Too Good to Be True?
"Therefore I say unto you, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.'" (Mark 11:24, KJV)
Mark 11:24 is a classic faith passage. Jesus said so much in such a short passage. I've talked to Christians who think this verse is too good to be true! Did Jesus really mean what He said? Of course He did! Jesus said this same thing in John 15:7, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
What does He mean? Several things.
First: His promise is contingent on us remaining vitally connected to Him! The way we remain in Him is to spend time with Him in His Word. When we do this, our desires line up with His desires for us. When our desires are in line with His Word – it's easy for Jesus to make such an amazing promise!
He can say with great confidence that we can ask for whatever we desire...whatever we wish and He would give it to us because He knows that our desires will be congruent with His desires for us! So, don't pray or ask God for "things" until you have spent time with Him in His Word identifying His will and His desire for you. Once you are saturated with His desires…it's easy to pray, believe and receive!
Second: One major keyword in this passage is: "receive." Once we identify the things we and the Lord desire for our lives (as discussed above) then we are to pray and ask God for those things. After we pray, we are to believe that we receive them! That means, believe we receive now –present tense. We believe we receive the desires of our heart, right then. By faith, we receive or lay hold of those things that we desired (that are congruent with His Word) and that we prayed about. When we "receive" – we simply say, "I have it now!" When do we get the things we prayed for? After we "receive" them by faith…then we shall have them.
Can you see that? Sometimes, we get this backwards…we want to have them first and then we'll believe we receive them. Faith doesn't work that way. We "receive" – present tense – by faith after we pray…and then we shall have those things – future tense.
Sounds simple enough, right? Faith pleases God and it's the very thing believers are called to live by! I encourage you to stir up your faith once again and spend time thinking, meditating and soaking in the principles of faith. Marinate in God's Word until His desires become your desires! Read faith-building books and listen to podcasts from those who preach a strong faith message. Jesus meant what He said – it's not too good to be true! Take some time to talk to the Lord about these things and ask Him to help you "get it" so that you experience His goodness in a fresh way.
Say It: “Father, I want to please You with my faith. I believe Your Word and I ask You to help me "get this" in my heart. Help me to saturate my heart in Your Word so that my desires line up with Your desires for me. When I pray, I will believe I receive. You can be trusted and I will take You at Your Word. I am so thankful that You are a good God and if I abide in You and Your Word abides in me, I can ask whatever I wish and it will be given to me. Thank You Lord for helping me to grow in faith! In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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