The Secret Sauce – Prayer & Fasting Part 6
We’re in the series called the Secret Sauce- Prayer & Fasting. We finished up our fasting time during the first 21 days of the year, but we’re still praying and so we’re going to be talking about that today. Unfortunately, you don’t have sermon notes in your worship guide. This week I was gone to a conference and so I wasn’t able to get those done in time before the worship guides were put together. But if you follow along in YouVersion Bible app, you have sermon notes on there where you can follow along as well. So let’s get our Bibles out.
How many know whenever we open the Bible, we are expecting God to speak to us? We get excited about it. So if you’ve got them today, let’s open them up to Mark chapter 11. Yes, Mark chapter 11. We’ve been given you some basic principles of establishing prayer in our life cause I’m believing in 2020 that your prayer life is going to go to new heights. You’re going to want to pray, and you will realize it’s easy to pray, Mt. Carmel Church.
It’s not intimidating to pray. So I’ve been giving you some principles we talked about. First, is you set a time and a place to pray that you are going to schedule prayer. You’re going to set a location for prayer that every day you’re going to meet with God. I don’t tell you how long. Just get together and meet with him every day. It’s not that, “Well, if I have extra time then I’ll pray.” No, it’s if I have time after I pray, I’ll do these other things. You are setting a time and place you scheduled. Number two, we talked about ‘what do we pray.’ We pray word-based prayers. In other words, we don’t pray our wants. We pray what God says in his word, Mt. Carmel Church. I’m not telling God what I want. I’m just repeating back to him what he’s already promised me. So we’re praying his word with word-based prayers.
Then number three, we talked about how do we pray? We pray bold and we pray, believing. So we finished up praying bold. Last week we were talking in Luke chapter 18 where Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. But at the end of verse 8 he says, when the son of man comes, will he really find faith on the Earth? So we’re praying bold. But we also want to pray to believe. Because he said, “Hey when I come back, am I really going to find faith?” So what does he mean about that? So we will launch into praying believing. You’ve got Mark chapter 11 all right, let’s look at verse 12 and start reading there. And it says now the next day when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry.
Why Does Jesus Curse a Fig Tree?
And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, he went to see if perhaps he would find something on it. And when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves for is not the season for figs. In response, Jesus said to it, let no one eat fruit from you ever again. And the disciples heard it. Jump down to verse 20 now. In the morning, as they pass by, they saw the fig tree. It was dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering what Jesus said, said to him, rabbi, look, the fig tree which you cursed is withered away (isn’t that crazy). I added that part. Verse 22 so Jesus answered and said to them, have faith in God, Mt. Carmel Church. 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. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them. Let’s pray. Father, I thank you for your word. I pray Holy Spirit that you come and bring life to it. Bring clarity of communication and clarity of understanding. What do we want to hear? What you have to say to us. So I thank you Lord that your word is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. So I pray that you will help pierce between the joints and the marrow and begin to pierce between the soul and the spirit. I thank you, Lord that you’re moving in our lives and bringing truth to us. That your word is truth. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Somebody say amen Mt. Carmel Church!
Notice the story here. Jesus is walking and he’s heading back out from Bethany. And notice it says he was hungry. It’s good to know that Jesus dealt with hunger just like us. You know, he got hungry. He’s the son of God. So that’s kind of encouraging. Jesus was hungry and he saw from afar a fig tree. So now notice he’s at a distance and as he peeps this tree out there, it’s got leaves on it. It’s a fig tree. And he starts getting excited. He went to see if perhaps he finds something on it. And when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves for is not the season for figs. So then he goes on and you know, it says, let no one eat fruit from you ever again. I’m like, you know, I used to wonder, Lord Jesus, why did you get so angry at this tree? You’ll sort of shows us that he was hungry, not just hungry, and because it says, it says plainly, you know, this tree had left on it, but it wasn’t a season for figs with great options right away, Mt. Carmel Church.
And so he comes up to get something to eat and there are no figs on it. So he says, well then that no one eat fruit from you ever again. That’s a little harsh, not the season, Lord, not supposed to be fruit. But then I studied a little bit, and this is again why we have to study the Bible because I didn’t know this about fig trees. Fig trees, when they harvest the figs, they ripe and figs actually happen from about mid-August to mid-October, and they pull out these figs, they’re good to eat and all that. But after October, right before the wintertime, the fig tree actually produces these little knobs or these, they’re called P a, G, G, I, M in the Hebrew. There are these little knobs that don’t really grow very big, but they endure through the wintertime.
They just sit there. But then after the wintertime Mt. Carmel Church, these knobs just to swell up and get a lot bigger. And some of the native people will actually pick these and eat them. They’re not the ripe figs from the summertime. They’re not ready for that. They have grown and expanded and you can actually eat them. And so that happens somewhere in the March to April that they start swelling and these knobs are there. And then after that in April, leaves actually start to grow and bud off of the same trees. So, in this context, when you see a fig tree with leaves, you should expect to find these knobs because these knobs come first and then the leaves. So when Jesus saw this tree from afar and he saw the leaves, he’s like, “Oh, I’m going to get me some knobs” because he’s Jewish. This is what they eat. So he comes strolling upon this tree expecting to find a fig.
We don’t want to give the Appearance of being Fruitful, We want to actually be Fruitful
The Bible says he found nothing but the leaves. So this tree was giving the appearance of being fruitful on the outside. It looked fruitful, but there was no substance to it. It went to church. I’m not talking to people watching online. I’m just it. It looked like it. It looked from the outside. It knew how to act in the church it had left, but when you got up close to it, something was missing. Jesus said that by your fruits, by their fruits, you will know people. How many times of our life do we put on the outward appearance like we know what’s going on, we know what’s up, but we know on the inside things aren’t right? This is the kind of life that God’s calling to us. He’s not calling us to the far off look good life. We all look good from afar. How about the people that’s close to you? You know the people who I’m trying to impress? It’s not the ones watching online, it’s the ones sitting there. It’s the ones on this front row. They see me every day. They’re the ones I want to impress. I want them to see Jesus in me because they’re up close to me. I’m not putting on leaves with no fruit.
God’s saying, “Listen, you have to live a life that when people get close to you, you actually look better than you did from afar”. It’s the life that he’s called us to. He sees this fig tree. And so I thought, you know, Lord, why didn’t you just bless the tree? You could have just said “I bless you. Grow some knobs” because I’m thinking Jesus could have done that. But, this tree was not producing fruit and it had the leaves on it. So Jesus just came into agreement with whatever it already was. And so here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking God’s wanting to empower what we choose to be. If we choose to walk away from him and be this over here, that’s not his desire for you, but we will empower that decision, Mt. Carmel Church.
He will empower that choice. And so God’s saying, “Listen, I want to call you out of that.” So he sees this tree, he gets hangry about it. He says, no one’s going to eat from you ever again. Jump down to verse 20. The disciples pass by and they’re tripping. They’re like Jesus are you see that fig tree? You know the one that you cursed because notice what I said. He’s talking to the tree because it. Look what it says. I don’t want to miss this part. It says, and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves for it is not the season for his leaves. But verse 14 in response, Jesus said to it, whose it the tree? And it says, the disciples heard it. Why is Jesus talking to a tree? I’m going to imagine that I’ve put myself in this position. The disciples are probably wondering the same thing. I’m just imagining. Peter looking at John going, “Dude, I told you Messiah been out in the sun too long, bro.”
He’s talking to trees. But notice what it says in response. Jesus said to him in response, when you respond to someone, is that because they initiated or are you responding? Because they started? When you respond, it’s because someone else is speaking to you so you respond. When you respond to an email is because you received an email. When you respond to a text message it is because someone hits you up with a text message. That’s what it says. Jesus in response, so he’s talking to a tree. Why was he responding to a tree? Because the tree was talking to him. The tree was saying something. How many times are circumstances saying something to us and we need to respond because the enemy is going to speak into our head or speak to our mind. Has anybody ever had your circumstances talk to you and you needed to say something back?
Faith is saying more than you just believe God Exists
I’m telling you we need to respond when the enemy’s telling lies and throwing thoughts into your head that don’t from come from God. Don’t just sit there and take it. Don’t just let those thoughts bombard you. You need to respond back and say something and what God says about you. We have to give a response. The disciples heard it. Jump down to verse 22. So they were amazed by this tree, you know, withering away. And, what was Jesus as big response to them? You know, like, “Hey Jesus, how did you do that?” Verse 22, Jesus answered and said to them, have faith in God. Have faith in God. Now the word faith is very important. The word faith means to believe to the extent of complete trust or reliance on. So when we say have faith in God, it’s not just saying, I believe that he exists.
It is not faith just to believe that God exists. Faith is the place. This word means to believe, to the extent of complete trust or reliance on. Let me give you an example. James chapter 2:19, you believe that there is one God you do well, even the demons believe and tremble. We don’t get a lot of credibility because we believe there’s a God. The demons believe there’s a God and they’re going to spend eternity separated from God. Well, I believe in God. Yeah, you believe he exists. But have you put your whole trust and reliance on him. Yet that’s faith. Faith is when I believe him to the extent that I put all my hope, I rely on him. I trusted him. He is my answer. Now I’m in faith. Have faith in God. Have faith in God, not faith in ourselves. How many times did we put faith in ourselves, in our own abilities, our own resources, our own intelligence, our own ability to provide for our needs?
He says, have your faith in God. We’re going to run into issues sometimes we’re going to run into circumstances and God’s encouraging us. We’ve got to make sure we have faith, complete reliance and trust in him. Have faith in God. Put your faith in God. Have faith in who he is. Are we trusting and relying ourselves? Are we trusting and relying on what he can do? Are you getting discouraged because you see what only you can do in your situation or are you really trusting God that he can do anything? Mark chapter 10 verse 27 says this, but Jesus looked at him and said, with men, that is impossible but not with God, for with God. How many things are possible? Oh, think do you believe it? I know that’s the right Christian thing to say, but how about when you’re facing that situation, you don’t know what to do, Mt. Carmel Church.
Have Faith in God over Yourself
You have to know with God, all things are possible. You have to tell yourself with God, I can’t do it, but I’m still going to put my faith in God. I’m not going to quit. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to put my faith in God, not in myself. That’s what he’s saying. Have faith in God. Now look what he says after that. So have faith in God, so we’ve got to start there. That’s your first step. Have faith in who? Put your faith in God, your trust, your reliance on him. For surely, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, hold up. He’s talking to trees. Now he’s telling us to talk to mountains. Whoever says to this mountain, why are we talking to a mountain? Because mountains are talking to us. The mountain of fear, intimidation, discouragement, depression, failure, opposition, anxiety, whatever it may be, Mt. Carmel Church.
We’re having mountains talk to us every day. What are we saying in response? What are we saying back when the devil tells you in your mind you’ll never be able to do it? It’s never going to change. They’re not going to change. He’s not going to change. You’re never going to be able to make meet that financial need. It’s never going to happen. Your mountain is screaming to you. He says, have faith in God and then say to your mountain, he doesn’t say go to God and say, God, what are you going to do something about this mountain? He says you speak to your mountain.
Don’t speak to your mountain without step one. I don’t speak to my mountain from faith in Chad. I have to have faith in God. I’m not speaking to my mountain from my desires. I’m speaking to my mountain from faith in God, and faith in his word. We have to get to this place where we pray until we have faith in God and then we speak to our situation. To me, we get discouraged because we’re speaking to our mountain, out of our own strength and our own desires and God said, “No.” I want you to speak to him from the place of faith. Speak to this mountain. Second Corinthians chapter 10 verse 3 says this, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. They’re not fleshly, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
When the Enemy bombards you with Thoughts, Take them Captive and Make them Obedient to Christ
What am I saying? When you’re getting bombarded with thoughts from the enemy, you need to respond and take those thoughts captive and say to that mountain of fear, discouragement, and anxiety. You will not possess me today. Get out. I’m not been given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of sound mind. Thank you, Lord. I thank you that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I cast aside those thoughts. No, I tell you, mountain of fear, get out of my life. Mountain of anxiety. Get out of my life. Be anxious for nothing but in everything but prayer and supplication. Let my requests be made known to God and the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard my heart and my mind. Thank you, Lord. Talk to your mountain. Well, shouldn’t God just do that for me? He did it for you. He provided the way. He did, he provided you the opportunity. He gave you his name. He gave you his authority. He gave you everything you need and go. He gave you your badge and your gun. Now, where’s the law?
He didn’t tell you to write the law. He wrote the law. I’m not making any laws. I’m enforcing his laws. All right, so speak to your mountain. Yeah, talk to yourself. Now look at the next part. Some of you don’t have any problem with that at all. That’s all right. I talk to myself all the time. Whoever says to this mountain, be removed, be removed. Notice, be removed as starting with a verb. So, grammar students, that’s an understood subject. So it’s understood. So who you’re telling to be removed from the mountain is the subject. Mountain be removed, and then does not doubt in his heart. This is important for us to understand what that means. The word doubt by definition means simply this. It means to withdraw from, to pause or hold back to separate or go in contrary directions. So when you’re praying, he says, if you do not doubt in your heart to pause, to withdrawal, to hold back, to go in contrary directions, and let me encourage you. Sometimes when you talk about faith, people get really discouraged because they thought if they have doubtful thoughts, then they’re disqualified. I want to encourage you. We all have doubting thoughts. The scripture does not say not to have any doubting thoughts. He says, does not let doubt get in your heart.
Don’t let Doubting thoughts Seep into your Heart
It’s a big difference. Don’t let it get down in your heart. I can have thoughts going around up here, but I have to prevent them from getting in my heart and cause me to go in different directions from what God has told me. I can have a doubting thought and still go in the right direction. Are you doing what I’m talking about? Sometimes I go in the right direction with a bunch of doubting thoughts, nagging at me on the way. So we just think that somebody else never has those thoughts. Nobody else has those problems. Well guess what? Sometimes people go in the right direction, and don’t know if they’re going the right direction or not. They’re just going because they believe that’s what God’s told them. Sometimes we get so we don’t let it get into our hearts. If I don’t let it get in my heart, that means I won’t let it cause me to withdraw or hold back.
I’m not stopping. I’m going to keep going. I’m not sure how this is going to play out. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I’m not going to let get in my heart because I’m going to keep coming. We coming, and we ain’t backing down. Hey, you may have some doubting thoughts, but keep coming. Keep coming. That mountain may not be removed on the first time you tell it to go, but keep coming. Keep speaking, keep praying, that it be removed. Be cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart. I will not let it get in my heart but believe that those things that he says will be done. Notice the contrast. He contrasts doubting in his heart with a bell. Oh, sorry. Yeah, doubting his heart with believes that those things he says will be done. Don’t let him down and get in your heart, but believe that those things he says will be done, Mt. Carmel Church.
Notice this in scripture. It’s very important for us to understand about praying and faith. Don’t let doubt get in my heart, but the things that I speak matter, we know this from Romans. Chapter 10 verse 10 says this, for with the heart man believes under righteousness. We believe with our heart. I’m not talking about that blood pump, that organ. When I talk about heart, I’m talking about your spirit, who you really are on the inside if we don’t believe with our brain. So stop going to your logic and your reason to ask for permission if it’s true or not.
I don’t believe my thoughts. I believe with my heart. I believe with what God’s put on the inside of me. So he says with the heart man believes under righteousness, but with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. Notice what’s working together. When I put God’s word into my hearts, then I’m going to begin to speak from what God has put in my heart out the abundance of the heart. The mouth speaks, and so we want to make sure that we’re believing and speaking according to what God says. Let me use an illustration to point this out. I brought my seed spreader. I’m getting to some free fertilizer from Scott’s for this advertisement, Mt. Carmel Church.
What happens when this seed spreader is that I put the seed on the inside and I walk around and maybe you’ve got the soil worked up or whatever and you begin to scatter this. Maybe you have weed killer in there and you just begin to crank this thing and it starts scattering seed everywhere, all over the place, and then once it gets to the ground, the ground already knows to grow whatever’s planted. God created the ground where it grows. You put a seed in the ground, it’s going to grow. How? We don’t know, God made it. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to pray over the ground to make it grow, it’s just the ground itself. It causes it to sprout and grow up. So now our heart is the same way. Your heart, my heart is a produce center.
Your heart will produce whatever seed is sown into it, good or bad. It says here in Mark chapter 4, the sower sows the word, and these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. The sower sows the word. What kind of word? It depends. It can be a good word or bad word, but when they hear. What are they hearing? When they hear. What are they hearing? Hearing words when they’re hearing words, notice what happens. Words begin to plant in their heart. In this case, they’re talking about sowing the word of God. Satan comes immediately to take away the word that was sown in their what? In their in their hearts. But now notice in Matthew chapter 13 this ties together. The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, in his heart, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and when his way, but when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
We have to be aware of what Seed we are letting be Sowed into our Hearts
Here’s what happens. We can sow good seed in our heart, but if we fall asleep spiritually, guess what? We’re not the only ones trying to sow seed into our hearts. The enemy’s also trying to sow seed into your hearts. There’s people like this. You can come to church and people try and sow seed into your heart, encourage you and what God wants to do. Guess what? The devil is also trying to sow seeds into your heart. And it comes by what you hear. You can sow seed into your own heart by your own word. Yes, mouth confession is made unto salvation. So now here’s what we have to do. We have to put God’s word in our heart and let it come out of our mouth, and we start sowing seed into our heart and we will produce out of the words that we put into our heart. The same thing will happen if we will listen, or maybe I started agreeing with the thoughts of what the enemy says. Well, that’s never going to happen. They’re never going to change. My kids are never going to change. My spouse is never going to go. It’s never going to work out. We’re never going to be able to pay for this. I’m never going to get better.
What are we doing?
I’ve heard people say all the time, “It doesn’t matter what I say.” It does matter because what we say, we’re sowing into our hearts and we have to sow faith into our hearts. We have to get God’s word in our hearts. When someone says something about you that does not agree with what God says about you, you have to say, “No way. No seeds getting into my heart.” Somebody comes up and says something about you. You know that’s not true. As soon as you don’t have to do it in their faith, but as soon as they walk away, say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you, Jesus. I have a purpose. I have a plan for my life.” Carry one of these around if you need to just make it a Kodak. Say, “God, I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus. I thank you, Lord that my marriage is going to be restored. I give you praise.” Sow seed, because I promise you, watch the news. Watch Facebook. What’s all over social media? It doesn’t matter. All kinds of people are trying to sow into your life and not everybody’s sewing good things.
Sow some seed. So now let’s look at the next part. Let’s finish with this. With the heart, we believe those things that he says will be done. We will have whatever he says. We’re sowing good seeds. I’m not sewing discouraging depressive words anymore. I’m sowing the word of God. I’m not sewing anxiety and fear and worry anymore. I’m sowing the peace of God that passes all understanding. Verse 24 says, therefore, I say to you, this is good. Therefore I say to you, what does he say to you? Whatever things you ask when you pray (we’re talking about praying and believing.) When you pray, everybody say, “When you pray.” Whatever things you ask, when you pray, believe. Everybody say, “Believe that you receive them and you will have them.” Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you received them, you will have them.
This story is also told in Matthew 21. I want to read from that. I don’t want to put these together as we get ready to close. So Jesus answered and said to them, assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, we know what that means. Now, it doesn’t mean I don’t have doubting thoughts. I just don’t let the doubt get down in my heart. You will not only do what was done to this fig tree but also if you say to your mountain, whatever it is in your life, be removed and be cast into the sea. How am I speaking to that? How am I telling me my mountain to move? Because I have faith in God. Step one, be removed. Be cast into the sea. It will be done. Here’s the kicker, verse 22, and whatever things you ask in prayer, believing you will receive.
Whatever things you ask in Prayer, Believe you Receive
Let’s say that again. Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing you will receive. Now we can think that this verse says that if we will just believe enough, then God will give us what we’re praying for. I used to think that that’s what that meant. What do we ask for in prayer? Believing you will receive so, evidently, I need to get more believing and then God will give me. Evidently God’s not giving me because I’m not believing. So what? I used to think. That’s not what the scripture means. Are you ready? And we’ll piece this together. Again, this is my interpretation. If you don’t like it, then you can get your own interpretation. But I’m preaching today. So before I just want to encourage people, because people, we used to get so discouraged because everything, the answer was a lack of faith. So there is always condescending and beating people down.
And I want you to understand how this works. And so here’s what I want to break down: two words. They’re very important. The word believing, whatever things you ask in prayer, believing you’ll receive, Mt. Carmel Church. And we’ll get to that verse so I can see it here. Whatever things you ask him for, believing you receive. The word believing means to have faith. We talked about to believe to the extent of complete trust in reliance on. Are you firmly persuaded? We often pray from the place of wanting or needing, but we stopped short of getting to a place of our position of believing whatever you pray, believing. Don’t stop your prayers because you got to a place where you realize you need something.
To Receive (Lambano)
Begin to sow God’s word in your heart until you come to a place of believing whatever you pray. We have to be firmly persuaded to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance. You can’t do that just because I want it or need it. The only thing that will produce that kind of faith is the word of God. Faith comes by hearing and the word of God, hearing by the word of God. So when I keep speaking God’s word over my situation, it will grow faith in you. And from that place is where we pray. We pray from faith, from believing, and I don’t get there just by saying, “Huh, I think I need that.” God gives me. No, he’s not Santa Claus. We pray from believing all right now. So, that’s that part. It’ll be okay. It’s been through the mill but not the second part of receiving. What does it mean? To receive, the Greek word lambano, means to receive. We did this earlier in this series. That means to receive or accept an object or benefit for which the initiative. Remember this part, it’s so important. The initiative rests with the giver. But the focus of attention and the transfer is upon the receiver.
The initiative rests with the giver, but the focus of attention of the transfer is on the receiver. So now the concept of prayer, we’re talking about preparing and faith. Believing is not making something available to us that is not available or persuading God to give us something he didn’t want to give us. But rather it is finding and grabbing hold of what he has already made available. So believing, firmly convinced, some persuaded. Receiving means to take and grab. Hold up, so the initiative is on the giver, but the transfer is on my side. Let me illustrate. Believing and receiving to you. Are you ready? I need three volunteers, Mt. Carmel Church. Just come to the front right here. Three of you, just three. Just hurry up the first three. Get it. One, two, three. There we go. I just stand right here. See where that’s good. Alright.
Okay. I’ve got here some random donuts. Don’t you wish you to raise your hand? That’s why I didn’t show the donuts first because I didn’t want a stampede. I don’t want to give you a napkin. You might need that because I want you to enjoy these. Just take one. Here you go. Take one. Okay. All right. I want you to just pick one. Oh, you’ve read it. Didn’t hesitate at all. How about you? Okay, Devin, how about you? Okay, great. All right, I got you. Go ahead and just go to your seat. Eat them. Is it the easiest illustration you’ll ever be a part of in your life? Now I want to own it. I want to illustrate. Believing in receiving. How much faith did it take on their part to get me to offer it? None. It took no faith on their part for me to make it available, but it took faith on their part to take it. Do you notice what they did this morning?
Faith does not make things Appear, Faith causes me to take what is Available
This happens every Sunday morning here in Norris City. I take Lucas to go get his donuts and he stands at the counter and he just scans some massive sea of donuts and he just looks and looks and looks. And finally, you know the people at the counter, they’re so gracious and, and he’ll point to one like that one. And they finally get on the same page. Notice when they looked at these, they looked at them and they decided which one they believed they would like. He grabbed the one that she wanted so after she grabbed the one that she believed she would like the most, he was like, “Well now what am I going to take?” So then she found the next one that she believes she would like. And then she took the last one. Renee took the last one or the one that she thought she would like. Notice there are three others still available, but they took the one that they believed they would like. It took no faith. Faith does not cause the options to appear, Mt. Carmel Church. Faith causes me to take what’s available. We’ve got it mixed up. We think that faith, when we pray in faith, causes God to want to give me something. No, he already wants to give you something. He’s already made it available. I gave them the options they could have had anyone they want. They picked ones they believed they would like. This is why God gives us options. He gives us options in his word. He says this is all available to you. Which one do you want? And we don’t take all of them because some of them we haven’t come to a place where we believe we will like it yet.
We haven’t come to a place where we believe that that’s my answer yet. I still think that the cream horn is the better one so I won’t take, I’m not going to take that when, I’m still not sure about cake donuts yet so I’m not certain. Does that happen? What kind of filling is that? You know you’re looking at options thinking, “Why does that look yellow? I don’t like the yellow gooey stuff.” So you don’t want to take with them donuts with the mystery filling. You never know what you’re going to get. So we, picked donuts based on the one we believe we like. We take it. We receive it based on the one we believe we will like. We have faith that it will be good. Oh, I know, that’d be good. That was cake with the sprinkles. Oh yes sir. I have faith that that’s going to be good. You don’t know if it’s going to be good or not Mt. Carmel Church. It could have been soaked in vinegar, but they took them. They took them in faith. Notice how it puts us together. Are you ready? Whatever things we pray, believing we will receive whatever things we pray, believing we will take hold of. What are the things that God has offered you?
What are the things that God has offered you that you’ve just not believed yet so you haven’t grabbed hold of it? You haven’t believed that his peace will truly be the answer for your life. He’s offering his peace to you. You haven’t truly believed that his joy could be your strength in your situation. So you haven’t taken it yet. Does that mean his joy is not available to you? Oh, it’s available to you, but you haven’t taken it yet. By faith means that you trust and rely on it and you depend on his joy. I trust and rely on his word. When we take his word by faith, it means there is no other option for me. I’m going for it. I don’t want the cream filling. I want your word. This is the illustration of faith believing in receiving that I believe I love, I want to eat that cake chocolate doughnut right now because I believe it’s good. I’ve had one, this little Apple fritter thing right there, I believe it’s good.
You know why? Because I’ve had one. Come on. Listen. The Lord is going to drop something in your lap. The Bible says taste and see that the Lord is good. Once you let the Lord supply some of your needs in your life, you’ll get a taste for him and once you get a taste for him, nothing else can supply your needs like he can. You won’t go to some little crummy donut. You’ll go to the word of God. You’ll say, God, you’re going to supply my needs, Mt. Carmel Church. You’re going to, I believe it, and so I receive it. You’ll say things like this, God, if you could help me in that area of my life, you can help me in this area of my life. If you could help me through that, if you brought me through that situation, I believe that you can help me in this, so I’ll take you in this situation.
I’ll take you in that situation. I’ll take you in that situation. I receive what you provide for me in Jesus’ name. Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing that’s what you will receive, but the things in prayer that you do not believe yet Mt. Carmel Church, you will not receive. You won’t take it. You’ll be like, I just don’t see how that can happen. I just don’t see how God can work that out. I know God, you said you can restore all things and I know you promise in your word you can do that, but I just don’t see it because you don’t see it and don’t believe it. You will never grab hold of it and make it yours.
Receiving, lambano, is when I say, “Oh, it’s available. It’s going to be mine.” The lambono receiving doesn’t make somebody give you anything. Praying in faith doesn’t make something come available. It doesn’t make God give you anything. It doesn’t twist his arm and say, “Oh, by your faith, I’m going to have to do it. I guess you prayed hard enough.” No. His faith is by me taking what he’s already provided. What do you need to receive this morning? It’s available. I know some of you are wanting these donuts, but right here, there are promises in God’s word that can restore your mind, restore your relationships, and restore your peace, remove worry, and fear. Just because you have doubting thoughts, just because you have troubles in your mind, don’t give up. You keep speaking to that mountain. Be removed, be moved. You’re not going to get me. I’m coming. I’m going to keep coming. I’m going to keep coming and not back down. I keep coming. I believe. I’m convinced that it’s going to be good. I’m convinced that the Lord is good, so I’m going to trust him with all my heart.
I’m not going to lean on my own understanding, but in all my ways, I’m going to acknowledge you, Lord, and you’re going to direct my past. I believe that you give me wisdom. I know that the world gives wisdom, but I’ve tasted of the Lord’s wisdom and I believe your word wisdom is better. God. So I take what you say and I know it makes no sense to anybody else. It doesn’t make sense to those people that I’m telling. This is what God’s telling me to do, but I trust your wisdom. I have faith in it, so I receive it.
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Sermon Notes: https://theroads.church/sermon-notes