Saturday, July 19, 2008

moving mountains

God can move mountains in our lives, but we in Jesus are told that we must take action. We are to speak to them, and tell them to get out of the way, and be gone. But this seems to mean or at least involve, in the context of Jesus' teaching, prayer. We're to pray, believing God will do what we ask, or that he'll answer it according to his will.

I've seen situations in my life in which I could see no way out. In earlier years I knew in my head that according to God's word, he could do it. But after experiencing God's miracle a few times in my life, I can now say that I always know he will do it, but that it usually involves a process over time, with some breakthroughs possibly, a part of that, of course it being a true breakthrough in the end.

I do see it in smaller ways at times and more often. In a way it's harder for me to see the bigger changes that need to take place, as I'm getting older. I need to hold on to this mountain-moving promise from God for others, as well as for hopes I have of living more fully and in fulfillment of God's way for us in Jesus- the rest of my life.

What about you? How do you look at "moving mountains" this way in your life?


Mike said...

I was raised in the church Ted. I have known the "mountain stories" for along time. The challenge for me is taking the head knowledge and moving it to heart knowledge. I still struggle with the big mountains from time to time.

You and I know what James 1 says about challenges. It seems that when challenges come, I'm not sure whether to tell the mountain to move, or be grateful for the mountain causing growth in my life(knowing it will eventually be moved by God). As Paul says, "I have learned to be content in all circumstances."

My question is this: What's the balance between praying for God to remove the mountain (I think of the persistent widow), or understanding that the mountain is only temporary and the outcome will bring maturity in Christ (Paul's numerous challenges)?

Ted M. Gossard said...

An excellent question, and the problem with such a passage is how it can be so misused, though all of us Christians at times pray out of God's will, but as long as we mean to pray in it, I think God in his grace does his work in the matter.

That's a tough one, but I think it's a matter of God moving the mountain in a way in which we're made to be more like Jesus, it's in God's timing and in God's way. And according to God's will in Jesus for us in this world.

The problem with pulling this kind of passage out of context is that the mountain moving we may be concerned about, may be of human concerns, and not God's concerns, just as when Jesus told Peter of Peter's error in rebuking the Lord for speaking of his coming death and that by crucifixion.

So we think in terms, not "American" or whatever other philosophy of this world, but in terms of what it means to follow Jesus in this world. And what stands in the way of that, is the mountain we ask God to move.

I would guess that Paul saw his thorn in the flesh, messenger of Satan, as being like a mountain, and that Paul had plenty of faith. Yet Paul as taught by the Lord learned to embrace this, and understood why. It was for his good in becoming more and more like Jesus, and in following Jesus in this world, and through that, for the good of others.

You know all this, but that's my own little take, at the moment.

Thanks, and hope it's not too hot for you folks in NM.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I guess another thing that comes to mind is the kind of breakthroughs we need to be looking for. Breakthroughs into more Christlikeness, and freedom to live in the revealed will of God from Scripture in Jesus.

That is pretty radical, really. Radical in reference to how we're used to living and what we're moving from and towards.

Anonymous said...

hi ted,

good post.

i will say pretty much what you have already said.

focus on Jesus, and not on the mountains.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy.

Yes, I think it may be kind of like we'll either overcome by faith, or be overcome. We're victors by faith in Jesus, or defeated. Either, or.

I'm afraid I tend to tread too much in "no man's land." Enough faith that I'm not vanquished, but not enough to get me over the top. Generally true, I'm afraid, thankfully with some exceptions to the rule.

Partly, probably, why I wrote this post, even if I wasn't thinking of that.

The Walk said...

I've been coming back to this sort of concept a lot lately, though I guess I wasn't thinking about that verse about moving mountains. Thanks for reminding me of that.

I remember one time a few years ago, in particular, when my logical brain told me there was no way out of a situation. I would just be stuck. I would just have to treck miserably on. But then one day God showed up and poured Himself into the situation. His logic is far beyond, far superior to my own.

I think I'm there again. Backed into a corner. But I remember what happened last time. And so I am waiting...

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk,
Yes, it's good and will be good as we wait in faith in God and hold on to his promises for us in Jesus. Ultimately the promise that his will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And that good will of God begins in us, as we trust him and in him with our lives, every part of them.

Thanks for sharing, and will pray for you in your present situation.