Saturday, 23 May 2015

Make my life a prayer

Ever been in a situation where you  feel your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling - no-one is there - you feel nothing and all is silent?

I have - and it's very disconcerting to say the very least.

Many leaders in our churches and well meaning friends take a leaf out of Job's friends and point out to you that God has sent this silence. God is really pointing out that maybe you have sinned and turned away from Him and now it's really up to you to fix the problem.

Some may tell us that we get no answers to our prayers because we are simply overwhelmed with guilt and it's fairly and squarely our own fault. We are afraid and self centred and have no real faith in God.

Then others may say it's because of our deliberate and continual sin that's stopping communication with God.

When we look at Job's three friends we can see those very points leaping out at us and basically what they were saying can be correct, sin is wrong very wrong and nothing will ever change that.

If we continually sin and feel nothing, never asking forgiveness, never repenting just expecting God to automatically forgive us, then we are doomed never to feel the gentle touch of the Lord or experience the confidence He gives us of being one day eternally with Him.

So it feels like God's not listening when we pray and we seem to be getting nowhere?

It's so easy to say God isn't listening to our prayers because we are disobedient; it's so easy to say rid ourselves of guilt and keep asking God for forgiveness, over and over again.

It's so easy to accept that I must have sinned so badly that God has cut me off from His blessings - I must repent and keep on doing so.

I feel the answer to our problems is not so much as we have sinned and have to go looking for that illusive problem from way back when,

It's not so much as we are consumed with our guilt and therefore separate from God, It's simply in the word "feel" - think about for a moment.

The question I had to ask myself was - How do I expect God to answer my prayers?

Do I expect God to answer me in a set way? Should I 'feel' something when I pray? If so what should I 'feel'? If we expect God to answer us with feelings then often we will be mightily disappointed.

Of course God can do anything, but praying to Him just to feel good or to get some sort of warm and fuzzy, then it's no wonder he doesn't 'seem' to answer.

Of course God answers our prayers - thing is are we listening? I feel God mainly answers us through His word. Read it and draw closer to Him - feel the words as you read ask Him to reveal Himself through them.

God doesn't turn His ears off and turn away from us - it is more like we are not listening properly when He does answer us.

My suggestion: (and only what I have learnt myself) Get familiar with His Word and He will speak to you through it.

Another problem of seemingly unanswered prayer is giving up on God - our prayers for deliverance of some problem, family, illness, you name it, often never sees results. So we give up.

My mind goes back to Paul. He prayed and prayed that he would be delivered of a problem that was obviously holding him up in his ministry.

Paul was given the answer 'My grace is sufficient for you'. In other words what I have done for you is enough for now.

Often we don't ever find out what the long-term answer will be - we need to accept that God's grace is indeed sufficient for us and learn to trust Him with the solution.

So instead of questioning God, giving up on Him or feeling our prayers are just going nowhere, let's get closer to Him by reading his word, asking Him to reveal Himself there. Let's grab hold of the promise that indeed His Grace is sufficient and that His will for us is perfect.

As we go about this week, let's pray that His will be done in our lives. let's be aware of Him in every situation we find ourselves, knowing that He hears our prayers regardless of how we are 'feeling'.

Let's dedicate our very lives to Him and ask Him to make them a prayer for Him so that everything we do, say and think brings Him honour.

God bless you as you step out with God this week. My prayer for you is that you experience His closeness regardless of your feelings, doubts or insecurities.  

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Believing the Lie

Its so easy to tell a lie - white or black depending on which school you went to I surmise.

God of course doesn't tolerate lies of any sort - deception included - we can so easily fall into the trap of deceiving our friends and loved ones, letting them believe this or that when in actuality we are a completely different person on the inside to maybe what we have shown them  on the outside.

So lies and deception, in my opinion, go hand in hand and as such is certainly not tolerated by our God and King.

All lies including deception need to be forgiven by Christ, then only through His amazing grace and the work of His Holy Spirit can we ever even HOPE to live and love as a true Christian, pleasing to God and obeying His commands.

Satan of course is the Father of lies - he loves to deceive and condemn us constantly and in perpetuum.

The thing is, we can fall for his lies over and over if we don't keep on by faith basking and washing ourselves in the promises of God.

God is a loving and caring God. 1 John 3:1 "How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

Notice the word LAVISHED - how awesome is that word! - Not a little bit not even a copious amount but God has LAVISHED His love to and on us.

His amazing love goes from everlasting to everlasting - why else would He have sent Jesus to die for us?  Why not let us die in our sins hopeless, useless and worthless?

Yet, God loved us SO much that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins. The only one good enough, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God - taking away the sins of the whole world.

We know this!- the Father's love is boundless and free, yet so many of us believe the myth and the lie of Satan that we are simply not good enough for God!

If you are anything like me, sin comes so easily and so often. All it takes is the Tempters quiet little voice whispering sweet lies and deception in our ears for us to fall and if we do it often and repeatedly we will eventually believe his lies that we cannot be a Christian because of all this continual sin.

Jesus didn't die and the Father doesn't LAVISH His love on us for nothing! He didn't do all of that just to maybe give us a six million to one shot of 'squeezing' into Heaven.

He also knows that we are so so weak and that we can fail so often. That's exactly why His forgiveness is eternal and daily. We are weak and can hardly stand without Him yet we can be strong and steadfast but only by standing on His promises.

I wrote a blog recently titled "Deliberate Sin - Forgiven or Not?"  Here is the link.
In it I have described my thoughts on sinning deliberately. Read it if you will.

I truly believe that Jesus died for ALL sin - those in our past, our present and future. BUT if we can deliberately sin and feel no remorse, or repentance, not asking for forgiveness, then I also believe that we have condemned ourselves and there really is no way back for us.

So here we have an amazing, loving God, LAVISHING His love on us. His is an intimate love, a sacrificial love that blows out of the water Satan's lie of "I'm not good enough for God".

God loves us no matter what we have done, who we have been with or whatever sins we have committed in our past, our present or in our future.

Thing is - we need to come to Christ, openly and honestly. He is not a Law Enforcement Officer wielding a big stick, forcing us to capitulate. He is loving, He is gracious and yes! He is also just.

So again I would reiterate that Satan is indeed the Father of lies and deception, he loves to throw our past at us, he loves to accuse us and tell us that we are no way worthy of a loving, holy and just Father. When we stumble and fall, which we all do, he loves to throw us the line "there you go again - How can God love you?"

So please take heart, we, none of us are perfect and we won't be until that mighty day when Jesus comes again to take us to His perfect home.

Don't "believe the Lie" - there is nothing that bad that we can't bring to Christ - absolutely nothing.

God bless you this week as you come to terms with the unfailing and on-going love of God.

My prayer for you is that you bring your sins, failings and foibles to God, lay them all unwavering at His feet, trust in Him to forgive and forget them covered eternally by the saving blood of Jesus..

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Downwardly mobile

Well: we all know about "Upwardly Mobile" - the definition of which the English Dictionary describes as "(of a person or social group) moving or aspiring to move to higher social class or to a position of increased status or power."

WOW!! so to be "Upwardly Mobile" we need to move up through the social classes to become richer and more powerful - exactly what the world out there loves to teach us so so often.

With a background in Human Resources, I have seen "Upwardly Mobile" in action - it never ceases to amaze and astound me. It's all in the way you present yourself, your social background, who you 'mix' with and of course your inextinguishable ambition.

Being 'upwardly mobile' is a pre-requisite for challenging those who seemingly have 'made it' to the top - whatever 'the top' may be. For ladies the 'crashing' of the glass ceiling is another 'must do' experience for the upwardly mobile female and proving 'girls can do anything' to many 'chauvinist male upwardly mobile' men.

So often in today's society of eyes on the goal, success at any cost type world, being upwardly mobile is integral for success and security for the future.

We instil being 'upwardly mobile' to our children very early in their upbringing, challenging them to succeed to push on regardless and never to accept second best.

So the word "DOWN" really has no place in the Upwardly Mobile's world or future.

"DOWN" is a word reserved for losers - it should be avoided at all costs and even if you are feeling a little 'down' you dare not show it lest the person directly beneath you on the never-ending ladder will pull it out from under you.

"DOWN" is a word that reflects on everything it touches - like down-hearted, down-trodden and downfall. It's a sort of 'says-it-all' word with connotations of desperation and depression. Something Upwardly Mobile wants nothing to with at all!

So looking at the words UP and DOWN from a world's perspective, UP is the ONLY direction to go. UP denotes GREATNESS  - DOWN  denotes FAILURES.

So how does God see us with our UP'S and DOWN'S? I was reading Philippians 2 and being "Upwardly Mobile" sort of flies in the face of what Jesus is teaching us here.

Philippians 2 screams at us that if you want to be truly great, then the direction to go is DOWN. Jesus taught us that self-will needs to be thumped on the head and self-abandonment needs to be the measure that we determine our success.

Paul continues in Philppians 2 to explain, in no uncertain terms, that the ONLY way to become great with God is to actually move down - become the servant, the downtrodden, the anonymous one.

Jesus, the servant of all, is the only example we can look to. Here we have the Creator of the universe, coming 'down' from his glory, becoming a helpless and hapless baby in a dirty stable and from then on it was a life of descending.

He had no home, he was mocked and ridiculed, he was spat on, he was found guilty of blasphemy and died a cruel and criminal's death - probably THE worst death in it's day. Hardly UPWARDLY MOBILE.

Jesus: the very highest in creation came DOWN to serve the lowest - Philippians 2: 7-8 "He (Jesus) made Himself nothing, but taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross."

After Jesus died he could go no lower - the one who possessed everything became nothing - He became 'DOWNWARDLY MOBILE' to the glory of God the Father who exalted Him above everyone and everything.

Please don't take me wrongly - God really has no problem with his children bettering themselves - he loves to see us succeed BUT....

What concerns Him and breaks His heart is when our UPWARD MOBILITY bolsters our own self-importance. Building ourselves up to the point of pushing our own plans, schedules and programmes with no thought of God, living life as we please in our own worlds of self-indulgence.

Of course God knows that self-indulgence only leads to self-destruction.

James hits the nail on the head when he writes "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up." Humility, putting others first, purposely standing aside and letting others take the limelight - all things that God loves.

Making ourselves lesser and making others greater is foolishness in the eyes of the world yet God asks us to LOSE so that we may GAIN. God will honour us if we deliberately SMASH our selfish ambition, He will honour us if we LOSE our obsession to be in control, he will honour us if we actually LOSE our life in Him because He promises us ETERNITY!!

Being DOWNWARDLY MOBILE with God is certainly not easy - it can be unsettling to say the least BUT actually is the THE very highest calling we can ever have.

God bless you this week as you address being DOWNWARDLY MOBILE with God. Let Him be your guide as you submit to the challenge that Jesus Himself put out there and which Paul so clearly defines in Philippians 2. 


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Broken Jars

I never cease to stand amazed at Mary Magdalene's faith - Here a prostitute - a reviled person according to the Pharisaical law - the lowest person - luckily not stoned to death for her sins, changed by the Son of God, and she was never the same again.

This same Mary of whom seven demons had been cast morphed into one of Christ's staunchest allies, showing courage and bravery far exceeding most of the disciples. She was there at the beginning of Jesus ministry, stood with Him at the cross and was the first one there on that Sunday morning of His awesome Resurrection.

It was my privilege to host a study on Twitter just recently on the subject of Mary's visit to the empty tomb and it was brought home to me once again the deep faith of this amazing young woman who loved her Lord with everything she had.

It was this same Mary of the "Alabaster Jar" fame. Mary who broke the Jar of sweet smelling perfume at Jesus feet and washed his dirty feet with her hair and tears broken before her Lord in adoration and praise.

For a woman to do this in those days with her long hair, which by the way was her 'glory' was an amazing sign of her humility. Mary unwound her hair and in that instant also unwound her glory and acknowledged the glory of Jesus as God, Lord and Master.

In another way Mary was saying "My glory is nothing - Yours is everything." What an amazing young woman.

The washing of people's feet was a job for the lowliest of slaves way back then. A job done by a slave openly treated with disdain. You can imagine the state of the roads and paths, the dust, animals, carts, mud and slush and with open sandals as common footwear - I need say no more.

If you visited a home it was customary and tradition that you removed your sandals before you entered. Manners then dictated that the host or hostess ordered the 'unimportant slave' to wash his or her guest's feet.

It was into this scenario that Mary appeared  - a picture of humble worship.

When Jesus entered the house of Simon that fateful night, He was not offered any such niceties - nothing, No kiss or oils for His head (both signs of respect), no water provided for cleanliness - nothing.

It wasn't until Mary appeared with her Alabaster Jar of expensive perfume that things started to happen here in the home of Simon the Pharisee. She immediately threw herself at the feet of Jesus and broke open her alabaster Jar filling the whole house with it's perfume.

Her tears were aplenty as she washed His feet and kissed them - her beautiful hair wiping the dust, mud and grime off his His feet. Immediately Judas was up in arms at her accusing her of wastefulness.

We catch just a glimpse of how Jesus must have felt - when He openly and suddenly turned on His host - read it for yourselves in Luke 7:44-47.

Mary's absolute humility and her willingness to actually throw off her own 'glory' has been a huge lesson for me personally. There were probably more than a dozen people in that room, at least, and none of them caught or even glimpsed a moment of the personal communion Jesus shared with Mary at that moment.

Mary dismantled her glory, her pride and her ego right there in front of all those people - she was ridiculed, accused and almost thrown out on her ear.

God wants us to dismantle our ego, pride and glory - He wants us to stop living for ourselves. He wants us to stop being pious and 'religious'. He wants us to take them all apart and like Mary lay them at His feet.

God doesn't care who we are, how important we think we are, how we feel, who we have been with and what our position in the church or work is - He wants YOU!! The real you.

Jesus didn't reach down and break that alabaster jar FOR Mary - she had to do it herself - We have to break our own selves to become one with Jesus - no more pretences - no more thinking we can do it our way - we have to hand the OUR way over to JESUS' way.

Often when we have gained that 'closeness' to God it has come after we have been broken in our spirit and in our lives - when we have nothing left - it is then Jesus picks us up. God loves a broken and contrite heart.

So let's decide today not to carry around our own Alabaster Jar of treasures. If we want to have that amazing encounter with Jesus as Mary had, we have to break it open and smash our pride and glory and in so doing give the ultimate glory back to Jesus - the one who deserves it.

God bless you as you become a 'broken person' for God this week.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Deliberate Sin! - Forgiven or Not?

The whole world was absolutely shocked and shaken to our core this week when the news broke that a "German Wings' aircraft had crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 on board.

Our hearts broke as the news flashed around the world that the Co-Pilot looked as though he had deliberately crashed the aircraft because of his on-going depressive illness. It was shocking to the say the least and very very disturbing.

Deliberate acts like this one astound us and we are so ready to judge and condemn. It was only last month here in Australia that the news broke that a father may have deliberately driven his car at high speed into a tree killing his wife, his eldest son and himself, leaving the youngest son in a critical condition and also an orphan.

We cry out in frustration WHY?? - When there is so much help readily available do people commit these atrocities and harm others?

When I was pondering these types of situations I couldn't help but ask the question that I guess many have asked before me - "Can I deliberately keep sinning and keep asking forgiveness?"

A very tough verse in the Bible regarding "deliberate" sin is found in Hebrews 10:26. "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left."

Can't get much plainer than that! But let's just think about it for a moment. What does 'sinning' actually mean and what do we mean by 'deliberate' sinning.

Sinning is anything that comes between you and God - of course there is the obvious sins as laid out in exodus 20, greed, wanting what others have, sexual immorality, murder, stealing and the list goes on.

Sinning also includes unforgiveness, haughtiness, gossip and even not giving God His rightful place in our lives or not giving Him His due reverence. in fact anything that hinders our relationship with Him.

So if we sin and harbour say unforgiveness in our hearts and we are convicted of that and repent, does that mean we can never be forgiven?  Of course not - Our Lord is so willing to forgive us.

After all it was from the words of Jesus Himself that Peter was told in Matthew 18: 21-22 when he asked the question "Lord how often do I have to forgive a believer who wrongs me? seven times?" Jesus said "I tell you not just seven times, but seventy times seven".

But the author of Hebrews talks about deliberate sinning, the fact of 'keeping on' or 'going on' sinning deliberately.

I feel the key here are the words "keeping on" or in some versions "going on" sinning deliberately.
"Going on" sinning means that you are continuing in deliberate sin without feeling the least bit repentant or confessing this sin regardless of what that sin is.

You don't feel any remorse about this deliberate sin in your life and you have given up and/or refusing to go to battle over it.

So in other words if you are continuing in deliberate sin regardless of what that sin is, without confessing it, if you are happy in that state and feel nothing, no compunction to cease it then you are committing a 'deliberate' sin against God which leaves you in a very precarious situation indeed.

Jesus died for all of our sins, the past, present and future. He died for ALL sins BUT we need to confess those sins, turn away from them and ask His forgiveness.

But if you are 'going on' or 'keeping on' sinning feeling no remorse at all and no confession of your guilt then like it says in Hebrews 10 "there no longer remains a sacrifice for your sins"

Gods judgement is very clear. the Hebrews chapter goes on from verses 27-30 to explain the judgement of those who deliberately "KEEP GOING" into sin.

Okay, so how do we go about ensuring that we are indeed safe eternally with Jesus? Well, if right now you  are walking with Christ, you are trusting Him daily, and you have given Him all of your life, then you will never face His judgement. You are safe in His arms and your eternity is assured with Him.

You may ask "well what if I do fail?" We are saved by faith alone through Christ. Depend on Him to forgive you and be ever so willing to keep asking for that forgiveness.

We all fail, but the closer we walk with Christ and the closer we draw to Him the less likely we will be to keep falling over the same tricks of Satan who is so intent of driving us away from the presence of God.

We can trust God that ALL sin is paid for at the cross - but we have to ask and accept that forgiveness from God Himself.

If you turn to Jesus right here where you are and confess your sin, acknowledge that you can nothing without Him, then He will forgive you - He will indeed!

So if you are struggling with deliberate sin, ask God's help, genuinely ask His forgiveness. You need to fight this sin with faith and a contrite and humble heart.

Don't harden your heart and soul to the wiles of Satan. In 2 Corinthians 2:4 in the Message Bible Paul says "After all we don't want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for still more mischief - we're not oblivious to his sly ways."

If we keep on deliberately sinning, our hearts will eventually harden to the extent that we will feel nothing of the guidance of God's Spirit. Don't give Satan an even chance, turn your deliberate sin over to Christ the only one who paid the price to obliterate sin from our lives in the first place.

God bless you as you hand your sins deliberately over to God - Asking His forgiveness and accepting His miraculous saving gift of cleansing and mercy.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Crumbs on the Table

Have you ever been really hungry and then walked past a really good bakery and the smell of the freshly baked bread nearly drives you insane?

When the first century Jews heard Jesus refer to Himself as the "Bread of Life" they likely thought of the basic staple, the life-sustaining constant in theirs and our daily diet.

In John 6:35 Jesus indeed declared "I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." Amazing words with astounding consequences.

The main point is that Jesus is indeed necessary for life. BUT how many of us actually feed from the "Bread of Life" or just manage to scrape a few crumbs off the table cloth?

Where does Jesus stand in your life? Is He your number one thought in the morning and your last thought at night? Does He have any standing at all through your busy day? Do you depend on Him in the day to day decisions and in the big moments in your life?

Or has life just got too busy for Jesus?

I have been so convicted lately as to just with what I am filling my eyes, ears, mind and time. For example, how long do I sit at the computer, or the TV, or reading some secular novel or magazine, gullibly swallowing every bit of unbelievable junk I hear or see.

Now, please don't take me wrong - these things are OK and worth enjoying BUT when they take over from God then they become such a sin - God wants so much more from us and He wants so desperately to give us so much more.

Truthfully, how long has it been since you said "I am going to wait on the Lord" in His presence - just He and you alone quiet, forgetting everything and everyone else.

Without the Spirit of God fully working in our lives, we are empty and virtually hungry so do we fill this void with other 'things'? - getting so busy that our minds and hearts really have no room for Jesus and what He is so freely prepared to give us.

God is not going to pour out His Spirit where He doesn't find hunger. How long has it been since we have been so hungry for God that all else fades into insignificance? I feel our problem is that we have never been really hungry. We have allowed 'things' to satisfy our lives and satiate our hunger.

I am so afraid that it is the same for many of our churches - we get so consumed with following agendas and Orders of Service we don't really expect to be in the very presence of God. We can get carried away with the music or busy ourselves with what needs to be done that we rarely expect the unexpected - God's Spirit moving in remarkable and extraordinary ways in His people.

God is the bread of life - He said "Feast on me" instead we are so content with the crumbs off the table. He said FEAST not NIBBLE.

Our churches are filled with worship and songs etc, but is God's Spirit really there? Do we really even catch a glimpse of God when we go to church?

I heard recently on a "Christian radio station" an advertisement that went something like this "Sundays are so busy! Got no time for church? then come to our church we are open on Saturday nights" WHOA!! - There we go - "So busy" - Too busy for God it seems.

We often hear preachers pray for revival - I feel there won't be a revival unless we repent before God - place Him in His rightful place in our lives - expect to really meet Him, either alone or in our church services, when we come in true repentance and prayer.

I pray for revival in me in our churches and in our lands. Instead of filling our lives with God, we fill them up with anything and everything including our worries. No wonder God's Spirit isn't really working in the lives of so many of us.

Jesus said in Matthew 5: 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled"

If you, like me are truly serious about being really 'hungry" for God, then please join me in this prayer:-

Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit will grip our hearts, that you will turn us into Warriors of worship and obedience to you. Lord, we need you, our cities and nations need you. We are so tired of scraping just crumbs off the table, please send us a feast of your bread from Heaven. Amen.

My prayer for you is to be overwhelmed by God, to be totally consumed with His grace, love and forgiveness. That His Spirit will floor you with a revival in your life that will so change the way you think, live and act. May God bless you as you draw near to Him.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Moving Mountains

The story is told of a little boy who wandered into the deep dark woods only to find a giant lurking there.

"What are doing here" boomed the giant "These are my woods and you must stay here forever". The little boy stammered "I only came in here to dig for worms 'cause I am going fishing".

"Hmmm" the giant said - "I'll tell you what!  I will give you three chances to think of something I CANNOT do. If you win, you may go - but if you lose, you must stay in my woods forever."

The little boy thought for a long time. Finally he had an idea! "Bet you can't pick up that boulder?" - The giant threw his head back and laughed - "Simple" he said and picking up the huge rock threw it clear over the trees and out of the woods.

The little boy sighed "Two more tries" said the giant. "Bet you can't bend that big old oak tree so that it touches the ground?" said the boy. "Simple" said the giant and grabbing the tree bent it back so far that the big tree snapped in two.

"Phew" said the boy and sat down and thought. "That's two said the giant with a wicked grin - one more to go". The little boy didn't want to live in the woods forever he had to think of something!

"I know something I can do that you can't" he said to the giant - "I can move that hill and put it right here next to path". The giant laughed and laughed. Finally he stopped laughing and said 'watch this' - he put his arms around the hill and pulled - he yanked this way and that way - he tugged at that hill until he was breathless.

He couldn't move that hill no matter how hard he tried. Finally he gave up. "Okay" said the giant at last "if you can move this hill you may leave the woods".

The little lad picked up his shovel that he had brought to dig worms and dug a shovelful of dirt then he dumped it beside the path - he walked back to the hill and brought another shovelful and so it continued until the hill was completely moved.

How are you at moving mountains?

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said "Because you have so little faith! Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain. 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

So.... how come I don't see mountains moving??

Jesus was speaking figuratively obviously. Moving mountains was exactly THE type of miracle that the Pharisees and 'religious' teachers of the day were expecting of Jesus. Jesus never used miracles to prove a point or to exhort Himself among others to win their approval and make them awestruck.

Jesus' miracles were helping and assisting people of which he performed so many - we must have only a fraction recorded for us in the New Testament. But moving mountains and casting them into the sea WOULD have satisfied the Scribes and Pharisees of the day - a miracle of humongous proportions clearly equalling the fire consuming sacrifice of Elijah and also the sun standing still episode of Joshua.

Jesus was clearly teaching His disciples here that there is unimaginable power available to them through their FAITH in Him. He said in John 14 "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it".

So what is the key here - our FAITH of LACK of it? I truly believe that the key to this question is when Jesus said "IN MY NAME". I believe the requirement for receiving is to ask (in Jesus name) according to His purpose and will.

In James 4, James warns us never to ask anything of God with the wrong motives. We need to have faith in God alone not faith in our plans, or aspirations. The only way to receive anything of God is to ask according to His plans and His motives.

So to have mountain moving type faith is to aim for and work towards unselfish,  non-doubting and absolute confidence in God and Him alone. It's believing and having faith in His truth and absolute power while striving to do His will. And why do we live like this? So that God's name may be glorified.

The other part of 'mountain moving' type faith is to believe that God is working in your life to remove your personal 'mountains' that have grown in your life.

I know I personally have a 'mountain range' in my life that is being slowly whittled away as I move closer to God. Like the little lad in our story your mountain may not disappear straight away but with God's help and reliance on Him every mountain will be laid low.

So let's not despair about our 'mountains' but hand them over to our Heavenly Dad and have faith that according to His time and purpose these mountains will eventually be removed for ever.

And let's have faith that His will and purpose for our lives is in His hands. let's pray that our faith and His will collide and that whatever we ask of God, that it will be done according to His plans and His pure motives.