Mountains in the Bible are spoke of in many ways. First, there is the physical mountain, but also a mountain often refers to kingdoms. The kingdom of God is called a mountain just as the kingdom of Satana is called a mountain, and the kingdom of men is called a mountain. This is referring to a rule over a sphere. But there’s a third way the word mountain is used and it is for an unovercomeable situation.
This kind of situation is one that we can’t overcome by ourselves and we can’t even think of anyone that can help us move it. It’s too big to get over the hump all by ourselves. Zechariah 4:7 – ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ‘ “
Mark 11:20 – Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. (Verse 21) And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
Jesus had cursed the fig tree in verse 13 of Mark 11 because He was hungry and there was nothing on the tree but leaves. But the tree having leaves meant that figs were on the tee, however, there were none. We are also told in verse 13, it was not the season for figs. But because Jesus saw the leaves He assumed there would be figs. There is an external reality with no internal reality!
There is an external “show” but no internal “meaning.” There is the look of figs without the reality of figs. The fig tree was a deception. So, Jesus curses the fig tree because it was a deceiving tree. It gave Him the visible impression that it could feed Him. When He got up close there was nothing but a “good look,” no substance! So Jesus cruses its external activity because of the absence of an internal reality.
However, between the fig tree yesterday and the fig tree today, there is a story. We will start between the two fig tree events. Mark 11:15 – So they came to Jerusalem. And Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves.
(Verse 16) And He would not allow anyone to carry wares (merchandise) through the temple. (Verse 17) Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of thieves.’ “
When Jesus entered the temple, He should have found people worshiping God, but instead, He found “fake religion.” (Don’t forget the fig tree that only had leaves but no figs.) The temple had the right people in it with the priests in there, but it didn’t have spiritual reality. They were playing religion in church.
Religion without reality is a leaf without life, it is useless. They looked the part but when you get up close there is no spiritual life. Between the fig tree, He saw yesterday and when He sees the fig tree the next day, it’s the temple story! And in the temple story, which is Jesus major point, they were supposed to be “reality,” but all He saw was “Christian leaves!” There was no Spirit of God, no power of God, and no presence of God.
All they were doing in the temple like many churches today, was making money, having programs, an activity that has absolutely nothing to do with the spiritual reality! Fake church going on! Churches that want the external look of Christianity without spiritual reality.
Mark 11:19 – And when evening had come, He went out of the city. But the next day when they pass by that fig tree, Peter sees the fig tree withered from the “root up.” In 24 hours the tree had withered! How could He have done that in such a short amount of time? Technically, Peter didn’t ask a question but Jesus answers them.
Jesus knew what Peter was thinking. How could something like this happen in such a short period of time? In our own lives: How can we move this mountain that so desperately needs to be moved? Jesus said to them in verse 22 – “Have faith in God.”
It’s not about having faith in faith, we have to have faith in God! A lot of faith in the wrong object will go nowhere! A little faith as big as a mustard seed, in the right object, will go a long way.
To put faith in God means that we must put faith in God’s word, God’s will, and God’s character. and when we have faith in that, then we have a discussion with our Father in “mountain moving prayers!” Then Jesus says: (Verse 23) “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 come to pass, he will have whatever he says.”
In other words: If God is working for you, you can say to this mountain, “Be moved,” and it will relocate itself. Jesus spoke to the fig. He spoke to His mountain. Our mountain is whatever we are experiencing in our daily life that shouldn’t be there. The mountain is our problem and we can have a conversation with our problem, and when we speak to our mountain, Jesus said the mountain “will relocate.” Then Jesus goes on and says:
(Verse 24) “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. (Verse 25) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
Whatever we have asked for, believe we have receive it, even though we haven’t seen it yet, believe you have. The difference between God’s unconditional will and His conditional will is that God’s unconditional will is what He decides to do regardless of what anyone else does or doesn’t do. The reason God tells us to pray is so that we can link into His “conditional” will. His conditional will is only going to happen if we pray and if we believe, if we have “figs on the tree.” We are full of divine life operating within us. So, many of the things we pray for, we don’t get because we didn’t meet the conditions.
However, we don’t always know if what we are praying for is something that God is going to do anyway or are there conditions placed on it. So what do we do? Always go to God’s word for your answers: 1 John 5:14, 15 – Now this is the confidence (assurance) that we have in Him that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (Verse 15) And if we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
When God is operating on a conditional will and He wants us to qualify to move this mountain that we are facing, He will give us inner confidence or a sense of assurance or peace that this thing is going to happen. God will prepare the thing that He wants to be done, His will, what we’ve asked, and He has to prepare us! Both things have to come together. It’s all in the hands of All Mighty God!
But there is one more thing that Jesus says in Mark 11:25: Forgiveness is a condition for moving mountains. Forgiveness is not necessarily reconciliation. We can forgive without being reconciled.
Suppose the person we need to forgive has died, we can’t reconcile with them; suppose you don’t even know where they are anymore, you can’t reconcile with them, or suppose the person we need to reconcile with does not want to repent? They will not say that they are sorry and won’t confess that they did you wrong.
Forgiveness can lead to reconciliation, but it’s not the same as reconciliation. Forgiveness is where we are not seeking revenge against the offender. We don’t seek vengeance because vengeance belongs to the Lord! We don’t seek to repay them for what they have done to us.
Unless we have the right view of God, we won’t forgive and let it be. Most want to repay people who have done them wrong. However, when people do that, they won’t see their mountain moved!
The reason why we can forgive is that what the enemy meant for evil, God turns it around for our good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. God can turn any situation around for our good if we just put our faith in Him! He will use the enemy’s mess to create a miracle for us! Unless we have that view of God, we won’t’ see any mountains move in our lives.
We have to be Life Christians, not “leaf Christians!” We can’t just look good on the outside while nothing is going on the inside. When we qualify for the mountain moving work of God, we will see mountains moved!