YOUR DAILY DIVE: Holy Week Tuesday
ON THE TUESDAY OF PASSION WEEK, JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES ABOUT THE POWER OF PRAYER
SCRIPTURE: And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. 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. 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." (Mark 11:22-24, NASB)
STORY: After spending Monday night in Bethany, Jesus and His disciples were headed back to the Temple in Jerusalem. Along the way, Peter pointed to a fig tree that Jesus had cursed the previous day. The leafy, green tree had all the appearances of being healthy and productive, but when the Lord sought fruit from it, it was fruitless. It looked good but had nothing to offer the Lord. Jesus cursed it and within 24 hours, it had noticeably withered. This was symbolic of the nation of Israel, which had rejected the Messiah and was failing to seek God's glory in the world. When Peter saw the tree again Tuesday, he was suprised at how quickly it had wilted. Jesus took the opportunity to teach His disciples about loving what the Lord loves and seeking His will in the world.
APPLICATION for today's Christ-follower: When we are devoted to God, His desires will become the desires of our hearts. And when we pray for our hearts' desires, which honor and glorify Him, He will answer our requests in mind-boggling ways. God is not some sort of genie in a bottle or cosmic vending machine. We cannot expect Him to deliver on things that we want when all we are seeing is self-gratification. But, when the desires of our hearts are consistent with His desires, we can expect Him to faithfully answer our prayers in exceedingly abundant ways.
PRAYER: My God and My Savior, You are worthy of my unconditional love and devotion. Forgive me for treating You like a cosmic vending machine, offering You my earthly currency in exchange for whatever pleases me. Forgive me for filling my heart and prayers with earthly desires that satisfy my purposes and not Yours. Lord, I want to love what You love. And I want to be frutiful in this world, not for my glory but for Yours. But that is hard in a culture that values self-promotion and personal achievment. I need You, Lord. Build in me the kind of faith that seeks Your glory. Help me to trust that You will grant the desires of my heart, even before they are spoken in prayer. Thank you for allowing me to be Your instrument of love in this broken and hurting world. Use me for Your glory. In the mighty and matchless name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. .