Mountain Get Out Of My Way!
Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV)
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Mountains really are hard to climb. The religious imagination has known this for a long time. That’s why mountains have come to symbolize the hardships and difficulties of life, whether it’s the hymn writer, M.E. Abbey, penning “Life is like a mountain railroad.” or Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell singing, “Ain’t no mountain high enough….”
• Mountains have always represented problems to be solved, obstacles to be overcome, crosses to be carried, burdens to be borne, troubles to be triumphed over, and difficulties to be dealt with.
• Mountains are problems. Death is a mountain. Sickness is a mountain. Troubles are mountains. Hardships are mountains. Family crises are mountains. Scott Peck, in his book “The Road Less Traveled” says life’s a problem. The truth of the matter is, life is filled with mountains.
But Jesus Christ reminds us in our Scripture today that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will have to obey you.
Let’s examine why.
1. First, faith may not always change the outer circumstances of life, but it always changes OUTLOOK.
• Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1, says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And, frankly, that makes all the difference. It’s not always what’s on the outside that matters, but what’s on the inside looking out that really makes the difference.
• You probably remember the great story of Hannibal crossing the Alps, and in this little book, I remember the pictures of the elephants and the donkeys and the army of Hannibal from Africa crossing the Alps to Italy . This was a great feat of military conquest. In fact, it was one of the greatest acts of military courage in human history. In our child story book, whether this part is fact or fiction I don’t know, but there was a story that went along with the pictures. And according to the story in our child book, it said that Hannibal , when he got to the Alps , was about to cross with his army when the army began to rebel. The soldiers saw these prodigious mountains before them. They saw this incredible barrier in front of them. They were afraid to move. They were ready to turn around and go home. But according to the childhood storybook, Hannibal rallied his troops and his armies by standing before them pointing toward the Alps and declaring, “Forward march, we see no Alps !” And with those words the army of Hannibal went forth and conquered the Alps which was in front of them.
We can confidently declare and proclaim like Hannibal over our mountains in life, “Forward march; I see no Alps ! Forward march, I don’t see that problem. Forward march, I don’t see that obstacle. Forward march, I don’t see that hardship. Forward march, I don’t see that cancer! Forward march!”
Faith can change your OUTLOOK. And if your outlook. has been changed, it doesn’t matter what’s on the horizon.
In 2 Corinthians 5 : 7, the Apostle Paul, in dealing with his own eminent death said, “We walk (NIV – Live) by faith, not by sight.” Faith changes your OUTLOOK.
That’s why the famous hymn writer wrote
“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside,
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who thru life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell,
For I know whatever befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well!”
Faith can move mountains because faith can transform your outlook on life and it doesn’t matter what’s on your horizon.
2. Secondly, faith can move mountains because faith ENLARGES the POSSIBILITIES of life.
• It’s sometimes helpful to compare how one verse is translated or spoken in one gospel and how it’s looked at in another. Sometimes Jesus says the same thing in a different way.
In Luke’s version of today’s text, Jesus says, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you.'” The imagery changes here a little. We begin to see how faith can create new possibilities that did not exist before faith.
o Faith enlarges the possibilities of life.
o Faith enlarges the options because faith brings God (the Supernatural Working God) directly to bear on the situation.
• And if I remember my mathematics correctly, when you have an equation and you change one variable in the equation, you change the outcome of the equation.
So, when God is factored into your life’s equation, the outcome has got to change.
You want God’s grace (GRACE) to move through your trials (or mountains).
You want God’s grace also to move through anointing oils and the prayers of His people.
You want God’s grace to move through any means necessary to bring about the end that God would have for us.
Faith is not about constricting the possibilities.
• Faith enlarges the possibilities and creates new possibilities.
• A problem is only a problem as long as there is no solution.
• If there is even a hint of a possibility of a solution, you don’t have the same problem.
• If you’ve got God in your life, you’ll have problems, but with God in your life there are always other possibilities.
God is the author of possibility!! With God, all things are possible!
Before creation, there was nothing …. but God authored a new possibility and Creation came into being. For the Israelites there was no hope in slavery in Egypt for 400 years.
But God created a new possibility and Pharaoh had to let God’s people go.
Jesus Christ could have died on the cross, that’s it but God created a new possibility and raised Him to new life. Resurrection life!
Faith can move mountains because faith enlarges the possibilities of life.
3. And finally, faith can move mountains because we are CONNECTED to the Mover of Mountains by our faith.
Have you ever noticed that our God is a mountain God?
God does some of His best work on the mountaintop.
• It was on a mountaintop that Isaac was saved from sacrifice.
• It was on the mountaintop that Moses met God in the burning bush.
• Jesus was transfigured on a mountain, and crucified on a mountain called Calvary.
• Yes, we serve a mountain God.. El Shaddai… God of the Mountain.
• He can make mountains, and He alone can move mountains. And our faith connects us to our God of the Mountain.
When that happens, our lives become part of the greater whole and mountains have to move.
The next time you face an impossible “mountain”, tell it that the God of the Mountains says to “MOVE!” Tell it that you serve the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Tell your mountain to get out of your way!
• Tell your loneliness that the God of Comfort says “MOVE!”
• Tell your frustrations that the God of Harmony says, “MOVE!”
• Tell your turmoil that the God of Peace says, “MOVE!”
• Tell your poor health that the God of Healing says, “MOVE!”
• Tell that mountain in your life right now, “Mountain, Get out of my way!” In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen!
With boldness and confidence, Proclaim and Decree over the mountains of your life to MOVE in Jesus’ Name. Amen!