“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered." - Mark 11:22 (NIV)
No matter how hard you work to move forward or how nice you are, there will always be people and things that can weigh you down.
I had a friend a few years ago who had an abrasive personality and often had a negative attitude toward me. And pretty much everything. He was toxic, to say the least.
I genuinely loved him as a friend, but I felt suffocated by his lack of empathy and gentleness toward me. So one day, I decided to talk to him about how I felt.
I told him that I felt sad, drained, and powerless when I was around him. And I told him that if he wasn’t willing to work on making some changes in how he responded to me, I could no longer be an active part of his life.
Well, to no one's surprise, he wasn’t receptive to my feelings and didn't want to make any changes. We parted ways, and the moment we did, I felt a sense of relief and power back over my life.
It was like drinking a cold soda on a hot summer day. The weight that was holding me back was gone, and I was free to inhale fresh, non-toxic air.
I was reading the story about how Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11, and it reminded me of the importance of leaving things behind that aren’t producing fruit.
After Jesus and his disciples left Bethany, he was hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance. He went to see if it had any fruit but found nothing but leaves on it. So, Jesus cursed the tree and said, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:14)
I found out that figs appear on trees before the leaves. Since the fig tree had leaves on it, it should’ve had fruit too, but it didn’t.
The tree was no good.
The tree deceived them just like people who aren’t producing any “fruit” in their lives can often deceive us. Jesus cursed the tree because it was dead weight.
The following morning, Peter saw the withered fig tree that Jesus cursed and pointed it out. Jesus’ response was simple and yet powerful.
He said, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)
I thought Jesus' response was a little strange at first, but my takeaway is that Jesus is saying to not be distracted by things that aren’t serving us and focus on exercising our faith in God.
If we have faith, even a small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains. It may be hard to separate yourself from toxic things or people on your own, but with God, all things are possible.
Let go of the weight of everything that's holding you back from stepping into the fullness of God’s purpose for your life. Release it all, and have faith in God.
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Do great things with God.