Has God ever talked back to you?
You were right in the middle of asking him to do something in your life, and He seems to cop an attitude, and cut you off mid-sentence?
Well, for some reason, I feel like this happens to me more often than it probably should. And every time it does I’m left scratching my head and determined to understand what God could mean by his interruption.
At one time or another I’m sure we’ve all referenced God as our “mountain mover”. As Christians it’s a normal phrase in our world. We hear it in our songs, our Sunday messages, and conversations with friends. So, per usual, I was praying one morning for God to move this particular mountain in my life, but was shocked when I received a radically different response than I expected.
The moment the words, “Lord, please move this mountain in my life”, rolled off my mind and into my prayer, I heard God shoot back with, “No, you move it.”
Umm, ahh, excuse me?
To which God said again, “You move it”.
In that moment I couldn’t imagine WHAT He could possibly mean. This “mountain” that I was referencing has been more of a thorn in my side. You know, the annoying companion you really want to get rid of but have no idea how?
I couldn’t fathom that I could have the power to move such a thing when I’ve become so accustomed to feeling helpless and powerless because of it.
As I was mulling over this shocking statement, I was quickly reminded of the two instances in scripture where this famous phrase of mountain-moving originates from.
The first story begins in Matthew 17 with a father coming to Jesus on behalf of his demon possessed son. The father explains that he had taken his son to the disciples but they weren’t able to do anything to help. In typical Jesus fashion, he effortlessly heals this young boy, which leaves the disciples dumbfounded and inquiring why they didn’t have the power to help.
Jesus responds by saying…
“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
The second story is found in Mark 11. It was lunch time and Jesus was hungry, so naturally he approaches a nearby fig tree. But because it had no fruit on it he decides to use this little barren tree as an important object lesson for his disciples (and now for all of us).
Jesus says to the tree (knowing his disciples would overhear), “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” Later the next morning they pass by that same fig tree to discover that it is in fact, barren and withered up. The disciples were shocked at the power of Jesus’ words, and how they had actually carried out the very purpose He had declared and intended them to.
This barren fig tree provided Jesus a prime opportunity to let them in on a little secret.
“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
How many times are we confronted with situations that feel so far beyond our capacities and abilities to make a difference? Whether it’s receiving a bad report from the doctor, or struggling with a wayward child or family member, battling with the same old struggle, or waiting on God for a provision that seems almost impossible. At one time or another we will all come face to face with these types of mountains.
It would be easy to cower in fear, or lay down in despair, but Jesus invites us to participate with him in a powerful way. He says, “you do what you can do, that is, believe in Me, and I’ll do the rest.”
This emphasis on the power of our faith is a total game-changer. No longer do we have to feel powerless in our circumstances, but we can be bold and confident because we’ve been given the ultimate provision to speak change and life into our most troubling circumstances.
Whatever mountain you’re facing, Jesus is inviting you to pick up your faith and move your mountain. Even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, pick it up and offer it to God, and watch to see how He holds up his side of the bargain.