Mark 11:23 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 be done, he will have whatever he says.
One of the most important truths found in scripture is how important and how powerful our words are. Even as much as scripture speaks about this subject, believers still don’t always seem to understand the importance of this subject and how much of a part this plays on seeing your life change. James devoted almost an entire chapter speaking about the power of the tongue, and Jesus Himself had quite a bit to say about this subject as well.
When you look at this foundation verse of scripture out of Mark’s gospel, I want to bring your attention to something significant about this verse. We often emphasis how important it is to believe or have faith, and faith is important when it comes to receiving from God what He has provided for your life, but with that said look at this verse closely as Jesus states something very important here.
Notice in our foundation text that believing is mentioned one time, but saying or speaking is mentioned three times. Years ago I heard Kenneth Hagin talking about this verse and the Lord had revealed to him that he would have to teach on the importance of what a believer says three times more than on the believing part. I can attest to this for no matter how much you teach on the subject people still tend to say things that sabotage their faith. For even if you believe in a promise of God it won’t happen unless you consistently confess what His Word says.
Oral Roberts said God revealed to him that Christians are telling their God about how big their mountain is instead of telling their mountain how big their God is. When you look at the very first part of verse 23 above notice the words that Jesus starts off with. “For assuredly I say to you”, this is an absolute guarantee. Another way we might say this phrase is, “You can take it to the bank”. So first of all when you look at Mark 11:23 if you want to see this verse work in your life you are going to have to take Jesus at His Word.
Wouldn’t every believer just take Jesus at His Word? Certainly most don’t intentionally deny His Word, but without realizing it many discount what the Word says because of several factors. For example some don’t actually take Him at His Word because of the religious teachings of those who either have not applied that part of scripture in their life, or they may have tried it but in doing so they did not fully apply what scripture teaches. It would be like trying someone’s recipe for a cake but you don’t add all the ingredients or you don’t mix them properly.
God’s Word is proven, the Bible teaches us so it always works, but we just don’t always do what scripture teaches. I recently heard my Pastor Dr. Barclay give an example of this. A medical doctor he knows told him that they both face a common problem when trying to help people. He went on to say that a medical doctor like a minster is trying to help people get better. Say for example they prescribe antibiotics and the directions say to take until they are all gone, but after taking half the bottle they begin to feel better and they quit taking their medication. Then a short time later they are feeling bad again and come back to their doctor wanting to know what is wrong. They did not fully follow the instructions.
This is often the case with Christians. Ministers share God’s instructions on how to see positive change come in their life and they may begin to apply what the Bible says, but they often don’t remain consistent at it and then they wonder why they are not getting results. They often give up thinking it won’t work for them. To get results from the Word you must do all that the Word says, not just add a few ingredients, but also everything it tells us to add to our life. If you want to see results you must not base your belief on what someone else says but on what the Word of God says.
So we have a guarantee here in Mark 11:23 that if we believe in our hearts that what we say will come to pass then we will have what we say. If you want to see God’s Word work in your life you must stop allowing what others say to influence you when it comes to the Word of God. You must also stop living by what you see in the natural. When walking by faith you do see, but not with the natural eye. The eye of faith sees what it believes for before it is ever seen in the natural. Our part is to believe we receive, that’s it. But to do this what you say is important.
To begin with you must confess with your mouth that what you are believing for you have received. When are you going to have what you are believing for? When you believe you receive it. When are you going to believe you receive it? Before you have it. That is a challenge to the human way of doing things. Two of the greatest examples we have in the Bible that reveal the difference between Bible faith and human or sense knowledge faith is Abraham and Thomas.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. He showed up afterwards and after hearing the disciples talk about seeing Jesus he said that he would not believe unless he saw the nail prints in His hands and feet, and the hole in His side. Jesus then appears to them and in the above verse Jesus tells Thomas that he has believed because he has seen, but Jesus said blessed are those who have not yet seen and have yet believed. Jesus did not endorse the Thomas kind of faith. Those who want to receive from God will not do so with the Thomas kind of faith.
Rom. 4:19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Rom. 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom. 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Abraham was given a promise to have a son through Sarah who was passed the age of child bearing and had never had a child. But notice what it says in verse 19 above, that he did not consider his own body, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb. Abraham did not base his faith on what he saw, but instead on what God had said. That is a vital difference between receiving from God or not receiving from God. So for us to receive from God we must walk by Bible faith, not sense knowledge faith or sight.
Back to the importance of our confession in receiving from God. When you believe you receive what you say you must of course declare with your own lips the promise of God you have found scripture, and you must declare that it is already so. But what you do after that is just as important. This is where many believers miss out on receiving what God has promised them. Once you believe you receive what you have a promise to, you must continue to make a confession declaring that you believe you have received what you have asked for, or what you have spoken to in the area of moving a mountain or obstacle. I want to remind you that you must believe in your heart what you are expecting from God that you have been promised, but your confession after that can make or break your faith.
Heb. 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
As Hebrews 13:15 declares we are to continually give thanks to God, not just once, but all the time. When you believe you receive a promise from God, or believe what you have said will come to pass in speaking to your mountain, you must then stay in faith. You do this by thanking God for what you know is yours. This is where most battles are won or lost. Again often people think you are making too much of words, but scripture clearly tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Jesus said it was by our words which we will be justified or condemned. He did not say by our word, but our words plural.
Certainly we are not saying nor is scripture saying that if we say anything contrary to the Word in a difficult time we won’t receive from God, but what scripture is clear about is that what we are saying in abundance is what will have a vital impact on our life. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So it is what we are saying consistently that will determine what we receive or what we don’t receive. So watch your words and keep your heart full of the Word of God for it is not just important what you believe, but just as important is what you are saying.
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May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker