Have you ever faced a mountain so big that you felt like you were trying to move it with a plastic spoon? I have described challenging times that way. Sometimes life is full of difficulties and in our own strength, it is much like that description, trying to move this huge amount of earth with a flimsy little plastic utensil.
If you feel that way today, I want to encourage you to take a step back and realize that no striving in your own strength will get it done, even if you have a bulldozer! There are times when only our faith can move the mountain that stands in front of us. Jesus said it this way:
Mark 11:22-24 NLT
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.”
When you feel as if the mountain is crushing you, it can be difficult to pray and believe that it will be lifted up and thrown into the sea. This is the moment that we choose faith over doubt, or faith over fear. I am not suggesting that we ignore or deny that the circumstances exists, but rather that we use our faith to stand on the promises that are provided for us in the Bible. Faith recognized that a mountain truly exists, but presents it to God. When we do this, we trust Him and we turn our striving into believing that His promises are true.
Abraham is a great example of this behavior. He didn’t pretend that Sarah wasn’t facing a mountain of bareness. Instead, he chose to believe the promise of God. He was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared to him and told him that He would be the father to countless descendants (Genesis 17:1-8). If you are still childless at ninety-nine years old, it takes great faith to believe this promise. What an amazing example for us to follow. The Bible tells us that Abraham never wavered in his belief that this promise would be fulfilled; in fact, we read that his faith became stronger as time passed.
Romans 4:16-21 NKJV
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
One of the keys to staying in faith instead of fear is referenced in the emphasized portion of the Scripture above. “God calls things which do not exist as though they did”. Abraham began to call himself a father long before he became a father. This is what faith looks like. We call things the way the promises of God describes them, even before we see them that way in the natural. We hope for the promises of God even before we see them with our eyes (Hebrews 11:1).
This principle also works the opposite way. When we start calling things that are not as though they are from a negative perspective, we create worry and fear. When we start using our voice to declare doom and gloom or even just to keep rehearsing the problem we are facing, the result is not faith; it is fear and worry. Stop and consider what you are declaring!
If you feel like a mountain is crushing you today, don’t lose hope, instead, tell your mountain about your God!