Are we snorkeling Christians or deep-sea diving believers?
In the past week I’ve heard two seasoned men of God mention two adjectival phrases that have challenged me to ponder well the quality of my faith: “absolute faith” and “deep faith”. It’s not so much that they differ but that they both indicate a life of unswerving surrender and submission to the Word of God. In other words, they bring a snorkeling Christian – who lives and seeks for the things of God on the surface level – into the depths of deep-sea diving, where “treasures of darkness” are found, as well as “hidden riches of secret places” (Isaiah 45:3). So much could be said and/or written about this “deep/absolute faith” life, but I want to explore it simply from one particular angle, as seen in Mark 11:22-25.
” … whosoever shall say to this mountain … “
In Mark 11:22, 23, Jesus told His disciples, ” … Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, it will be done for him.” (KJV and Amplified) That “whosoever”, is YOU, and it’s me; it’s anyone who dares to command his mountain in such a way – not doubting at all in his heart! Is that possible? Of course! “All things are possible to him who believes!” (Mark 9:23) I simply need to identify myself with this “whosoever” person – it indeed is me, by Grace through faith.
” … whatsoever you ask in prayer … “
Now let’s consider the “whatsoever”. How can we be confident in doing what Jesus says here? I John 5:14,15 has the answer: “And this is the confidence (…the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: …that if we ask anything … according to His Will …, He … hears us. And … (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with absolute knowledge] … that we have [ … as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.” Once again, it’s the Word of God that is the Lamp, the Light to indicate to us His Will, His way, His plan. How vital then to hear the Word, which will, in turn, generate Faith that enables us to pray with absolute, unwavering, deep and undoubting assurance.
” … whenever you stand praying …”
Another important ” -ever” word, relevant to the two already discussed, is “whenever”, as seen in Mark 11:25 – “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone [or “whatsoever” against “whomsoever”!], 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 drop.” Needless to say, it is difficult to pray with boldness and in absolute assurance when there is unforgiveness, resentment or even bitterness lurking in our hearts and souls. But the Lord is so ready to be gracious to us, and to lift up His Mercy against judgment if we will but come to Him in faith, confess to Him what is needed, be cleansed of all unrighteousness, have our consciences purged of dead works, and then once again be filled with the Holy Spirit! As much as the Lord emphasizes prayer in His Word, He tells us what must come first: “first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” [your prayer] (Matthew 5:24).
” … wherever you go … “
Here is yet another unconditional, absolute ” -ever” word in a powerfully encouraging context. Listen to these words from the Heart and Mouth of the Lord to Joshua, who lived in absolute faith in the words and nature of his God: “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Imagine how many would go to wherever the Lord directed them, without hesitation or doubt as to His Presence going with them, if they exercised absolute faith in this absolute promise! “Go then and make disciples of all the nations, … , and behold, I am with you all the days ( … uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close … of the age.” (Matthew 28:19a, 20b) … ” … wherever you go …”! This perpetual, promised Presence is a theme that permeates both the Old and New Testaments and is a considerable contributor to our unwavering confidence in asking whatsoever as a whosoever who is born of Him.
” … whatever is born of God is victorious …”God's 'heredity' within us will always conquer the world outside us. Click To Tweet
Finally, let’s look at a thrilling, absolute promise of victory for each and all of us in I John 5:4 (J.B Phillips translation): ” …God’s ‘heredity’ within us will always conquer the world outside us. In fact, this faith of ours [“the faith of the Son of God”, Gal.2:20] is the only way in which the world has been conquered. For who could … conquer the world, in the true sense, except the man who really [absolutely] believes that Jesus is God’s Son?” – Who is in us! Whether the translation of this verse says “whosoever” or “whatsoever”, we can say with absolute certainty that who we are in Christ, Who He is in us and His faith in us (Gal.2:20), His “heredity” as our possession – the whole of it conquers the world and anything in the world that troubles us in spirit, soul, or body.
” … leaning … on God … in absolute trust … in His power, wisdom, and goodness … “
Imagine our daring to throw the weight of our entire being on the eternal, unfailing promises and character of God, ‘leaning our entire personality on Him in absolute trust … in His power, wisdom, and goodness’ (Hebrews 4:2, Amplified) to perform whatsoever He has promised …! Truly, through us He could turn the world upside down and millions could be prevented from spending eternity without Him. This is not too hard of impossible for God!
So let US be, through absolute faith, the whosoevers, who ask and expect the whatsoevers from Him, according to His Word, trusting in Him to be with us wherever we go, always making sure to be free of all unforgiveness or resentment whenever we approach Him to present our petitions. Such an eternal posture in life reveals that we are indeed more than conquerors!