Jun 23, 2008, 6:08 AM
“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.”(Mark 11:23)
The Israelites walked up to the gates of the Promised Land, as it were; some even had a taste of its produce, they saw it with their own eyes and made an about-face-turn. You wouldn’t believe it. That is what lack of faith and ignorance can do to someone. They will deter your progress, deprive you of your breakthrough and impede your development – of taking hold of your destiny. Imagine a situation where you are face-to-face with your future, your age-old promise from God and you frown on it, as something you are unworthy of – because you fear for your life.
The Israelites never stopped to think. Who was in charge of their future? Why would a God who brought them out of Egypt take pleasure in handing them over to people who would slaughter them? What pleasure would He derive from leading them to their doom?
The problem must have been with their perception of the scheme of things and not with God. It had to do with their attitude. God had brought them out of Egypt, had led them through the desert and yet they did not know Him. What a shame! “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?”(Numbers 14.11)
Sound familiar! God is asking you and me this question today. How long does it take for you to know me? What is blinding your eyes to the power of God as the Creator of the world and of humankind, as our Provider, the all-sufficient God, our Healer and our Defence and our Judge; the lifter of our heads.
Jesus was with His twelve disciples for close to three years when He remarked:”Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9) Many have heard the gospel (the good news) repeatedly, but are still doubting its power to transform their lives. Many have turned their backs to the eternal life God promises through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah – The Way, the Truth and the Life.(John 14:6)
A popular adage warns that opportunities have a habit of knocking at our doors just once and then they disappear into thin air, never to show up again. It is important that we recognise an opportunity when we see one.
Once, a young man came to Jesus and posed Him a question. Mark you he came of his own volition in search of spiritual answers to life. He asked: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18) He thought he was on the right track because he knew the scriptures and had applied them even from childhood. For some reason however he wanted to be doubly sure. Our Lord Jesus’ response hit him when He told him: ”You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me.” (Luke 18:22)The Bible account tells us that he did not comply. He left grieved, sorrowful. He came looking for an answer, found it, but left disappointed that the criteria did not match his expectations. He came so close but his heart was far away. So he postponed the ‘rendez-vous’ with God. We don’t always grab an opportunity when it presents itself unfortunately; and this rich young ruler is not an exception.
Ever heard of a disciple named Gehazi? Let me introduce him to you. He served under one of the greatest Old Testament prophets called Elisha who had a double-anointing of God’s power. He performed more miracles than did his mentor. He even raised the dead. Gehazi his servant could have had triple anointing serving under him but he was interested in material things.
When a great army general, named Naaman, came to consult the prophet about a chronic illness he brought with him gifts. After receiving his healing, he wanted to offer the gifts to the prophet, but the latter declined. Gehazi, who had coveted those gifts pursued Naaman and obtained a few items for himself under the pretext that the prophet had changed his mind. That wasn’t all, when the prophet asked him about his whereabouts he lied about it. (Read Numbers chapter 5) As punishment, He inherited Naaman’s leprosy.
As believers, we have come a long way from the time when our fears governed our behaviour. Our Lord Jesus has taught us that faith is that weapon that can alter our situations if we dare to speak to them. Actually, Caleb and Joshua exercised their faith when they said they were capable of taking possession of the land immediately in spite of the apparent giant hurdles confronting them.
Our Lord Jesus is asking us to speak to”Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:23)
Let nothing get in the way of entering into your inheritance.