To act on your faith means to pray, believing that you have received your answer the moment that you prayed, and then begin to take action, knowing that you have received what you’ve asked for, regardless of what your senses tell you.
“Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24)
In this passage, Jesus lays out exactly how we are to act on our faith so throughout this article we are going to be breaking down this passage step by step.
Step 1: Have faith in God
The first step to acting on our faith is to understand where our faith is placed.
We can have faith in many things. We can have faith in our prayer, we can faith in our righteousness, we can have faith in our own natural ability, etc.
But Jesus said, “have faith in God.”
I know this is basic but it must be mentioned because too many times we get caught up in what we were praying or how many people we had praying.
All those things are not necessary and they should not be our focus when we go to release and act on our faith. Our only focus should be on the One we are praying to and His ability to show up.
Step 2: Speak to the Mountain
The second step is to speak to the mountain.
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea’”
A lot of people get hemmed up on this part because they think they have to talk to God about the mountain, but Jesus told us that if we want to act on our faith we don’t talk to God about the mountain, but we talk to the mountain and tell it what to do in the name of Jesus.
This is exactly what Jesus did almost every time He performed a miracle. He would speak to the problem. If it was a sickness, demon being cast out, or a storm being tamed, it did not matter He would always speak to the problem.
He would say things like “Be healed”, “Be cleansed”, “Get up and walk”, “Come out of Him”, “Peace be still”, “Let no fruit eat from you again”, etc.
It wasn’t just Jesus, the apostles did the same thing. When they would heal or cast out demons they would say, “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk”, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her,” etc.
Every practical example in the New Testament reveals this simple truth; we speak to the mountain in the name of Jesus if we are to truly act on our faith.
Now I know someone will raise the objection that we are encouraged to ask God for things throughout scripture and, honestly, that isn’t an objection at all, I totally agree with that.
However, when it comes to issues that are in direct opposition to God’s known will, God has given us authority to speak to that mountain and command it to move.
In fact, Jesus even calls this “asking” in Mark chapter 11.
Right after Jesus tells us to speak to the mountain and tell it to move, He says,
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.“
The word “therefore” connects this part of this passage to the beginning when Jesus said, “whoever says to this mountain.”
So obeying Jesus and speaking to the mountain, as He told us to, is the same thing as asking Him for the mountain to move in His eyes.
Step 3: Don’t doubt, but believe
The next critical step is to not doubt in our heart but believe that things we spoke will be done.
“Whoever says to this mountain…and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23)
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24).
When we combine these two verses we can see what it means to not have doubt in our hearts but to believe.
Jesus said that if we want to see our prayers answered we need to release true faith. And true faith, in Jesus’ eyes, is to speak in faith without any doubt, believing that the moment we speak we have what we prayed for.
This kind of faith is contrary to what many Christians think faith is.
Many times people want to receive before they believe.
They pray their faith filled prayer but then immediately check their physical senses to see if it has come to pass or not, and then after a while they grow weary and then slowly stop “believing” all together.
They may not say that they want to receive before they believe but that is essentially what they are doing.
They are believing for few moments but then checking in the natural to see if they received their prayer, but this is NOT what Jesus said true faith is.
Jesus said true faith is when we believe that we received the moment that we prayed. (Related article: The Faith of the Centurion and How to Have it).
If someone truly believed that they received the moment that they prayed, would they be checking in the natural to see if they received it?
Another way of saying this is, if you asked me for 100 dollars and I gave it to you the moment that you asked me, would you start looking around for the 100 dollars, asking me why I didn’t give it to you?
Of course not! You would begin to thank me for the money and for my generosity.
The very fact that we check in the natural to see if we “truly received or not” proves that we had doubt in our heart when we prayed.
Because if we had the faith that Jesus is talking about here we would never need to look for the proof, we would know that it is already done.
You see, the moment we start looking for the “proof” in the natural is the moment that we have taken our eyes off of Jesus and placed them on the waves around us, and just like Peter sunk when he did this so too will we.
[Here are some article on how to grow in faith: How to grow in Faith and What a Mustard Seed of Fatih Means (& How to Have it)].
Step 4: Act
The final step is to act in faith.
Just in the last step we mentioned that true faith, according to Jesus, is believing you received the moment that you prayed.
Now if we believe that we received the moment that we prayed then that means we should act on our faith believing that we truly did receive.
In fact, three times in chapter 2 of the book of James, he says that faith without works is dead.
“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20)
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)
So, according to these verses we can’t have true biblical faith unless we act on our faith. And I would even argue that true faith doesn’t even start until action takes place.
And the reasoning is simple, you can’t believe that you received the moment that you prayed if you are not willing to act.
Now, of course, the form of action is different for everyone according to what they are believing for.
For example, speaking to the mountain like we mentioned in step 2 is a form of action. Especially when you are in a situation where there is many unbelievers around and you are more proned to be mocked when you speak in faith.
Another good example is if someone is believing for salvation and they are deciding to follow Jesus. The next step for them is to get baptized as soon as possible because this is the way we act on our faith in Jesus for salvation.
But if someone is asking God for wisdom because they are at a dead end and have absolutely no idea what to do next, then this may look a little different.
This form of action may be either prayerfully waiting to receive greater insight or it may be putting yourself in a position where God has to intervene and give you wisdom in a divine way (This is actually what Jesus told us to do when we get persecuted and have to stand before governors of this earth).
Whatever the case may be, there is always some form of action involved when we decide to put faith in Jesus.
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