I think it is interesting that struggles, trials, addictions and anything else we face are often referred to as the “mountains” in our lives. We talk about how God has the power to move mountains, which He does. And we talk about how, if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move our own mountains with the power of God, which we can (Matthew 17:20). The comparison of problems and mountains makes sense, right? When we see a physical mountain, it is huge. It is something we cannot move or pick up. It would take a significant amount of time for us to walk around it. It can be dangerous, hazardous and unpredictable. There are so many impossibilities when we try to envision ourselves even standing in comparison to a mountain. Thankfully, we have a God that is bigger than mountains. He has the ability to take impossibilities and make them possible. While I was in devotion last week, I began to think about how undeserving I am of a God that shows me grace and mercy no matter how many times I walk around the same mountains. I also started to seek out some answers because, the truth is, at some point, we should be mature enough to not be walking around the same mountains we were walking around five years ago. At some point, we should have the knowledge and the strength to climb over (or move!) the mountains. Not in a way that decreases our need for God, but in a way that increases Him in us. So, being the analytical person I am, I started to think about how we use “mountains” to describe how big and significant our struggles are. In the same way, can we compare our struggles to mountains to show how small and insignificant they are? And God began to speak.
Mountains do not move. Now, if you are a geography buff, take it easy on me. I know, to some extent, mountains are moving and shifting. What I am referring to is significant movement. I mean, we cannot look out our kitchen window and see a mountain casually sliding by. That means, if I like a nice mountainous view, I am going to have to find my way to some mountains. On the flip side, if I do not like mountains, there is plenty of land throughout the world that I can visit with not a mountain in sight. When we compare this to the problems in our lives, that is a significant piece of information. This is significant when we have a reoccurring problem- something we find ourselves going back to again and again. We have the tendency to look at those mountains as if they have the ability to get up and follow us in every season of our lives. These mountains do not have the authority and the freedom to follow us like shadows. We have to have honest conversations with ourselves and figure out the root to these problems, because it is often us that continues to return the mountain. Maybe we do not run straight to the mountain; maybe we just get in the vicinity of it and gaze from a distance and next thing we know, we are right back at the base of it.
Mountains are not living. God loves all His creations. He loves the mountains, the oceans and the clouds, but there is no creation more precious to God than His living, breathing sons and daughters. What does this mean for us? This means we have dominion and authority over all things. We can rule and reign over all the non-living, non-human creations of the earth. Just like we have the rule over the mountains that are not alive, we also have rule over the problems in our lives that are not alive. Addiction, depression, fear, sickness, poverty- these are all huge mountains, but they are not living. We, as children of God, have the power to tear down those strongholds because He has given us that ability. God has called us to conquer those things and since we are His living, moving beings, we already have a head-start. Think about the amount of power we give to non-living things in our lives. Think of all the mountains we allow to overtake our mind, body, heart and spirit. That is like putting the power God has given us into a jar and sealing the lid. God has given us the ability to speak miracles, breathe life and lay hands on every thing that stops us from being what He calls us to be.
Mountains cannot reproduce. We cannot look outside and see mountains giving birth to mountains. Mountains do not have the ability to create offspring and multiply in the earth. Likewise, our problems do not have the power to reproduce misery and bondage in our lives. Our problems do not have the power to be passed from generation to generation and wreak havoc over our blood lines. We have the ability to cut our problems off at the source and prevent it from replicating itself in our future and the future of the generations after us. The same issues we face today, we do not have to face tomorrow and we have the power to make sure we do not. That power comes from seeking God and allowing Him to make our mountains crumble at our feet. Study God’s word, hear His voice. He has created us to be chain breakers and mountain movers.
It is both understandable and metaphorically correct to compare problems to mountains, that is not the argument here. The argument is: if we are going to use mountains to understand how “big and strong” our problems are, we can also use mountains to understand how weak and incomparable our problems are. When the church talks about our problems being mountainous, it is not so the problems seem more powerful- it is so we (and more importantly, our God) are seen as powerful when we overcome them. The scripture I want to leave you with today is Psalm 97:5, which says, “Mountains melt away like wax in a fire when the Lord of all the earth draws near”. The title of this chapter in Psalm is “God Rules Over All” and that is key to understanding that God is willing and able to melt mountains on our behalf. The Bible does not say God rules over some or portions, it says He rules over all. So whatever mountains we are facing in our lives, though they may be big and intimidating, they melt at the sight of God. The mountains do not have the ability to move and chase after us, they are not living and ruling over us and they cannot reproduce in our lives or our children’s lives if we are fighting from God’s throne room. Maybe we are having a hard time believing God has given us authority over our mountains or maybe we just do not want to face our mountains. Whatever the reason for being stuck at our mountain time and time again is, God is the answer.
Love and Joy,