I usually stay in the New Testament because that is my area of expertise (if such a thing can be said), but here is a bit of Old Testament that, to me, expresses what I have been saying.
The Book of Numbers, Chapter 14, verses 28-30, says:
The LORD says:
Tell them: “By my life”—oracle of the LORD—“I will do to you just what I have heard you say. Here in the wilderness your dead bodies shall fall. Of all your men of twenty years or more, enrolled in your registration, who grumbled against me, not one of you shall enter the land where I solemnly swore to settle you, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun.
The Lord promises to do what is said! When you speak your faith, you compel God to act according to your faith!
Remember, nowhere does Jesus ever say “By MY faith you are healed,” but He says “By YOUR faith, you are healed.” Jesus was unable to perform miracles in His home town, not because he was deficient, but because of THEIR lack of faith.
The context of the passage above is just before the Israelites are supposed to go into the land of Canaan. They had recently been freed from slavery in Egypt and they had sent out twelve spies to scout the land. When they returned, Joshua and Caleb wanted to immediately invade, but the ten other scouts were afraid and their report terrified the entire population of Israel, so the people declared that they did not want to go into the land that God had promised them, but they wanted to stay where they were. God said, “Fine! None of you will ever go into the Promised Land!” After that, many were upset and tried to go into the land anyway, hoping to undo this judgment, but they were slaughtered in battle.
The entire community over twenty years of age, who were destined to go into the Promised Land never made it there. They died in the desert.
Now, this is the point: God’s will was for them to go into the Promised Land, but by their words and by speaking their faith in their doubts and fears, they nullified God’s will for their lives.
I know some people are going to go crazy and attack me for saying something like that. They will ask “How can human beings nullify God’s will?” Well, because God out of His love for us has given us free will and has apparently made a decision never to violate our free will (or only to violate it under very extraordinary circumstances). So even though it is God’s will for the Israelites of that generation to go into the Land of Promise, their faith in their circumstances, and their words of doubt and fear, in spite of all the miracles they had witnessed with their own eyes, nullified what God wanted and replaced it with what they spoke. They spoke doubt and fear and their doubts and fears became real!
God wanted to plant a Tree of Promise in their lives, and they uprooted that tree and replaced it with a Tree of Wandering In The Wilderness – that is the fruit that their doubt and fear produced. And a tree is known by its fruit.
What this means is that you are not broke or sick or lonely because it is God’s will. You are broke and sick and lonely because those are the seeds you, or others, may be planting in your life, and the tree that has grown has produced the fruit of poverty, or the fruit of illness, or the fruit of loneliness.
If you have apples, then you know you have an apple tree. If you have oranges, then you know you have an orange tree. If you have mangoes, then you know you have a mango tree. If you have an illness, then you know you have an illness tree. If you have poverty or lack, then you know you have a poverty tree or a tree of lack. By the fruit, you know the tree.
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:43-45)
Faith produces a good tree, and a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Doubt produces a bad tree, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Our words are seeds that we plant into our lives. That seed grows into trees that produce fruit. Out of the good things in our hearts, we speak good words that produce good fruit. Out of the doubt or fear in our hearts, we speak bad seed that produces bad fruit.
But Jesus also says:
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6)
God’s will is for us to live lives of happiness and abundance with good health and wealth and sound and nurturing relationships. But just because that is what God wants for does not mean that that is what we will have. We can say to the tree that God wants to plant in our lives “Be uprooted and planted in the sea” and then we plant our own seeds of doubt and fear and self-will. The fruit we receive is the fruit of our will, not the fruit of God’s will.
But the good news is that even if we may have a giant redwood tree of illness and lack and poverty and addiction and bad relationships, we can say to the trees that produce that fruit “Be uprooted and planted in the sea!”
Taking the tree from the root is removing any evidence that it ever existed. We do not simply chop the tree down – then we would be left with the stump and the root. We remove it root and all so that it is like it was never there. Then we sow the seeds of love, peace, faith – the seeds of God’s will for us – and then we nurture those trees and reap the fruit.
It is never too late to undo the life you do not want and replace it with the life God wants for us!