Chapter OneLearning to Speak God's Language
And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].
Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into
the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says
will take place, it will be done for him.
Do you have problems? Your answer is right under your nose.
At least a major part of it is.
I do not believe that anyone can live in victory without being well informed
concerning the power of words.
Usually when we have mountains in our lives we talk about them, but God's Word
instructs us to talk to them, as we see in Jesus' words in this passage.
Are You Talking About Your Mountains -
Or to Your Mountains?
When Jesus said that we are to speak to our mountain in faith, commanding it to
be lifted up and thrown into the sea, this is a radical statement and one that
deserves some study.
First of all, what do we say to the mountains in our lives? It is obvious that
we are not to hurl our will at them, but the will of God, and His will is His
In Luke 4 when Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He answered
every trial with the Word of God. He repeatedly said, "It is written," and
quoted Scriptures that met the lies and deceptions of the devil head on.
We have a tendency to "try" this for a while, and then when we do not see quick
results we stop speaking the Word to our problems and begin once again speaking
our feelings, which is probably what got us into trouble to begin with.
A stonecutter may strike a rock ninety-nine times with a hammer, and there may
be no evidence at all that the rock is cracking. Then on the one hundredth time,
it may split in half. Each blow was weakening the stone even though there were
no signs to indicate it.
Persistence is a vital link to victory We must know what we believe and be
determined to stick with it until we see results.
Obedience and Forgiveness Are as
Important as Faith and Persistence
For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe
(trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive
him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in
heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your
failings and shortcomings.
To make sure we maintain balance in this teaching, let me say that speaking the
Word of God is powerful and absolutely necessary in overcoming. However, it is
not the only doctrine in the Word of God.
For example, obedience is equally important. If a person thinks he can live in
disobedience, but speak God's Word to his mountains and get results, he will be
sadly disappointed, as Jesus clearly stated in this passage.
Mark 11:22-26 must be considered as a whole. In verse 22 Jesus said to
constantly have faith in God. In verse 23 He talked about releasing faith by
speaking to mountains. In verse 24 He spoke of prayer and the importance of
praying believing prayers. In verse 25 He gave a command to forgive. And in
verse 26 He stated plainly that if we do not forgive, neither will our Father in
heaven forgive us our failings and shortcomings.
There is no power in speaking to a mountain if the heart is full of
unforgiveness, yet this problem is rampant among God's children.
Multitudes of people who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior fall into
the deception of trying to operate one of God's principles while completely
Obedience is the central theme of the Bible. For many of us, our life is in a
mess due to disobedience. The disobedience may have been the result of ignorance
or rebellion, but the only way out of the mess is repentance and a return to
submission and obedience.
Don't Ignore the "Ifs" and "Buts"
If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being
watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord
your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the
voice of the Lord your God.
Please notice the "ifs" in this passage. So often we choose to ignore the "ifs"
and "buts" in the Bible.
Consider, for example, 1 Corinthians 1:9,10:
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His
promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship
and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and
that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you
be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and
We see that God is faithful, and we also see that we draw upon that faithfulness
by honoring Him with obedience in relationships. Our disobedience does not
change God. He is still faithful, but obedience opens the door for the blessing
that is already there due to God's goodness to flow to us.
This book would be a tragedy in my estimation if I tried to teach that you and I
can have what we say without clarifying that what we say must line up with the
Word of God and His will. "Speaking to our mountains" is not a magic charm or
incantation that we pull out and use when we are in trouble or when we want
something for ourselves, and then continue on in carnality and a disobedient
However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to
nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to
mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]
1 Corinthians 3:1
As long as you and I are carnal, we should hope and pray that God shows us mercy
and that we do not get what we say. We will be saying a lot of things that are
our will and not God's will, simply because we cannot tell the difference yet.
As "babies in Christ," we simply do not know how to talk yet, as Paul tells us
here in this passage.
Just as natural babies must learn to speak the language of their elders, so
Christians must learn how to talk God's way.
Learning To Speak God's Language
For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and
unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will
in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk
But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental
faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what
is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or
We need time to learn the Word of God and to know His heart. Although many
things are clearly defined in the Word, and it is obvious what God's will is,
there are other things that we need to make decisions about that are not spelled
out in black and white. We need to know His heart and be led by His Spirit. The
Bible does not tell us what kind of automobile to buy, or when to sell our house
and purchase a new one, or what company to work for. If we do work at a company
and want a promotion, that desire could be God's will for us, but it could also
be covetousness. How can we know the difference?
Time is the answer.
It takes time to know God, to know our own hearts, and to be able to be totally
honest with ourselves and with God. It takes time to learn about motives and how
to determine whether ours are pure.
"If It Be Thy Will"
. You do not have, because you do not ask.
[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with
wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what
you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.
I once heard it said that a person operating in faith will never pray, "if it be
Thy will." There was no other explanation given; therefore as a young Christian
I took the statement to an extreme.
In the same way, I heard that I could have what I said, but nobody told me that
I needed to grow up. Perhaps someone did say it and I was so full of myself that
I did not hear, but I was 11 definitely out of balance. I wanted what I wanted,
and I thought I had found a new way to get it.
There are some things in the Word of God that are so clear that we never have to
pray, "if it be Thy will."
Salvation is a good example.
In 1 Timothy 2:3,4 the Bible states that it is God's desire that all should be
saved and come to a knowledge of Him. I would never pray, "Dear Father in
heaven, I ask in Jesus' name that You save _____, if it be Thy will." I already
know it is His will to save that person.
James 4:2 says we have not because we do not ask. Verse 3 says that sometimes we
ask and yet fail to receive because we ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish
motives. I realize that sometimes it is hard to believe that of ourselves, but,
nonetheless, it is true. It is especially true of the believer who has not
allowed the purification process of God to take place in his life. In that
state, a person has God in him, but he also has an abundance of "self" in him.
I believe that in those instances when what we are asking for is not clearly
spelled out in the Word, and we are not positive that we have heard from God
about the issue, it is wise and an act of true submission to pray, "if it be Thy
I recall an instance many years ago when my husband Dave and I were vacationing
in a lovely spot in Georgia. We were exceptionally tired, and God had made a way
for us to take some time off and rebuild our energies. We were enjoying the
place so much that we began planning to bring our children back there the
following year and take an extended vacation. We were full of our plans and
excitedly talking about them. I began to "declare" (make a verbal confession),
"We are coming back here next year, I and our entire family will be blessed with
a vacation at this place."
Suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke James 4:15 to me: You ought instead to say, If
the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. As I
began later to study this Scripture I also noticed verse 16: But as it is, you
boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is
There is a difference between faith and confidence, and foolishness and
presumption. Unless that difference is discerned, the spiritual life becomes a
tragedy instead of a triumph.
I do not personally feel that I am weak in faith if I pray, "Lord, I want this
thing - if it is Your will, if it fits in with Your plan, if it is Your best for
me, and if it is Your timing."
Proverbs 3:7 says, Be not wise in your own eyes I have taken this verse to
heart and believe it has saved me a great deal of agony.
There was a time in my life when I thought I knew everything and if everyone
would listen to me, we would all get along just fine. I have now discovered that
I do not know anything at all, at least not compared to what God knows.
We must resist the temptation to play "Holy Ghost, Jr." Instead, we must let God
Balance, Wisdom, Prudence, Common Sense, and Good Judgment
Every prudent man deals with knowledge, but a [self-confident] fool exposes
and flaunts his folly.
It seems to me from my twenty years of observation in the Kingdom of God, that
people and teachers have a difficult time with balance. The doctrine concerning
the power of words, the mouth, confession, calling those things that be not as
though they are, and speaking things into existence, is one example where I have
seen people get off into extremes. It seems that the flesh wants to live in the
ditch on one side of the road or the other, but it has a difficult time staying
in the middle of the highway between the lines of safety.
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all
times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring
[in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Extremes are actually the devil's playground. If he cannot get a believer to
totally ignore a truth and live in deception, his next tactic will be to get him
so one-sided and out of balance with that truth that he is no better off than he
was before. Sometimes he is even worse off than he was.
Wisdom is a central theme of God's Word. As a matter of fact, there is no real
victory without it.
In Webster's II New College Dictionary wisdom is defined as "1. Understanding
what is true, right, or lasting. 2. Good judgment: common sense." I have dealt
with many people over the years, both lay people and those in full-time
ministry, who simply do not use any common sense.
Wisdom does not operate in extremes. Proverbs 1:1-4 says that wisdom is full of
prudence, and prudence is good management.
In this same dictionary, prudence is defined as "careful management: ECONOMY."
The adjective form, prudent, is defined as "using good judgment or common sense
in handling practical matters." I believe we might say that wisdom is a
combination of balance, common sense, and good judgment.
A teacher of God's Word has to be responsible to explain himself enough to be
reasonably sure that believers in all stages of spiritual growth understand him.
To make one blanket statement that "you can have what you say," without any
explanation, is dangerous to the immature Christian.