The Withered Fig Tree

withered tree

And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” — Matthew 21:20-22

Men, the disciples have watched as Jesus judges a fig tree and it withers away. Mark and Luke tell us, the following day the 12 noted that it was dead. Modern herbicides couldn’t do what Jesus has done. While the 12 marvel, Jesus answers, “Assuredly, if you have faith and do not doubt”… they too can do as Jesus has done. Again, faith and believing are 2 different concepts used together. Faith is “seeing” as Jesus would see, and then believing God will do it through us.

Jesus saw the tree as fruitless and dead. The next day, it was. He goes on and says mountains can be removed and cast into the sea. With the parting of the Red Sea during the Exodus, we recognize that there is a very real and literal component to this statement. More often, Jesus is speaking of the Spiritual. Mountains are often used to describe kingdoms in the prophetic. The sea often represents Gentiles. This is before Gentiles came to Jesus en masse. Kingdoms are often ideologies opposed to Godliness.

In short, Jesus may be saying that by seeing as He does, and praying without doubt, the oppression which comes against them will be turned back upon their oppressors. Jesus closes this lesson saying “whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Let’s be real a moment. We seldom pray. We petition. Prayer is a conversation. We mostly toss a request list at the sky and hope for the best. If we are praying, which is hearing and asking in agreement, and believe what we are hearing back from Him, God will engage with us.

I often cringe at writing this knowing too few can discern the voice of the Lord from any other spirit or from their own desire. Even so, the passage speaks and we need to know what is available to true believers. It’s not a magic show, it’s asking for what He is showing us. It is not by any power within us, but His power on display as we agree with what He wants to do.

Move forward men, asking to see, ask Him to remove the doubt and show you again.

Vance Durrance

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Golden Rule

goldenrule

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. — Matthew 7:11-12. NKJV

Men, Jesus moves into the “Golden Rule” saying “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” But this is coupled into the finish of “ask, seek, and knock”. Jesus tells us, “if we being evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him”. How does this fit together?

Our clue is in the way Jesus closes the golden rule “…for this is the Law and the Prophets”. Weren’t we told to love our neighbor as ourselves? Jesus is telling us to “ask, seek, and knock” on each other’s behalf. Remember back in 7:1 we began unraveling the “do not judge” passage. We are absolutely called to judge. We are called to judge when our brother or neighbor is in need of prayer, a touch of heaven, for doors and understanding to be opened on their behalf, etc. We are to intercede for each other.

The depth I have found in Christ Jesus did NOT come by accident. It didn’t even come through discipline. It came by the love of Jesus to pursue my sick heart, and the prayers of others who recognized my need for Him and His truths. We are necessary to and indebted to each other for prayer. Jesus is telling us to pray for others as we would want others to pray for us.

We who have come alive to the open access of His Spirit within have a deep expectation from Jesus to pray for each other’s needs. In battle terms, we who have “the radio” and can reach “headquarters” should be asking for airstrikes of truth, understanding, healing, brokenness, humility, new life, new focus and more for our neighbors’ sake. We should be able to judge our brothers’ needs, and call in requests for them. Will Jesus not answer us? As His children, will the Father not grant us what we seek?

As we knock on doors to open for our brother, will The Lord refuse to open for us the door? Move forward men. Find someone to pray for. Everyday should bring volumes of mail into the Father’s courts. He gave us the model prayer in ch. 6. Pray!

Vance Durrance

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