14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew 17:14-20
I put the whole story on here so you would have the context, but all I really wanted to talk about was something that hit me in verse 20.
You may be familiar with this story. You, like me, may have grown up hearing about this mustard seed faith that can move mountains. I’ve always understood this verse in relation to the amount of faith it takes to accomplish something…just a mustard seed worth. Yet, there have been things I’ve asked for that didn’t happen and I thought I had at least that much faith. After all, a mustard seed is tiny.
I’ve also been well versed in the reasons for the “unanswered” prayers. You know…the standard…it wasn’t God’s will. Okay, I can accept that answer for some things, but not all of them. Besides, how do YOU know what God’s will is in the things I have asked Him for? It is funny to me how quickly people KNOW God’s will AFTER they have received the answer. What about all the promises in the bible? Aren’t THOSE His will? A reason for unanswered prayers…the way I wanted it answered…that I have very seldom heard many people talk about is unbelief even though it is right there in black and white.
But that is really not where I am going and I am not saying I think every illness that has ever gone unhealed on this earth is the result of unbelief so PLEASE do not go there. I do not believe that.
The thing that really stood out to me was “you will SAY to this mountain, MOVE from here to there and it WILL MOVE; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Then He goes on to give an exception for the specific thing they were asking about and that one could only be removed by PRAYER and fasting.
Okay, so here is where I think I’ve misunderstood this verse in the past. This verse appears to me to give me authority to tell something to move, command something to happen, not just ask for it to be so. This verse appears to me to be saying that there are things that I am allowed to believe for that God has given me the authority to speak to with that belief firmly in place under His authority. This appears to me to be different from a prayer to Him. If it isn’t something different, then why would he say “However, this one does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”? It makes me wonder if there are things God wants us to do with our mustard seed of faith that we are asking Him to do when we should simply be standing in the authority He has already given us and tell those “mountains” to move.
I know people who pray with this kind of authority. I know people who have this kind of faith and speak to things in their lives or the lives of others that aren’t a part of God’s design and command them to move. I’ve had a desire to understand this type of power and authority in “prayer” for a good while now and I just couldn’t grasp it….until today.
I’ve been asking God for things that He simply wants me to believe for and stand for and take authority over like this mountain. I have plenty of things that require prayer, bold, believing prayers. But tonight, it seems there is another piece to the puzzle of life and the kingdom that has just been made a bit clearer to me in this verse. I have authority because of Jesus Christ. I have authority as a daughter of the King. I just need to BELIEVE and take my stand and command it to move.