Tag Archives: Prayer

Habakkuk’s Second Desperate Plea to God for Understanding

💦 “Are You not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction. You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. WHY DO YOU LOOK ON THOSE WHO DEAL TREACHEROUSLY, AND HOLD YOUR TONGUE WHEN THE WICKED DEVOURS A PERSON MORE RIGHTEOUS THAT HE? Why do You make men like fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with a hook, They catch them in their net, And gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice to their net, And burn incense to their dragnet; Because by them their share is sumptuous And their food plentiful. Shall they therefore empty their net, And continue to slay nations without pity?” ~ Habakkuk 1:12-17

Note:

Habakkuk ask the very same question of God that most of us have thought about but were to afraid to ask: “God? If you say you cannot have an evil before your eyes and we are your children – then please tell me why the wicked continue unabated; persecuting your little sheep?”

God has an answer for poor Habakkuk. He has our answer too. The answer is found in the scriptures – specifically, Habakkuk chapter two! 💕

The Fig Tree and God’s Coming Wrath

Parable of the withered fig tree

🔥 “Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and FOUND NOTHING ON IT BUT LEAVES, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And WHATEVER THINGS YOU ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YOU WILL RECEIVE.” ~ Matthew 21:18-22

Some of the more misunderstood verses in the Bible center squarely this section of multi-layered teachings: the cursing of the fig tree; moving mountains and the misapplication of “prayer and believing”.

The key to properly understanding and applying this section of verses requires the need for CONTEXT:

  • The FIG TREE had only leaves on it but bore no fruit! This is very similar to the “Parable of Sower”; specifically, the tree that bore leaves but, under the scorching sun – withered and died. (see Matthew 13)
  • The FAITH WITHOUT DOUBTING refers to faith that leads to salvation thru the finished work of Jesus the Christ on the cross for payment of our sins! Without that faith, it is impossible to please God! (see Hebrews 11:5-6)
  • The MOUNTAIN is not about life’s circumstances and your wants generally but rather, the specific problem that is YOUR SIN! Unless your faith rest squarely in the hope that Jesus alone can remove sin’s condemnation and consequences – you will be judged wanting and cast into the fire (just as the withered fig tree died)!
  • The PRAYER AND BELIEVING and RECEIVING refers to the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus Christ! You MUST repent and believe (see Mark 1:15).
  • The promise of BELIEVING AND YOU WILL RECEIVE is about God forgiving your sin, removing your condemnation and then, becoming alive in Jesus by the Spirit. You MUST be born twice by God the Spirit regenerating you or you will NEVER see God the Father (see John 3:3)

Conclusion:

  • Don’t be the fig tree without fruit on it vine – His judgement of that “dead” tree was quick and immediate and so is His coming judgment of this world also! (see Romans 2:6)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ~ John 3:16-17 💕

The Prayer of Faith

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“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:15)

Without examining the various interpretations of this somewhat controversial passage, we merely note that one of the main ingredients of effective praying is faith. There are others, of course (praying in God’s will, no unconfessed sin, unselfish motives, etc.), but all these must be “mixed with faith” to be effective (Hebrews 4:2).

There are many such exhortations to pray in faith. Jesus said, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Another example is James 1:5-6: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” And another: “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).

Every Scripture passage must be viewed in context, of course, including the context of the entire Bible.

The “faith” we must exercise is not only a spiritual confidence that God will answer (and this, clearly, is necessary), but also faith in God as Creator (and, therefore, able to answer!), Christ as Savior (therefore, justly willing to hear), and in the Holy Scriptures as the written Word of God.

James warns any man without genuine faith: “Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8).

True biblical faith is faith in God the omnipotent Creator (Hebrews 11:3), faith in Christ as redeeming Savior (John 3:16- 18), and obedient faith in the revealed Word of God (1 John 3:22). Then we can believe in confidence that God will indeed answer our prayer of faith. HMM

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