“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”
Mark 11:23 (NLT)

Faith can move mountains. We hear it all the time. It rings true and yet we can struggle to see the mountains move in our own lives. Let’s look at what led up to Jesus saying this to his disciples. 

Jesus was hungry. He saw a fig tree. It had no fruit (because figs were not in season). Jesus cursed the tree. It withered. The apostles were amazed. He told them they could move mountains if they believed. 

I’ve always found this story puzzling because Jesus obviously knew it wasn’t the season for figs. So why get mad at the poor tree? Was He just hangry? One thing we can trust is that Jesus never did anything without a reason. If He could feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, He could have caused figs to grow on that tree. 

Fruitless Trees

What do you hunger for? A relationship? A flourishing career? More money? More time? More peace?

What do you think will satisfy that hunger? A husband? A nicer boss? Greater opportunities? Longer vacations?

Just as it wasn’t the season for figs, it may not be the season for you to experience fruit in a particular area of your life. But it is the season for you to do something about the longing that drives you to depression, builds your anxiety, or steals your peace.

Perhaps Jesus cursed the fig tree to show us that we have to remove the object of our false hope in order to move the real mountains in our lives.

Take loneliness for example. As single women, we all know the ache to share our lives with someone special. That desire is no more evil than being hungry. But when we place our hope for complete satisfaction in another person, we lose sight of where our true source of contentment comes from.

The tree we need to curse isn’t the desire to be in a relationship but the desire to have anyone other than God complete us. Jerry Maguire’s famous line, “You complete me,” fills us with hope that the right person will make us happy, fix our problems, and make us feel loved and fulfilled. That is a tree that will not bear fruit.

Curse it and let it wither. We will not find wholeness in anyone but Jesus. As you witness that tree wither, you’ll be amazed at the fruit that springs up in other areas of your life. Peace, joy, hope, love, and wholeness will begin to take root as God leads you into a deeper relationship with Him.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’ll be single forever if you curse this particular tree. But I am saying that God will prepare you for either a fulfilling life as a single woman or He’ll prepare you for a fulfilling life as a wife in the right season. Either way, this season of your life will be better and more fruitful when you choose to let God lead the way.

Look for Mountains

Now that we’ve taken care of the fig tree, let’s focus on the mountain. Why would Jesus go from talking about fig trees to moving mountains? The fig tree represents distractions from the real mountains we need to move. Again, in this story, it symbolizes false hope. Once you get rid of the distractions you can take a look at the mountain casting a shadow over your life.

Does your desire for a relationship stem from fear over your future? Ask God to move that mountain and He’ll replace fear with confidence in His provision and presence.

Does the need to work exhausting hours to accumulate as much wealth as possible hide your insecurities about having enough? Remember that our Father is Jehovah-Jireh, God our provider. As His daughters we will always have enough of what we need.

Does the idea of saying no cause you anxiety because you fear rejection? Cast that mountain into the sea with the knowledge that you are chosen by God. He not only accepts you, He chases after you every day. Daughter of the King, you need not fear rejection.

Take some time to really dig into the core of your desires and behaviors and ask God to show you the real mountain that stands between you and His hope for your life. The fig trees are distractions and false hopes, the mountains are the barriers that keep you trapped in self-destructive cycles.

Search for the mountains that need to be removed, then prayerfully say, “May you be lifted up and cast into the sea!” God promises to answer this prayer if you believe. And He will help you believe because He wants to move that mountain for you.

Father, thank you for allowing us to draw near to You. Thank You for wanting to be known by us and for loving us as we stumble our way through this life. Continue to reveal Yourself as we seek to understand You and know You more completely. We love You want to honor You in all we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Daughter of God, you will find wholeness in Christ.


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