All of us have issues in our lives that feel like immovable mountains. We may be facing a circumstance that is so large that it appears that it is there to stay. You may feel trapped in a relationship or a job where it seems that no matter what you do, you will end up on the short end. You may be facing an obstacle that blocks the future, an illness or injury that most certainly will change you life, or a loss that has brought such pain that you are having a hard time putting one foot before the other. You may be standing at the foot of your mountain, looking up and saying to yourself, “there’s no way!” Listen to the words of Jesus.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mat 17:20-21 NIV)
Here are a few thoughts about this passage. First, when we discuss faith, we must always discuss the object of our faith. Jesus says that we must have faith, but faith in what, or better, who? If we attempt to reach inside of ourselves and speak to our mountain ion the strength of our faith – and it stops there, not a grain of dust will move. But if we place our faith in God, even if it is a faith as small as a mustard seed, and speak to our mountain, saying, “I have faith in God and God is going to move you.”, get out of the way, an earthquake is about to happen. Our faith does not move our mountains, God moves our mountain. All we need is a little faith in him and he takes it from there.
Second, notice that God did not say that your mountain is going to disappear. Rather, your mountain will move. It may remain within the scope of your vision, but it will no longer directly block your path. God will move it aside. This is a profound truth to take in. Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” If God totally destroyed our mountains, there would be no need to continue to trust him. However, if he moved them aside but left them in our vision, we would be able to continue to progress on our journey, but we would still keep our hand clenched in his. This then paves the way for the profound promise from this passage, “…nothing will be impossible for you.” That means that nothing will prevent you from progressing toward the goal that holds the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
What is your mountain? You may have several. Put your faith in God, even if it is a weak faith, and watch God move it aside. Then, continue to press forward by faith, trusting him to provide, even if your maintain remains in the rear view mirror.
Applications of this understanding of this passage abound.