In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree which You doomed has withered away! And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
— Mark 11:20-24 (AMPC)
When you say the words, “I wonder,” they sound innocent and honest. They also represent the way we avoid certainty in making decisions.
Suppose you’re the CEO of a business. Every day 20 people come to your office and ask you to make decisions. Yours is the final answer on everything that goes on in the corporation. Instead of giving decisive answers, you rub your chin, stare out the window, and say, “I wonder what we should do about that?”
An indecisive CEO wouldn’t stay in that position very long. The position is much too important to the overall success and wellbeing of the organization and all who are associated with it. You are not in that position to wonder—you’re there to act.
Too many of us forget that this is the way it is with the Christian life, as well. Too often, instead of choosing what we need to do, we avoid facing the situation and say, “I wonder.”
I know because I’ve done it. In times past, when I’ve been invited to a party or to be the featured speaker at a banquet, I’ve said, “I wonder what I should wear.” It’s easy for me to waste a lot of time looking through my closet, considering the color and style, as I try to choose just the right outfit for a particular occasion.
This may seem like such a small thing—and it really is. The problem, however, is that if we allow enough of these “wonderings” in our lives, we not only fail to accomplish the things we need to do but wondering becomes the normal way our minds function. Being indecisive keeps us from moving forward and can eventually defeat us.
In the verses quoted earlier, the incident started with a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit. The disciples could have wasted time wondering about the particulars of why the tree didn’t bear fruit. They could have wondered if it hadn’t received enough sunlight or water. They might have wondered why the owner hadn’t cut it down since it wasn’t productive. But wasting time wondering really wasn’t necessary.
When Jesus spoke and doomed the tree, He put a stop to any mental speculation. He used the incident as an object lesson for the disciples, encouraging them to believe. He wanted them to understand that if they truly believed, they could have whatever they asked of Him.
Sometimes God’s people are reluctant to ask boldly for big things. But Jesus has given us permission to step out in faith and ask boldly. And yet some still waste time just wondering. They wonder what it would be like if God would give them a better job. They wonder what it would be like if God would give them a larger house.
I can tell you that wondering is a waste of time. So, stop wondering and start acting! That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned about the wondering mind. Rather than wondering what I should wear to a banquet, I look at my clothes and I decide. God gave me the ability to make wise choices, so I can just do it instead of wasting my time wondering.
Wondering and indecision can become strongholds in our minds that can leave us feeling confused, insecure, and ineffective. But that’s not God’s plan. He wants us to overcome the wondering thoughts by believing and then receiving the answer to our prayers from God, by faith.
Notice that Jesus did not say, “Whatever things you wonder when you pray, you will have.” Instead, He said, Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it] (Mark 11:24 AMPC).
Prayer of the Day: Lord Jesus, help me to overcome any wondering tendencies that keep me from moving forward in Your good plan. In Your name, I ask You to help me reach out in faith, boldly asking for what I need. Then help me to believe it and receive it, amen.