"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." -- Matthew 21:22How many times have you prayed for something and not received it? Verses like this can get us a bit confused about the Bible.
That causes non-Christians and Christians to doubt that God's Word is really true. Some will say it's confusing, some that it's just not interpreted correctly, and some that it's not really inspired by God at all.
That leaves humans without an instruction manual of how this life is to be lived, written by the one who designed them. A pretty sad situation having to "wing it" in life.
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There is a qualification to the verse. "whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing ..." We can't just toss a prayer up to heaven expecting God to instantly answer it. Christ died to give us the ability through faith to have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).
Jesus gave us power and authority over the earthly realm we live in (gaining back the dominion that Adam and Eve were given by God in Genesis).
"And having called the twelve, Jesus gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases."-- Luke 9:1In case you think this was for the disciples only ... consider Paul who was not a disciple.
"From his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." -- Acts 19:12Even salvation comes with a qualification. Romans 10:9 says, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." We must believe in our heart, not in our head. Maybe because the heart is more willing to believe things that are not seen than the mind is. We naturally believe what we see, but salvation and healing are a package deal, both of the spiritual or unseen realm. Our minds have a hard time grasping that.
What about this Scripture spoken by Jesus?
"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." -- Mark 11:23I've had a lot of mountains in my life that haven't budged a bit by praying about them, but I can definitely admit that I had no belief in my power to change things. It's easy to get buried under circumstances if we focus on our physical realm. We have to believe that God's Word is truth no matter what we say and hear. It's not easy to be victorious, but the method is simple to understand.
The previous verse from Mark 11 is spoken by Jesus after the disciples noticed that the fig tree that Jesus had cursed the day before was now dead. I find it very comforting to realize that even though Jesus cursed it the day before, it didn't instantly die. It helps me to realize that I'm not losing the battle just because something doesn't happen in the physical realm instantly. Some things take time to wither up and die. I'm finding my long-term diseases to be like that.
My whole perspective was that my role was to pray, whine and beg expecting God to respond to that kind of prayer. Jesus said we must speak to our mountains. Where was my faith and belief in that kind of prayer? The scales tipped decidedly towards doubt and unbelief. If we are going to be victorious in life, we have to stand in battle against our enemy. Christianity is not for wimps. It doesn't take long to figure that one out.
"The thief (the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." -- John 10:10It's our responsibility to know The Word and apply it to our lives. Many people will say they don't know where to begin, that the Bible seems so vast and tying it all together is difficult because you truly do need to know more than just the Scripture you're currently reading. If you don't know where to begin, I suggest this video series from a conference by Andrew Wommack: Changing The Way We Think (The Importance of the Word). You can also download MP3's if you prefer an audio version for the car. My husband and I have been super blessed with the down-to-earth teaching of this man that has been deeply in the Word for over 40 years.
Get into the Word and begin to win your battles in life. Jesus came that we might live an abundant life. It is possible. Salvation is not just for a ticket to heaven and out of hell. It's about living life well while we're here.
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