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.
If you are familiar with the “Faith” Movement then I am certain you have heard this scripture countless times. Some pioneers of the movement call this passage the “Kenneth Hagin’s” as though he wrote it. Because brother Hagin made Mark 11:22-24 the center of his message throughout his ministry. Today, I would like to highlight this scripture the way I understand or the way the Spirit taught me.
Before we get the Mark 11:24, let us read previous verses to learn what took place before Jesus said these powerful words. What happened was; Jesus and His disciple were going about a village to village preaching the gospel. We are told when they had come out of Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it.
When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season of figs. In response, Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” His disciples heard Him talking to a tree.
Here we see the fig tree with leaves signaling it is in a season of producing fruits when it was not. In other words, the fig tree put forth a false impression. These false impressions are in most of us. With the rise of the internet, often times people pretend to be who they are not.
The fig tree was a symbol of religious leaders of the days Jesus walked on earth namely the Pharisee, the chief priests, the Scribes and the Sadducees. These people knew God yet they rejected His power to save them. Mark 11:18 tells us, “they sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him because all people were astonished at His teaching.” So Jesus told them, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
Do you know the Pharisee and the Sadducees do not exist today? Meaning, they are no longer teachers and preachers of the word of God fulfilling what Jesus said to the fig tree. No one truly eats fruit from them. In fact, they withered from the root.
The next day, they passed by the same route and they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. Peter remembering, said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig which You cursed has withered away.” Jesus ceased that moment as an opportunity to teach them on Faith.
He answered, “Have faith in God.” Not in people, not in doctors, not in circumstances––have faith in God. He went on to say, “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,” Mark 11:23.
Then in the following verse, where we will camp today, He said, “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.
Let me start explaining this verse by a made-up story: A happily married, God-fearing man saw a most beautiful young woman at his work. Suddenly, he desires to marry her. He goes to God in prayer and asks God to make that young woman love him. He also pray for Got to create a ground to divorce his wife so that he can marry her. He sits patiently waiting for an answer from God.
Well, according to Mark 11:24, “if he believes that he receives them, he shall have them.”––Right? After all, it is his heart desire, and he asked God in prayer and he spoke them and claimed them. In the books, he has done everything right to receive his new wifey–correct?
Unfortunately, this is how believers take this verse or think that’s what this verse meant. They take and try to understand it as any natural man would try to understand the word of God.
Now, there are scriptures we can take literally but there are others we cannot. They need an understanding. We need to have an ear of the learned, to have the spirit of excellence or the Spirit of understanding. This is why time and time again Jesus taught in parables and He also said, “he who has an ear let him hear.” I believe this verse is one of those verses that needs an ear to hear.
That man’s prayer will not be answered. He will not marry that young woman. His desire is against everything godly. God gives believers righteous desires. We need to remember, by nature we were or we are sinners. Our hearts were filled with sinful desires the moment Adam gave the key to the serpent. Anything which comes out of a natural man is evil including his desires. When God changed us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, He began to work in us for His will and His good pleasure. He is shaping our thinking, our seeing, our desires. We are still a project in progress.
As new creatures in Christ, our desires do not originate from us any longer even though we still have the flesh which can sway us to old ways of thinking. Our desires should, must and ought to originate from God. In other words, God is the One who gives us desires for our hearts to desire so that when we desire the desires He has deposited in our hearts, we’ll ask Him to fulfill them knowing they will be fulfilled for His glory.
God knows what we need before we even ask. He doesn’t withhold any good thing from us. In fact, He gave us all of our desires when we received Christ. Our duty is to believe. The proof of our believing is in our actions. Faith without works is dead.
Actions can includes speaking, praying, doing them. We know already we have received them. We have confidence we have received them because He gave us. We pray on what He has already gave us to confirm our believing in Him. That is to “pray according to His will.” And if you want to know His will, He wrote an entire book for you. Read it.
Beloved, when this revelation came to light, my prayers changed. I stopped asking God for money or houses or clothing or cars. My desires are not like what the heathens desire. See, the heathens want those things (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and food, clothing, houses, cars shall be added unto us. So what are my new desires?
I desire peace which surpasses all understanding.
I desire supernatural love so that I can love people who don’t love me back.
I desire to see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit often in every area of my life.
I desire to see God
I desire spending more time in the word.
I desire great faith
I desire to hear the voice of God more clear so I never miss anything He instructs me.
I desire thoughts that are pure, noble, honorable, of good report.
I desire every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm in Christ to manifest in my life in every circumstance.
I desire to see Jesus Christ’s fullness in my life.
I am telling you, if you are that woman who can pray for someone to get healed, who can raise people from the dead, who can stand still in the midst of turmoil, who can speak with an authority, who can teach boldly–do you think you will ever go hungry, lack a place to live or clothing to wear? I believe you’ll have heathens for your inheritance and uttermost parts of the earth for your possession (Psalm 2:8).
People will give you stuff you never asked them–pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. Why? Because you have what they don’t have and they desperately need it.
Think this way; doctors, lawyers, consultants are being paid handsomely for their services. They have what the majority don’t have. They toiled in schools for that. The question to ask yourself is; are doctors and attorney greater than Jesus? are natural things superior to the supernatural? are temporal things superior to the eternal things? are mere mortals superior to immortal? The answer is no, no and no. The Bible says “we have the mind of Christ.” Do you believe it?
The mountain that stood in the way of Jesus’ ministry was the religious leaders of the day, the fig tree. Those people opposed God’s will in favor of their personal gain and glory. Jesus had no choice but to cast them into the sea.
You and I can do the same thing today. We will have what things soever we desire when we pray if our desires are perfectly aligned with the will of God. We can’t believe in things that are contrary to the word of God. And if we do, God Himself will turn against our desires. This was the case in those religious leaders.
If God doesn’t change then you and I must change to be like Christ. 1 John 3:6-9 sums up:
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed, abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
I pray for the Lord to fill you with desires so that when you pray, your prayers will be a proof of your believing which will result in your receiving and ye shall have them in Jesus name. Amen.