Pastor David Wilkerson: I want to talk to you about Moving your Mountain. Moving your mountain. Mark the 11th chapter, please, beginning to read in verse 20. Mark the 11th chapter, verse 20; and in the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots and Peter calling to remembrance, said unto him, master, behold, the fig tree which you cursed is withered away. Jesus answering said unto him, have faith in God. That's an amazing answer because it doesn't answer his question, he doesn't answer his question, he just says, 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 says shall come to pass, he shall receive whatsoever he says, therefore, I say unto you, what things so ever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them. Lord, will you add to this your grace and your mercy and your anointing and speak to all of us now through your precious word, in Jesus name, Amen. This is a passage I've read many times for many years.
I've been preaching for 55 years, and how many times I've read this, I could not count, but this time reading it, these past few weeks, the Lord wouldn't let me skip over it. We've seen it. You've read about it, and we don't see the deeper truths in it. We just pass on, "Well, something about a mountain and they can be removed." but there is something very marvelous in a way of a revelation of the heart of Jesus Christ and what he's trying to accomplish. In the 11th chapter of Mark previous to this account, Jesus has cleansed the temple. He's driven out the money changers. He came upon a fig tree that was bearing no fruit, and he said, bear no more fruit. He cursed it.
It's the next day Peter and the disciples walk past this tree and Peter says to Jesus, says, "Look the tree is withered from its roots." This is an illustrated sermon, one of many of Christ's ways of pursuing the truth and revealing his heart through parables and all kinds of illustrations. This is an illustrated sermon. The Lord is wanting to say something. First of all, the cross is right before Jesus, these are his final days and he knows what is being birthed. There’s a death of something of the old church that all that fig tree represents, the dead, carnal religion. Religion of works. The Jewish religion of trying to gain God's favor by human effort and keeping laws and regulations.
The Lord says I'm finished with that, it's dead to the roots. He's illustrating that and he said, my house is not going to be a house of, a den of thieves anymore. Being birth now is the Church of Jesus Christ, which lives by faith alone, salvation by faith, eternal life by faith. Everything comes by faith and he's standing before his disciples who are going to be the foundation stones, these are the stones upon which he's going to build his church and they do not have faith. Jesus said of them, they were slow to believe. "Oh, you slow to believe." He abraded them at times and he said, "Why can't you see? Why can't you believe?" and he's going to say something profound.
He knows that he has to get something. There's a hindrance. They're never going to come into the fullness of revelation. They're not going to be able to make it through the hard times of the cross, from the persecution and the bloodshed, everything that's ahead of them. They're not going to make it because there's something in the way. There's a mountain. When Peter says look at this tree has withered to the roots. Jesus says, have faith in God, doesn't answer his question at all. He's putting his message in context. We know that what follows has to be about faith and he takes them in there. minds and puts them face-to-face before the mountain.
This mountain, he doesn't name it. Scholars for years have tried to name that mountain. They say it's a mountain of discouragement, it's a mountain of sickness, it's a poverty mountain. If you look in your commentaries, you'll find all kinds of sermons about that mountain. Jesus said, "This mountain is unbelief." It's the mother of all sin. Every bit of discouragement, every bit of hopelessness. All of these things, fear, all are birthed out of the sin of unbelief. God, the Lord Jesus Christ is saying something very profound to his people.
He's saying, "I can't work with you. You have a great work ahead and I've called you. Upon your confession, I'm going to build my Church." but there's something hindering. Folks, the scripture is clear all through the New Testament, all through the life of Jesus in the gospels. He could do nothing where there was unbelief. He couldn't do it then; he can't do it now. Where there is unbelief, his hands are tied. He goes to his hometown, and the scripture says he could do nothing there because of their unbelief. This is the mountain; it's always been that mountain.
It always was, it is and will always be the mountain that hinders the fullness of God, the blessing of God and the revelation of Jesus Christ in his fullness. It is unbelief. I had a young pastor ask to have a session with me and he said, "Pastor Dave, I have a problem. I'm into pornography." He said, "The strange thing is, I have a good marriage. I love my wife. I pray. I love the Lord. Yet, I got into this and I got hooked. I can't seem to get out of it. This thing's growing so big in my life and it's robbing me now of my spiritual strength." Upon further counseling, investigation, I found out he thinks that's his mountain. That there's this impassible thing, it stands in front of him.
I began to question, I found out that a number of years ago, God made him. He felt very strong. It was a promise that was made and he really believed it was the voice of God. A wonderful promise for his life and he's telling me now it didn't happen. I don't think it's ever going to happen. Out came a bitterness, kind of resentment against God because God didn't answer prayer. I hear this from young people. It wasn't his mountain, it's unbelief. The whole problem is unbelief. He really doesn't believe God answers prayer. He's waited so long and he's prayed so hard and he said, "I have believed so hard and I can't get free." The promises didn't come.
In his bitterness and his despair-- When you have unbelief, it opens to you up to every conceivable kind of sin. I hear it from young people everywhere I go, even Christian from Christian homes. I hear it from pastor's sons and daughters. When I ask, "Why did you lose the fire? Why don't you have a passion for Christ? Born and raised in Christian homes and all these things, why don't you have a passion for Christ?" What I hear is, "Pastor Dave, if I could only see one prayer answered, I would believe." I hear that over and over again. That's why many in this generation-- A church survey recently show that great majority of even those in the church don't believe God answers prayer anymore.
There are some of you listening to me right now, you wouldn't say that out loud but you have this nagging fear, you got this nagging thought in your heart that even though you prayed and fasted, things are getting worse, the promises not coming true and you say, "How long do I wait?" I had a pastor's wife tell me-- Gwen and I have been praying with that family for quite a while. Under great suffering with children, finances, and everything else. Everything is getting darker and darker as far as she was concerned, she said, "Pastor Dave, I feel sometimes that I have the right to disbelieve. I have a right not to have faith anymore because I have done everything according to the Word of God.
I have done everything, I have prayed and I have fasted, I've paid my tithe, I have walked righteously before God and I have pleaded and begged. I don't see any evidence of God answering prayer." Right now, she said, "I'm not reading the Scriptures because nothing seems to come to life", and she said, "I honestly feel that I have a right" which is saying I have a right to unbelief. I want you to know that both of these individuals I've talked to have endured their storm. They come out to a wonderful place in faith. God's done a great work since.
Pastor Dave: There's an issue the Lord is trying to get through. God is not amused by unbelief because it's Satanic. It has ruined whole generations. God doesn't wink at unbelief in the hearts of his children. Do you remember the story of Zacharias, the priest? He's been told clearly that he's going to have a child in his old age and his name was going to be John. He's going to be a forerunner of the Messiah. Now, that's a heavy promise. That is miraculous, incredible promise because he and his wife were stricken with age and passed the time of being able to give birth to a child.
An angel by the name of Gabriel appears in the temple while he's presenting incense and Gabriel identifies himself. Now, you would think that man of God been seeking God for years and a man who's been waiting for the Messiah for so long and given himself full time to the heart of God would believe an angel. Well, not, maybe he doesn't believe in other priests, even the high priest, but certainly, he would believe an angel. Not just an ordinary angel, but an archangel, Gabriel himself. He said, "I've been sent to tell you that the time has come and you're going to have a child soon and his name is going to be John." and outlines this what the history of this child is going to be. Such incredible history.
Zacharias says -- he sees this mountain in front of his eyes -- he said, "How can it be? Impossible. Impossible." Now, God doesn't cut him any slack. He didn't say to Gabriel, "Well, look, he's an old man. He's been faithful. Let's just overlook it. Let's just give him the child. Let's go on." No. The Lord said, "Because you didn't believe, I'm going to lock your tongue. You're not going to be able to speak until the child is born."
He wasn't able to come out that day and bless the congregation as was customary. He could not shout, he could not rejoice among the family, he could not be a part of the worship, the open worship. Now, he can do this in his heart, of course, but the Lord is saying -- he's not winking at this -- he said, "I'm not going to overlook this." Folks, this past week, as I was thinking about this message, the Holy Spirit moved on my heart and spoke to me. I said, "Lord, why are you saying this message? I can get up and talk about unbelief in other people." The Lord said, "No, I'm going to talk to you. I will talk to you about your mountain."
He said, "You'll never understand this message until you know how much unbelief grieves my heart. Until you understand my grief, and my pain, and my hurt. If you just think it's something that I can pass over lightly, and you'll never know how to cast out your mountain, David. You will never know until you begin to feel and understand the pain that I go through that when those who claim to love me most, hurt me the worst. They can testify that they believe God. They have seen God work, they've seen me working, you've seen that." The Lord said, "How many miracles have you seen in your past?" I can't even remember how many miracles.
It would fill pages literally, where God has answered prayer and I have believed him and I have trusted him. Then a crisis comes, the big crisis comes and then suddenly we wipe out that whole history. We say things that grieve him. Now I'm not talking about an eclipse of faith, it comes and goes, and we say and do things under that eclipse. It's more than that. Until you understand the pain of God's heart. When he told you he is touched with the feelings, his own Son who is God in flesh touched with the feelings of your infirmities and to say things and believe and entertain in your mind that somehow I have failed you. Somehow I ignored your prayers. Somehow I passed you by.
Your pain gets deeper and worse, your conditions get worse and you become like Peter. Peter said, "Lord if it's you, let me walk on water." The word, Lord, if you're really God give me a miracle give it to me now because unbelief is very selfish and it thinks only of itself. Peter didn't think of the others that are left in the boat. He thought of himself. Deliver me out of this. He, the Lord says come. That's the whole gospel. The Lord's says in your pain, every child, come, just come to me.
You say you want a miracle, you come to me. You don't go to somebody with unbelief and talk it, talk unbelief, you don't get on the phone and just call somebody else and spill your spiritual guts to somebody where it all comes out. The language of unbelief. Peter looks at the condition. He begins to sink and Jesus takes him by the hand. Then he says "Why didn't you believe? Why did you doubt me?" He wasn't winking at him. He wasn't saying "Hey, man, why did?" No. God was grieved. There was a grief in God's heart. Why did you doubt me? Am I not God Almighty? You tell people that you believe that your God is the God of the impossible that there is nothing impossible with God.
There are people that have gone for a long, long time trusting God. They've had wonderful evidences and testimonies of faith and yet there'll come a crisis, the crisis of all, the mother of all crisis will come where everything humanly speaking is totally hopeless. King Asa is our example. King Asa was a very godly king of Judah. He wiped out sodomy. He wiped out idolatry. Tore down heathen temples and brought revival to Judah. Right in the midst of a revival, a million-man army came out of Ethiopia allied with the Lubims and they came against Judah to destroy Jerusalem and wipe out the nation.
The Bible says that Asa turned to the Lord and relied on him. He humbled himself before God and called the people to prayer. God through his faith, by his faith, the Ethiopian army far stronger and mightier than his army has a great victory. They came home singing the praises of God and on the way home a prophet intercepts him and the prophet says-- God didn't come and congratulate him. This is one of the greatest miracles of faith, true unwavering faith, probably in the modern times or those particular times in the history of Israel and would be talked about all over the known world at the time.
The Prophet comes to him and says, "I have a word for you. As long as you walk this way," in other words as long as you walk this kind of faith, "as long as you rely on the Lord, as long as you fully trust him and never give up your confidence in God, I'll walk with you and you will have the victories. But if you turn away from me, you're going to have wars." You're going to have wars. You're going to have disorder.
He goes on, he takes that message to heart, and for 36 years Asa walks in faith. Great victories, he builds the house of God to its splendor and he turns the nation around and wonderful things. It would have been glorious to live in Judah at the time. Now, 36 years later, a tragedy and another crisis. The backslidden king of Israel had attacked a town and where it's just five miles from Jerusalem and cut off all the trade routes. This meant if that blockade continued and Israel's army was encamped five miles on their border, this would bring economic collapse to Judah. It would bring famine, there would be no food, there would not be the fuel, there would not be the things that they needed to survive.
This was a crisis and this came to them when the Bible said, they were seeking God. The nation was seeking God but, in this crisis, the crisis before didn't bother him, he's walking in faith and now this comes after 36 years and he panics. He gathers his counselors together, "What are we going to do?" The thought is planted in his mind, "Ask the Syrians to get you out." So, he strips the temple of the gold and silver. He goes into the palaces he strips all the gold and the silver, amasses it and sends emissaries to Syria, a nation that was their arch-enemy, that's like going to the devil for counseling.
In plain words he says, "Here's my wealth. This is everything I own. Now I'm asking you to deliver me, deliver my people." Absolute unbelief. You see, God had planned, God already had plans underway to deliver Syria into his hands. I've often said, the hardest part of faith is the last half hour and a lot of people in that last half hour, well, God is making plans to give the most glorious deliverance you could ever imagine. Now you're sitting before this mountain of unbelief helpless and powerless and fearing and in panic. Some of you hearing me now, you're in a panic of God who's heard you 1,000 times, and I say it with brokenness because I see it in my own heart. I've seen it and I despise it.
We come to this and this won't be a long message but I have to get this off my heart. I ask God not to give me some detailed theological answer to this problem of a mountain of unbelief. How do I cast it out? How do I get this thing out of my life that hinders everything that God would do? Hinders ministry, marriage, hinders everything in life. Because a prophet came to Asa after Syria got his deliverance but the word of the Lord came to him, said, "Because you did not believe, from now on you will have wars." Everything is going to be out of order. Everything is going to go awry. Everything is going to turn into flesh. You're going to get all your directions from the flesh now.
I have been there. When you get out of God's will and you get out of faith and you begin to panic. First of all, it's the grief of God's heart. Secondly, you're going to turn to your own answers, your own thoughts, and your own fears are going to become a way of life. I asked God, "Lord, how do I cast this thing out of me?" Because he's made it our responsibility, you speak to the mountain and say, be gone, and it shall go. Then when this mountain is gone, then whatever you ask, or whatever you say, everything you want and desire, you shall have it.
A lot of people stop right there, say, "Wait a minute, I've been there, it doesn't work." Everything I ask-- he's saying after you move the mountain. I asked God, and last night, he really spoke to my heart. Do you really want to walk that life? Because I'm going to show you something that's going to cost you and has no merit to it but it's the only way to get rid of the mountain. There's another way. Some will say, no, just have faith. It says, speak the word, just speak the word, mountain go. Folks, you try that without what I'm about to tell you and the devils will laugh at you just as they did to the disciples when they tried to cast out a devil and they laughed at him.
Jesus said this comes by prayer and fasting. No merit, but if you want authority over this mountain, if you want authority over demon powers, if you want authority over those hounding fears and doubts, there's a place you have to go. There's a prayer you have to pray when you get there, and that place is Gethsemane. This is the garden where Jesus went when his cup became so overwhelming and his trial so crushing. He goes into this garden. People say, "No, this is not a generation of tears. We don't cry anymore. We just celebrate." but I celebrate Jesus Christ.
I love the songs on celebration but in our modern church in this time of gold and riches, fun, pleasure, backslidden, cold prayers, we don't want to cry. We don't want to put our face on the ground and plead. We don't want to intercede, but Jesus goes into the garden. He's never experienced unbelief. That's a sin. This is not a matter of his unbelief, but he's got a mountain, the cross. He goes in, and he said, I am sorrowful unto death. Have you ever prayed that, have you ever told your husband or your wife or told anybody, or have you ever had an encounter with God? What you're saying if not in words is, this is too much, it’s beyond my understanding. If this goes on, is going to kill me.
Have you ever wept tears that were so hot like blood running out of your face? We don't want to touch that anymore, because it's all-- Why can't we just say, "Well, God's a God of love."? I have preached so much love recently. From this pulpit we preach grace, we preach love but we also cannot do away with this Gethsemane experience. Jesus wept, he prayed, he interceded, he called on God, he sought the Lord, "Lord if it's possible, let this cup pass from me, don't let me have to take any more of this." Now forget trying to explain what's in the cup, but folks, if he does touch with things of our infirmities, it's got to be things that are in our cup, the same kind of cup.
I don't want to get into the theological framework of this, but I do know this, he said, "I'm in a situation, Father, I will plead with you and I beseech you, enough, enough." That's where you are right now, you say, "God, that's enough." And you have got to believe like Jesus did that his Father loved him and his Father is about to reveal something marvelous to his heart. There was a series of agonies that Jesus went through, series.
There is the fasting, the prayer, the weeping, the tears, the prostration, that's a series of spiritual episodes that are leading to a place and then after the tears have stopped flowing -- and the Father bottled every tear -- after the tears can no longer flow and after all, it's been said and done, Jesus prays the ultimate prayer. Now, that word ultimate, one of the explanations, one of the definitions of ultimate is the end of a series. The far-out end, in other words, everything has been tried.
The ultimate is there and he gets help, looks God in the face, he said, in essence, what he's saying, "I've prayed, I've wept, I've fasted, I've done everything, to unload my soul to you Father, but I've come to this place, nevertheless, not my will, but your will be done.
Pastor Dave: Your will be done, and so, you can't move that mountain until you pray that ultimate faith and that prayer, and you can't pray that until you have unloaded everything that's in your soul, to where you go to the heavenly Father. Yes, go. It's not a way of living; it's not our daily walk, but it's a confrontation where you come to the place where you're saying, “I'm at the end,” and you pour your soul out to God, and you quit looking at the circumstances and believe that God loves you and he will not allow anything in your life except that which is good, which is right, which is according to his will, according to his will and his mind.
You give up trying to figure it out, and you cast yourself in the arms of the Heavenly Father and say, "Lord, this, this is not what I want. I don't think I can handle much of it, but I know you're God almighty, and I cast everything into your hands, and now I pray the ultimate prayer: your will be done." And when you do that God gives to you- starts opening your eyes to a revelation. A lot of people have cried and wept for God to use them and God to give them patience and God to do something in their families and God knows what he has to do. So God begins to allow afflictions.
David said, If I had been afflicted, I would have sought the Lord. God knows the path, he knows the cost of that and the moment you prayed that he went into action and the next day, the next week, things started happening in your life and you miss the answer. You're going around despising the answer, this is God at work. I'm going to close in just a moment, but to illustrate this and right to the point, I remember, I thought of again last night, my youngest son, Greg, back in the pastor's office a number of years ago, he asked me to come back with him and he threw himself on the floor and began to weep and cry and wail before God.
He said, "Dad, such a burden for young people. I don't know how to reach out and get hold of this thing but God has to do something as-- we're losing the generation." I didn't know what to do. I just sat there and said, "Oh God, whatever it takes, answer his prayer." So, he goes into the greatest trial of his life. Four years of incredible pain. His faith, very life being tested, but I had made an ultimate prayer and said, "God, whatever it takes because I trust you, you'll only do what's right." In this past few months, God has been bringing him out in a glorious way."
Pastor Dave: He called me last week, he said, "Dad, thank you for not giving up on me and thanks for not giving up on your faith." I put everything, I never once doubted that God was at work. None of this is going to work unless you are convinced, totally convinced that God loves you. It's not going to work if you focus on your sins and won't believe, you start right there. I commit the keeping of my soul. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life trying to make things up to God. I'm not going to try to be God anymore and try to answer everybody's prayer. Hallelujah.
Pastor Dave: The joy of God then when we cast ourselves into his care. Will you stand. There was a time that when Gwen and I would walked home from the service, I'd say, "Honey, how'd I do?"
Pastor Dave: The Lord showed me that that was a sign of hardness in my heart. I should have been asking the Lord and myself. I don't do that anymore, but I should have been asking, "Did I preach that in love? What was my point? What was I trying to accomplish?" When this church was established, it took, in my estimation four years for God to make me even a low class kind of pastor. Because I used to see people in multitudes and they were all faces and I never got to talk to people. They were just faces. Then when you come face-to-face with people in trial, in hardship, and all of this, you can't just say, "Now I'm going to love." You have to work these things out in your own heart first.
I know that you know that you have pastors and elders here that love you. We're not into race issues in this church because every one of these men, black, white, Hispanic, whatever it is, there's something God has done by his spirit that is supernatural.
Pastor Dave: I hope you understand what I'm trying to say; that God in his love has spoken to my heart and yours and this is what he's trying to accomplish. That you now pour your soul out to God and I'm not going to re-preach my sermon. You don't have to come to the altar to do that, in the annex, you can do it right where you're at.
I don't want you to pray the ultimate prayer here. I don't want you to just flippantly say, "All right, not my will Lord, but yours be done." but get all the other stuff out first. Tell Him. Tell him like it is. Talk to him. Get alone and say, "I'm not leaving this room. I'm not leaving this place until my soul is at rest."
You'll know the mountain is gone when you have this rest. I'm not trying to do it anymore, you are questioning God's work by resting on his promises and his word. Heavenly Father, would you show us your heart. Show us where we are in our walk with you now. Are we resting on your side? Are we accusing you Father of child abuse? Lord, is there anything in our hearts that would hinder us now? Remove it by your grace. Take it out of our heart. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Would you lift your hands to the Lord, both hands. Put your Bible down wherever. Just lift your hands before the Lord. Would you begin to thank him for his love for you. Just begin. That's where you start, "Thank you for loving me."
God's not mad at anybody here. He's not mad at you. Let's thank him for his love. Lord, we thank you that no matter what we're going through, you have given us evidence that you truly love us. We are under the love of God, we are under the covenant of God, we're under the grace and mercy of God, but oh Lord, we're also friends with God. Lord, we can approach you as a friend and say, 'I have an issue in my heart. Now, Lord Jesus, give me the Holy Spirit in greater measure so that I can pray from my heart, and surrender to the perfect will of God.' Wherever that takes us, wherever it ends, that we will go your way in full surrender."
Now, one thing before we close this service. Up in the balcony, in here, the main floor, if you are not where you know you should be with Christ. If you know in your heart, you've grown colder indifferent to him. I want you to step out of your seat. If you feel the tug and pull of the Holy Spirit, I want you to get out of your seat, come and I will pray with you and will believe the Lord to bring you back to his heart. If you have strayed any way at all, or if you've been living in dreaded fear, absolute dread fear. Now, I'm not just talking about something that happened last night, it's a way of life. Now, you live day by day, under a spirit of fear. I want to pray against that spirit.
I want you to get out of your seat, up in the balcony, down either side and here in the main floor, come this way. Those in the annex, you can move between the screens and I'll pray, you'll be able to see and hear in just a moment. Well, our instruments are playing. Get out of your seat.
Pastor Dave: I don't care if there are 10 people. God wants to do something in your heart before this service is history. There's only one thing you can give to God now. You can't give him any righteousness because you and I don't have any of our own, we are saved by his righteousness. You can't give him any money because he owns it all. You don't have to give him tears, that doesn't merit anything. As followers of Christ, we don't merit anything by our Bible reading, and by our prayer, and by our tears, and frustration, we don't merit anything, but there's one thing you can give him, the one thing he wants and that you have the power and ability to give him and that's your faith. Your faith. Will you pray this prayer with me. Lord Jesus.
Congregation: Lord Jesus.
Pastor Dave: Forgive my unbelief.
Congregation: Forgive my unbelief.
Pastor Dave: I trust you.
Congregation: I trust you.
Pastor Dave: I love you.
Congregation: I love you.
Pastor Dave: And I do the best I can.
Congregation: And I do the best I can.
Pastor Dave: To give you.
Congregation: To give you.
Pastor Dave: My small faith.
Congregation: My small faith.
Pastor Dave: Jesus.
Pastor Dave: I receive your love.
Congregation: I receive your love.
Pastor Dave: I receive your forgiveness.
Congregation: I receive your forgiveness.
Pastor Dave: Touch my heart.
Congregation: Touch my heart.
Pastor Dave: Take all the questions out of my mind.
Congregation: Take all the questions out of my mind.
Pastor Dave: Teach me how.
Congregation: Teach me how.
Pastor Dave: By the Holy Spirit.
Congregation: BY the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Dave: To trust you.
Congregation: To trust you.
Pastor Dave: Every single day.
Congregation: Every single day.
Pastor Dave: Not to worry.
Congregation: Not to worry.
Pastor Dave: Not to fear.
Congregation: Not to fear.
Pastor Dave: But to rest.
Congregation: But to rest.
Pastor Dave: On the promises.
Congregation: On the promises.
Pastor Dave: Jesus made.
Congregation: Jesus Made.
Pastor Dave: Thank you, Father.
Congregation: Thank you, Father.
Pastor Dave: Thank you, Jesus.
Congregation: Thank you, Jesus.
Pastor Dave: Thank you Holy Spirit.
Congregation: Thank you Holy Spirit.
Pastor Dave: Now give him thanks.