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Devotions > Fig Trees and Prayer

9 Jun 2014


Have you ever thought of yourself as a fig tree?   Where most of us live, fig trees are not particularly popular.   However in the land and the time of the Bible the fig tree was perhaps more common than an apple tree in our part of the world.  

Fig trees are often mentioned in the Word of God.   In fact the first mention of the fig tree is in the Garden of Eden where Adam used the leaves of the fig tree to cover himself after discovering his nakedness.  The last Biblical reference to the fig tree is in the Book of The Revelation where John explains the sixth seal event of the falling of the stars of heaven to the fig tree casting off unripe figs in a fierce wind.

But in this day in our land what does the fig tree have to do with us?   

Our primary focus will be on the scripture passage below:

Mark 11:21-22 (NASB95)
21 Being reminded, Peter said* to Him, "Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered."
22 And Jesus answered* saying to them, "Have faith in God.

You and I are collectively the church (most of us in North America).  The Church is made up, is a collection, an ekklesia of those born again by the Spirit of God.   I believe that seen from heaven’s perspective, it is probable that today in America we are dangerously close to the place of the fig tree in the passage above. 

The problem:  NO FRUIT.

As the Church is being gathered together in local bodies we are obliged like Jesus to make a careful and critical analysis of the fruit produced.   Jesus looked at this fig tree and while it had leaves it had no fruit.    Is your church in the full flower of leaves?   Are there signs on the outside for church members to see that various activities are being accomplished?    Perhaps people are being instructed in God’s word?   Is there an increasing passion to obey and to bring glory to God?  

On a fig tree the leaves come and nearly immediately the figs begin to appear.   Is this true in your ekklesia?    Is there a powerful life changing and community adjusting river of power from the Spirit flowing forth into and from your body?   Are disciples being baptized and being directed and held accountable to obey all that Jesus commanded?    Are disciples being lead and trained to make disciples who make disciples?

Is a high percentage of the activity of your ekksesia focused on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment?   Or has the focus of your church turned from primarily outside to nearly exclusively inside?   Of course we are not to eliminate the focus of care for our body.   But we stand in danger of moving the activities of taking care of ourselves from the position of a minor objective to the passion of an art form.  

Of course one of the most non-productive activities of Christendom is to bash the Church.   Why?   Well for one, because we are the church!   Yes, you and I are the church and how we go so goes the church.

When Peter pointed out to Jesus that the cursed fig tree had withered …….

Mark 11:22-24 (NASB95)
22 And Jesus answered* saying to them, "Have faith in God.
23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

Jesus is saying depend upon God.   No matter what the obstacle you face when you look at the directives of scripture simply ask and depend upon God and if you have faith that is truly relying upon God you will have your answer.   But we have such a strong tendency to depend on ourselves.   We often attempt only the things that we think we can do.  Of course there is no glory flowing to God for the things that all expect to be quite capably accomplished by the efforts of men.

What might happen in our land if every local church would simply take the commands of Jesus and by faith trust God to provide the means for them to obey each command at the heart level?   How would our communities be impacted?   How would our families be strengthened?  How would our laws begin to change?   What would be the impact on the next generation?

This would be revolutionary!   And yes this is exactly what Jesus had in mind.   A revolution pushing back and taking back the territory that Satan our arch enemy has taken from our families our communities and our land.    

So how might such a revolution begin?   Jesus told us the secret, Prayer!   But not just any kind of prayer, He spoke of the prayer of faith.    “Have faith in God” were His words.   This implies that we would also believe in God to the point of putting into practice by faith the commands of Jesus in our lives!

Jesus also spoke a parable concerning a fig tree:

Luke 13:6-9 (NASB95)
6 And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7 "And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?'
8 "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.' "

Could it be that we in America have only a short time left before we are to be cut down?   God is very patient and He has been very patient with His Bride in this land.   However we see this truth in God’s Word, there is a limit to His patience.   He will have His way but He may not use America in the future as He has in the past.   The gospel is exploding in many areas of this world, but not in America.  

If we are to be used of God we must get away from the ideas of man and return to the revealed plan of God for His Bride.   We must move from self serving to God serving.    We must cease to argue over who is the greatest and seek to serve and glorify God from the depth our hearts.

I believe the transformation of the church in North America will begin only by fervent believing prayer.   Prayer instructed by God’s word and by His Spirit.   Passionate prayer for God’s glory and for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.   Perhaps some helpful instruction can be gained from the words of Jesus to the lukewarm church of Laodicea.

Revelation 3:19 (NASB77)
19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.

I strongly encourage you to join me in repentance, asking God what steps do we need to take to obey all that Jesus commanded, and daily asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen us such that we can obey all that He commands and encourage others to do the same.  

Jesus once said of a demon:

Mark 9:29 (NASB95)
29 And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer."

I believe that the state of our Nation is in an identical position …..   it can only come out by prayer!

Jesus demonstrated great and awesome power both in blessing and in cursing.   Will we pray and obey His commands that lead to blessings?   Will you ask Him about bearing fruit?

God help us to rightly pray.

Jeff Williams