Get out of my way


I recently had a chance to visit the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.  If you have never been, it is a beautiful part of the country.  One of the pictures is the sunrise we saw on our way home.  The other is the view of Cold Mountain from our balcony.  As I sat and admired the awesomness (is that a word?) of God’s creation I started thinking.
He replied, “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.” (Matthew 17:20 NIV)

You probably know that a mustard seed is a very small seed.  If we have a very small amount of faith, God can do great things in and through us.  Looking at the mountain I had to ask myself if I had the faith to speak to Cold Mountain and tell it to get out of my way?  I believe with all my heart that God could move the mountain, but my level of faith would fall short when it comes to believing if God would move it.

Admiring the majesty of the mountains around me I continued thinking.  I don’t know exactly what Jesus was referring to, but I am open to the thought that he was not necessarily talking about a physical mountain.  He could have meant the mountain of my health.  Or my finances.  Or your family.  Or our ministry.  I began thinking about a mountain, not only as a physical work of art, but figuratively as something to overcome.  What if Jesus was saying that if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed you can overcome the trial you are facing.  It seems as large as a mountain when you think about it.  I think you know what I am talking about.  Maybe you don’t have a job right now and that is your mountain.  Maybe the diagnosis for someone in your family doesn’t look good right now–that is your mountain.  Maybe you are struggling with an important relationship and that is your mountain.

Take a minute right now and think about your mountain.  What do you believe about your mountain?  Do you believe that God is in control?  Do you believe He can help you overcome your mountain?

I think my downfall is worrying about what God will do, rather than what God can do.

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with their mountain of death by furnace they made a very powerful statement.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)

They knew God was able to deliver them.  There is no question about it.  My God is powerful.  My God is almighty.  My God can do anything.  My faith says my God is able to deliver them.  My faith falls short though when I think of what might happen if God doesn’t deliver.  Death by fire.  That is where I get hung up.  What if God doesn’t do what I know he can do?  “But even if he does not……”  They also knew that there was a possibility that God would not deliver them, even though they knew he could.  That did not stop them.  Their faith that God could deliver them was obviously greater than their fear of what would happen if God chose not to deliver them.

Sometime in our journey we will come up against a mountain.  Probably more than one.  Do I have what it takes to overcome that mountain?  There is something great on the other side, but I have to get by the mountain to get to what God has for me.  I need that mountain to get out of my way.

As I looked at Cold Mountain I began to realize I need to focus on a God who is able to deliver, and not worry about what happens if he doesn’t deliver.  I need to continue to believe that God is in control, and continue to believe that he can move mountains.  I can’t help but believe that if I stop worrying about what happens if he doesn’t move my mountain, and focus on the fact he is able to move my mountain, then I will start to see some of my mountains moved.

What are some of the mountains you are facing?  Do you struggle with your faith at all?  How do you interpret the mustard seed passage?  I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

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