Inspired by “With My Faith” by Dave Pettigrew
“I assure you that whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’—and doesn’t waver but believes that what is said will really happen—it will happen.” Mark 11:23 (CEB)
I’m sure at one point or another, you’ve heard the phrase, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Though it sounds simple enough, when you sit down to actually think about the implications of what that really means, your mind will be totally blown. What if we really could move mountains with our faith? Is this really possible? Can we really have mountains move through our faith? I’d like to share three stories and let you decide for yourself on what you are capable of doing through the power of God on your side.
Sarah is from an Eastern European country and was visiting family who had immigrated to the United States. Although a God-honoring and traditionally religious person, she didn’t understand what it meant when her family tried to describe the reality of trusting personally in Christ. Sarah is attractive, well-educated and has a well-deserved reputation in her country as an outstanding musician. She has studied with some of her country’s most talented musical elite and is known far beyond the borders of her nation. In spite of all this, Sarah could not quite grasp the concept of the grace and grandeur of a loving God who desired a relationship with her.
Wanting Sarah to experience much of the beauty in this part of the world, they traveled with her to some of this area’s most famous sites. She was thrilled to see wildlife coming into urban neighborhoods, deep gorges cut through centuries of granite-like rock, blue skies with mountain peaks piercing the clouds. Each Sunday they visited a different church so Sarah could glimpse the wide variety of Christian worship.
And then one afternoon Sarah’s family drove her up to one of this country’s highest peaks, over 14,000 feet high. Expecting her to surely enjoy the experience, they were unprepared for her stunned response as she stood in the silence of the peak, gazing at clouds both above and beneath her, at the valleys far below. She suddenly spread out her arms and cried, “Oh, this is the God you’re talking about!”
Later conversation revealed that at that moment on the mountaintop, God lovingly revealed Himself to her in a way that spoke uniquely to her soul and she opened herself to all that He wanted to be for her. God used a mountain to move her into relationship with Himself.
A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokies built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. Until the church doubled the size of the parking lot, they would not be able to use the new sanctuary.
Unfortunately, the church with its undersized lot had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain out of the back yard. Undaunted, the pastor announced the next Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain moving faith.” They would hold a prayer session asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to somehow provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the scheduled opening dedication service the following week. At the appointed time, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for nearly three hours. At ten o’clock the pastor said the final “Amen.” “We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” he assured everyone. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time too.”
The next morning as he was working in his study there came a loud knock at his door. When he called “come in,” a rough looking construction foreman appeared, removing his hard hat as he entered. “Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from Acme Construction Company over in the next county. We’re building a huge new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay you for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”
The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned and there were far more members with “mountain moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week!
Grandpa looked surprised. “Why do you think that?” he asked.
“At Bible school, my teacher read a verse that says if you have just a little faith, you can tell a mountain to move from one place to another, and it will,” replied Ben. “Well, I’ve been sitting here quite a while, telling that mound of dirt in the middle of the yard to move over next to the barn, and it hasn’t moved an inch! If I can’t move that little pile of dirt, I sure can’t move a mountain. I must not have any faith at all.” Ben shook his head.
Grandpa looked thoughtful but didn’t say anything. Then he got up, went to the barn, and returned a few minutes later with two shovels and a wheelbarrow. He left them near the mound of dirt, then went and sat down next to Ben again.
“Ben,” said Grandpa, “there is also a verse in the Bible that says faith without works is dead.” “There is?” asked Ben. “Yep!” Grandpa nodded. “Now . . . I have faith that the mound of dirt will move, so let’s add work.”
Ben looked startled. Then he smiled. “Okay,” he agreed, and he and Grandpa got busy. They shoveled dirt into the wheelbarrow and took turns wheeling it over to the barn.
“See, Ben,” said Grandpa a little later. He pointed to the middle of the yard and then to the place near the barn. “The mound of dirt moved just like you told it to.”
Ben grinned, and Grandpa put his hand on Ben’s shoulder. “The next time you feel overwhelmed by something,” he said, “pray, put your faith in God, and then get in there and work!” Ben nodded, looking thoughtful. “And Ben,” added Grandpa, “don’t doubt God or your faith.”
“Okay, Grandpa,” said Ben. “Thanks.” “Now let’s go see if your Mom will make us some lemonade,” said Grandpa. “Moving mountains makes you thirsty!” Ben laughed as he and Grandpa went into the house.
We all have mountains in our lives from time to time. Just like there are mountains of rock and mountains of ice, our mountains consist of different things too. Sometimes our faith activates God’s power and our mountain is removed immediately. But other times it is like the iceberg… seeming to cast a shadow on our lives for too long and we fear it may never go. God asks us to do our part by having faith, believing in God’s power. He will do the casting into the sea in His time. He is the mountain mover and as we ask Him for a tenacity of faith to believe, He will work! Trust His timing. Trust His power! It’s easy to say you have faith, but as James points out, works can show that it’s true. So when you have a problem, pray and believe God will help you. Then work at the problem. You might just discover that that mountain really isn’t a mountain after all.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Pettigrew is a contemporary Christian singer/worship leader from New Jersey. With My Faith is from his Every Minute Miracle CD. You can purchase this track or the whole CD on his website at www.davepettigrew.net.
Want to read other devotionals written by Tim? Go to: https://www.facebook.com/notes/kindred-concerts-for-christ/kindreds-devotional-series/463516160364310