18In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,19and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.

20The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”

21Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.22You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

This seems like an odd story.  It was spring and the fig tree would not have had figs on it yet.  Jesus’ actions seem petty and self-centered.  But remember, Jesus knew how his disciples would respond.  He was only days from dying.  He wanted every opportunity possible to show his followers that he was God with power over all of nature.  He also wanted them to desire more faith and hold onto the faith they had.  In that light, the fig tree is just a stage prop.

So is Jesus promising that if we have enough faith we really can move mountains?  Yes!  But read the words closely: “if you have faith and don’t doubt”.  How can you have that much faith with NO doubt?  Only when you know that what you are asking is what God wants also.  So how can you know what God want?  By being close to him and living in his Holy Spirit.

You see, it all goes back to the real goal in life: To bring God glory by living a life dedicated to being close to him and doing his will.  When we are walking with God and in harmony with him, most of the time we will know what his will is and we will pray as he wants us to pray, and we see our prayers answered.

Lord Jesus, help me to live in such harmony with You that my breaths match Yours and I can feel Your hand in mine.  Change me so my prayers move the mountains in my life that You want moved, and thank You for ones You don’t.  Change me Lord, please change me.  Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*