Today I want to talk to you about mountain moving faith. In life we all face mountains. It may be a mountain in your marriage, you don’t see how you will stay together. A mountain in your finances, it doesn’t look like you will ever get out of debt. Maybe it’s a mountain in your health. The experts have said you are never going to get well. Maybe there is a mountain in your way of sharing the gospel with someone or becoming a missionary or taking mission trips.
A lot of times we are praying about our mountains. God help me with my marriage. God help my children love you. God please take away this fear. Yes, it is good to pray. It’s good to ask God to help us. But when you face a mountain, sometimes it’s not enough to ask God for help. It’s not enough to just believe. It’s not enough to just be positive and think good thoughts.
Some mountains must be spoken to, commanded, and told what to do. I know this may sound strange to some of you, but I want you to listen carefully to what Jesus teaches today and then I want you to study it for yourself and see what God shows you.
It’s no coincidence that God chose a mountain to represent our problems. Mountains are big. Mountains seem permanent, like they are going to be there forever. You may be facing a situation now that looks like it will never change. It looks like you will never break the addiction, you’ve had it since you were in high school.
God is saying today that if you will start speaking to the mountain you will discover they are not permanent. That situation you have dealt with for such a long time (that sickness, that depression, that addiction) looks like it’s not going to change or leave. You have prayed, you have believed, you have quoted scripture. That’s all good, but if you are going to see the mountain moved you are going to have to command it in the authority of God.
Part of following Jesus is learning how to use the authority He gives you. With that said let’s look at Mark 11:12. All of this goes together, we will connect some of it today.
The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.13 He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it. 15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. 17 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” 18When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching. 19 That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city. 20 The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!” 22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (NLT)
We are looking at mountain moving faith. This is not the first time Jesus has mentioned this mountain moving faith.
The first time Jesus mentioned it was when a father brought his son to Jesus because his son was controlled by a demon. The disciples had already tried to cast out the demon, but they were unsuccessful. Jesus rebuked the demon and the boy was healed. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:14-20, NLT). This is not something new Jesus is teaching the disciples, but it is a repeat of a previous lesson but in a new situation.
The second time Jesus teaches this it deals with a withered fig tree. Peter makes a comment about the withered fig tree, Jesus responded by talking about mountain moving faith. When I first read this, I thought, “I don’t get it. I don’t see the connection between the withered fig tree and mountain moving faith.” It wasn’t clear to me how these two things were connected. What helped me was Matthew’s description of this event when he tells his perspective in Matthew 21 which says, “The disciples were amazed when they saw this [the fig tree completely withered in 24 hours] and asked, ‘How did the fig tree wither so quickly?’” (v.20, NLT). The question the disciples are asking and Jesus is answering, “How?” How did it happen? They know Jesus spoke to the fig tree. They know that part. They get that part. They are asking how does that kind of power work. How does someone speak to a fig tree and it wither in 24 hours? How do you draw down that kind of power from heaven? How does mountain moving faith work? How does it happen and can we do it? That’s what the disciples are asking.
Today, we are going to look at what Jesus says about how mountains move. That is what Jesus is answering. As he is answering the disciples question Jesus is answering the fundamental question of how the power of God works in the life of a believer. Jesus gives us five essentials to mountain moving faith and how it works. We are going to look at one of them today.
Mountain moving faith is God-driven
Number one, mountain moving faith is God-driven. Whatever you are praying for and believing God for needs to be about God, not you. It should be for His glory, not yours. He is at the center, not you. It’s all about God, not you. Moving your mountain is about God’s agenda, not yours.
Mark says in verse 22, Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.” We looked at this phrase, “Have faith in God,” in great detail last time. We learned that to have faith in God is to trust God, wait on God, obey God, and to focus on God. Let me add a few more thoughts on what it means to have faith in God.
- Notice this is have faith in God, not just have faith. The difference is significant. When you have faith in God, your faith is based on His word, His plan, His purpose, and His desires. It’s a faith in God’s plan, God’s desires, and God’s will. It’s faith in Him. It’s faith in God.
- This is NOT having faith in faith. This is where a Christian believes if they have enough faith, then their faith will causes the mountain to move. This is not about having faith in your faith. It’s about having faith in God – what He says, what He wants, what He desires. Besides, Jesus made it clear that faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains.
- This is not having faith for or in whatever you want. This is not having faith in you. This is having faith in God. When you have faith in you, you become the source of your power. You do not have the power to remove any mountain you want. It’s not about you, it’s about God. The question is, “Does God want that mountain removed?”
- Let me be clear, Jesus is not talking about having faith in prayer either. The power of God is not in prayer, it’s in God. Prayer is simply a door that God has provided for you to tap into His will and power. Jesus is not talking about the power of prayer, but the power of God through prayer.
Everything that Jesus is about to say is in the context of having faith in God – having faith in His word, His agenda, His plan, His will, and His purposes. What this means is that what Jesus is about to say only works if God tells you to pray it, say it, or do it. Not every mountain you speak to will move, only the ones God tells you to speak to.
In Hebrews 11 we are given example after example of men and women who by faith in God did something incredible. If you look closely at them you will see a common denominator among them. Let me give you one example.
Hebrews 11:7 says, “It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God…” (NLT). Noah didn’t come up with the idea of building an ark, it was God’s idea. God came to Noah told him to build it and gave him detailed instructions on how to build it. Based on God’s Word, Noah had faith in God and he did what God told him to do. That’s not having just faith, it’s having faith in God – having faith in God’s plan, God’s word, God’s agenda, and God’s will. God spoke, Noah had faith in God’s word, and Noah obeyed. You see this pattern over and over again throughout the Bible.
Your act of faith (whether that is praying, doing, or saying) is focused on God and comes from God because your faith is in God.
Mountain moving faith begins with God. Have faith in God. This means…
- Having faith in God means you believe He can move that mountain. He has the power, authority, and ability to move mountains. You believe He is all-powerful, sovereign, and supreme. You believe there is nothing God cannot do.
- Having faith in God means you believe He has told you that mountain is be removed. This is not about you wanting to remove that mountain, but God wants to remove that mountain. Remember, This is faith in God’s word, God’s agenda, and God’s purpose. That is what faith in God
- Having faith in God means you will speak in God’s authority to remove that mountain. Now that you believe God can do it and God has told you that particular mountain is to be removed, you can now address it in the authority of God. We will look at that next time.
There are some mountains God wants to remove from your life, but He wants you to participate in those removals. He wants you to experience His power flowing through you as you believe. He wants to show you that He is real and He works through His people in little things and big things.
- Why is faith in God important when it comes to facing obstacles in life?
- What are some mountains that God may want to move in a Christians life?
- How would a Christian know if God wants the mountain moved?
- What does “faith in God” look like when facing a mountain God wants removed?
- Why do Christians sometimes shift from having faith in God to having faith in faith or faith in prayer? What is the significance in this shift?
- What’s the difference between faith in what God wants and what we want? How can you tell the difference? How can you tell when they are the same thing?
- What does it mean to have faith in God’s Word, agenda, plan, will, and purposes when it comes to your mountains?
- How would God tell you if your mountain should be removed or not?
- If God does not remove your mountain what should be your response and reaction?