Saturday, July 21, 2012
Matthew 17:14-20 (ESV)
And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
I have a few childhood memories of trying to move mountains. I vividly remember one occasion of staring at a mountain from the back seat of our Ford Pinto on a Sunday morning, and another of staring out the kitchen window at a snow dusted mountain, thinking “I have faith that this mountain will move…I BELIEVE this mountain will move!” Then I watched intently, waiting for the slightest shift in position. It seems silly; but it is something I thought I should have been able to do. When I was a little girl, I remember being taught in church that we should have faith that could move mountains. If I had the faith of a mustard seed, I could move mountains. Have you seen a mustard seed? They are really, really, really small; yet when I tested this theory the mountains never moved. How is it possible that I didn’t have that small amount of faith?? This lack of understanding created a barrier in my walk with God.
Through small steps of obedience to God that started back in December with me quitting smoking again for like the fifth or sixth (but FINAL) time, God has loving brought me to a place where He is working on me to break down barriers that kept me from a relationship with Him. Crazily…my inability to move mountains was one of those barriers. I couldn’t make sense of something that I believed I was taught by the church leaders, so I allowed the lie to creep in that; If that isn’t true what else isn’t true? Is it possible none of this s true? This may seem immature; but that’s because I was.
Through teaching that God is leading me to, I am learning to look at my notions, perceptions, and actions, and ask Him to reveal to me what they say about my relationship with Him and what they say I believe about Him. So….my perception was: I should be able to move mountains because I think I have faith at least the size of a mustard seed, and if the mountain doesn’t move that scripture is not truth. Really??....Who do I think I am?? This perception says that I am the ultimate evaluator of the volume of my faith, not God. That I know better than God. Wow! That honest realization broke down the barrier real quick for me.
I do not know what faith of a mustard seed looks like; but I do know that I have never seen a person move a mountain, so it’s highly probably that faith the size of a mustard seed is actually a huge amount of faith that most people can’t comprehend. The other thing that God has shown me is that, for me, the mountain is a metaphor. What practical purpose does moving a mountain have? There wasn’t a purpose for me. If I’m honest, it wasn’t about the depth of my faith it was about my selfish desire to move a mountain, which really reveals the condition of my heart. So what are the symbolic mountains in my life? What “mountains” should I petition the Lord with prayer to move for His glory? What things seem impossible that I should have faith that God can change, heal, or restore?
My heart’s desire is to focus my faith on those things and his promises. I am finding that as I do that, I know Him to be trustworthy and faithful!