Recently, I was studying in Mark 11 about the withered fig tree. This story showed me the power of certainty. The dictionary defines certainty as a “firm conviction that something is true.”
Isn’t certainty just another word for faith?
Have you ever had doubts about whether the Lord’s vision will come to pass on your health journey?
This article will share the three keys I learned about how to “achieve certainty” and quell those doubts in pursuing your health goals.
The Power of Certainty: Words
In the withered fig tree story, we see that Jesus, the Son of God, was hungry (Mark 11:12-14).
Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus, our Savior, lived in a human body and knows about its needs and limitations?
This “lived-in experience” is what makes Jesus a Compassionate High Priest to us now. He empathizes with our suffering and supports us who believe in Him through the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves on it, He went to investigate. He wanted to see if the fig tree would have figs to satisfy His hunger.
But alas! Even though it was not the season for figs, the fig tree was advertising that figs would be present anyway by their appearance.
However, when Jesus inspected the fig tree, He saw no figs at all. The fig tree was guilty of false advertising.
This situation reminds me of a breakthrough question I heard once: “If someone accused you of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
When Jesus saw the fig tree’s actual condition, He said, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
Scripture records that the disciples heard what Jesus said. This fact about the power of words will be necessary to the story later!
The Power of Certainty: Purpose
It’s important to note that the night before His encounter with the fig tree, Jesus inspected the temple in Jerusalem. The scriptures do not tell us what He saw then.
However, the next day, Jesus and His disciples encountered the fig tree on His way back to the temple. After speaking those powerful words to the fig tree, He was ready to clean the house!
He cleaned out everything that did not belong in the temple: He turned over the money changers’ tables and drove out those who sold doves. Why?
Because the temple was a sacred place; however, the chief priests allowed activities within the temple that distracted from the temple’s original purpose.
In Mark 11:17, Jesus taught why the cleansing action was needed:
Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Because our bodies are God’s temple today (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20), we can tap into the power of purpose through this breakthrough question: “Do we see our bodies as a sacred place, fulfilling their purpose as a house of prayer?”
Or do we believe that as long as our bodies look good on the outside, all is well?
The certainty of life depends upon consistency in purpose.
The Power of Certainty: Consistency
After cleansing the temple, Jesus passed by the fig tree again with His disciples the next day. The fig tree was withered, a shell of its former self. It would never deceive another hungry traveler!
When Peter saw the tree’s condition, he said:
“Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”– Mark 11:21
Jesus’ words had the power to stunt the fig tree’s growth.
While Peter was surprised with the results of Jesus’ words, Jesus was not.
Jesus explained why power and authority filled His words:
So Jesus answered and said to them, “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
The reason Jesus had certainty was His conviction in the power of God. His words were consistent with the power of certainty, not contrary to it.
A good breakthrough question to ask ourselves is, “Are we speaking curses to ourselves, contradicting our efforts to change?”
Examples: “I never succeed at anything” or “I never learn.”
Curses oppose the power of certainty. You cannot fulfill your potential while speaking curses against yourself!
Certainty requires consistency:
- Consistency in belief/conviction
- Consistency in words
- Consistency in actions
Is your Source Lightbulb or Laser-Powered?
Your words and actions must align with your belief, all moving in the same direction. It’s like the difference between a light bulb and a laser. Check out the difference in power between the two:
A laser generates a beam of remarkably intense light. The significant difference between laser light and light from a light bulb is that laser light is from a single wavelength, directional and coherent.
However, light from a light bulb diverges, spreading in all directions. The intensity may be prominent at the origin, but it decreases rapidly as an observer moves away from the source (Reference: Laser Fundamentals, Princeton University)
The reason for Jesus’ certainty was His closeness to His Source (relationship with the Father by the Spirit), constancy of purpose, and consistency between His beliefs, words and actions.
Ask the Lord in prayer:
Lord, help me to harness the power of certainty in my life. I want to fulfill my body’s purpose: to serve as the temple of Your Holy Spirit. Restore my body as a house of prayer and a sacred place of constant communication with You! If any activities in my temple distract from its purpose, you are free to remove them. Clean me up, Lord. Restore my purpose in You.
I never want to be like the barren fig tree, advertising one thing with my appearance, however showing no Spiritual fruit upon closer inspection!
I want others to taste and see that You are good through the fruit I bear (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).
You are my Source. Keep me close to You to increase my certainty. Please help me remain constant in my purpose and consistent in my beliefs, words, and actions. You said that You would do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I can ask or think according to the power that works within me.
Please help me to remain laser-focused. I believe in Your power. Have Your way in my life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
I pray that these lessons from the withered fig tree story are a blessing in your life and that you experience God’s power more significantly!
Be Blessed with Health, Healing, and Wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”