesus explained how: "...whosoever ...shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith" (Mark 11:23-KJV). Simply believe that what you say will come to pass and you'll have whatever you said. That's how God created all things. God believed that what he said would happen...and it did! We, too, can operate in this kind of faith that God has generously given us.

TWO COMPONENTS OF FAITH

A man who heard this teaching said to himself, "I'm going to try this faith stuff. I want to find out if it works." So one cold morning day he got up early and said to a tiny hill that blocked the view from his back yard, "I command this hill to leave. Go throw yourself into the sea!'" Nothing happened. The next morning he jumped out of his bed and rushed to the back yard. To his dismay, the hill was still there. He exclaimed, "I knew it wouldn't leave!"

This man forgot an important component of faith: BELIEF. Jesus said that you had to BELIEVE that what you said would happen before it would happen. This man did not believe; he only spoke words.

True faith has two components: BELIEVING and SPEAKING.

In 2 Corinthians 4:13 we read: "It is written: `I believed; therefore I have spoken.' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and: therefore speak." Believing and speaking go together. Many people are speaking without believing, and therefore are not getting any positive results.

Another common mistake people make is that they are praying instead of speaking. There are times to pray about problems and times to speak to the problems.

Do you remember when Moses was caught between the Red Sea and Pharaoh's invincible army? The children of Israel began to cry out to God for help. Then God strangely asked Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me?" (Exodus 14:15). Isn't that an unexpected question for God to ask? You would think God would be happy that His people were crying out to Him. But He wasn't!

God responded to their plea for help with this command: "Move forward!" Can you imagine hearing those words, while looking at the roaring Red Sea. "Move forward"??

"God must be kidding!" had to be the thoughts of the fearful people.

But at God's command, Moses stretched forth his rod to part the waters, and the people marched forward.

We can glean an important truth from this story: There are times when God wants us to take authority over situations rather than call on Him to do something about them.

I'll never forget the time I heard a preacher teach on this subject of speaking to the mountains. Commenting on Jesus' words, he said, "Jesus taught us to ask God to move the mountains for us." I was flabbergasted! How could he misread Jesus' words?

Jesus clearly told us that we must speak to the obstacle, and that if we have faith, the obstacle will obey us (Luke 17:6). Let us not pervert His words!

FAITH DOESN'T SEE THE PROBLEM

There's one more important thing that I want you to notice concerning Jesus' speaking to the tree. The next morning as they passed the dead fig tree, Peter had to point out to Jesus that the fig tree had died. Peter said, "Rabbi, LOOK! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

I read that verse one day when the Holy Spirit revealed to me the fact that Jesus was not even looking at the tree to see if its appearance was any different than the previous day. Then the Lord asked me, "Tom, if you had cursed a tree and the next day passed by that tree, would you have looked at it to see if there was a noticeable change?"

I had to humbly admit, "Yes, Lord."

Most of us would have to answer the same way.

But Jesus is different. He never goes by what He sees. He was not even looking to see if the tree's appearance had altered. NO! He spoke to the tree and then went on His way, knowing that it would have to obey His faith-filled words.

This must be why Paul emphatically declares, "We live by faith, NOT BY SIGHT" (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith doesn't look at the problem. Don't focus your eyes--your attention--on your difficulty. Don't be checking up to see if your words are working. Be confident that your words of faith must work...they must produce.

All too often we are extremely quick to look and see if the situation has changed. If it hasn't, then we get discouraged and begin to doubt. Consequently we don't receive what we were believing God for.

I've seen hands laid on the sick for their healing, and then they immediately feel to detect any discernible difference. If they still feel the pain, then they'll declare, "I guess I'm not healed." You see, they're going by what they feel instead of the Word of God.

You might say, "What am I supposed to say if I still feel the pain in my body?"

Do what Abraham did when he believed God's promise concerning his wife having a baby. He changed his name from Abram to Abraham--before his wife got pregnant!!! Abraham means "father of many nations". Can you imagine calling yourself the father of many nations yet not having even one child to carry on your name?

Abraham was "calling those things that are not as though they were"(Romans 4:17). We also must follow in the footsteps of his faith. He is the father of faith. He's our example!

Don't declare that the problem--the difficulty, the obstacle--is still there. Declare the end from the beginning.

Let me close with one real-life story that confirms the importance of maintaining the confession of faith.

Several years ago I used to visit a nursing home near central El Paso. There was one ornery lady who would growl like a tiger. She was mean! It was clear that she was sick in her mind. Along with others, I would constantly pray for her deliverance. But she would push our hands away from her head as we prayed for her. Obviously she wasn't getting any better.

One warm afternoon--I'll never forget it--I sat across from her, separated by a long table, and this time I said to the demon bothering her, loudly enough so that she and the demon could hear but softly so as not to make a scene, "I command you, foul spirit, to come out of her."

She glared into my eyes, sulked...and said nothing! Before I walked away, I said, peering into her lifeless eyes, "Satan, this will be the last time that I will address you concerning this woman. I said that you had to leave, and you'll obey me. As far as I'm concerned, you're gone!" Then I left.

The following week as I was walking into the nursing home, the first person to catch my eye was this woman. Recognizing me, she lifted her hand high and said in Spanish, "I'm free! I'm totally free!"

Wow! We rejoiced in the Lord and had a wonderful time praising God. She stayed free and became one of the most active members of our group.

By using the authority God Has given you, you can move the mountains in your life.

Commanding faith works!

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