Who do you know has moved mountains lately? Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ said this:
“Because you have so little faith. 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.” (Matthew 17:20)
Has anyone who has had faith the size of a mustard seed try moving any mountains at any time over the last two millennia and succeeded? If so, why hasn’t anyone reported it on the news?
Are you kidding me? Today with all of the smart phones around it would be easy to digitally record a mountain that is moving and then find out who did it. Right? But, as far as I know, nothing.
Again, has anyone ever tried moving a mountain? Why in the world would Jesus say it is possible by any of us who are spiritually (especially me) weak in faith. Honestly! Come on now! Get real!
But then again, what good would moving a mountain do? Would not the focus be on the one who succeeded in performing the miracle rather than on God? Would it not tend to give the individual responsible all the rewards, the fame and accolades that society has to offer him? Would not that mountain-moving person become somehow eligible for sainthood-canonization by some established religious institutions?
For what reason would anyone want move a mountain? Is it to prove he has faith? If a person has faith and tells a mountain to move and it does not would that mean that God does not exist? Would it mean that he lacked faith? Chances are it would mean that it was not according to God’s will. I will leave it at that for the moment.
“Mountains” Stop Moving in Bible History
In the Book of Joshua, Joshua 10:12-13, we read:
12) On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13) So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
My point here is that Joshua’s faith probably caused the earth (with all of its mountain ranges!) to stop moving. It was probably not the sun that actually stopped moving. What may have happened is that the earth stopped rotating about its axis. This gave the appearance that the sun stopped moving. What do you think? Am I confusing you? But I may be the one who is confused! Why?
Well, did you catch it? It says in the Bible passage above that the moon also was stopped over a particular valley. I had overlooked and assumed that it was only the sun that was to stand still. But the moon (with all of its mountain ranges!) was stopped also. Does not the moon revolve around the earth? And if the earth stopped rotating, the moon should have still continued revolving around the earth due to the earth’s gravity and to centrifugal force. But the moon was also commanded to stand still! I will stop here on this point and let you digest and meditate on this. This indeed was a miracle!
And here is my main point, Joshua did not tell the sun and moon to stop. He plainly said it to the Lord God to do it. It was not Joshua’s faith in himself that caused the miracle to occur, but his faith in God. That is the point that is easy to miss.
Spiritual Mountains To Be Moved
But wait a minute! One of the earliest things I learned when I began studying the Bible and its imagery is that a mountain (or hill) symbolizes a nation.
Jesus said, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18).
In a way, Christ was telling us disciples to move mountains. Sadly, some of us Christians with very little faith believe, for example, that we cannot preach the gospel and experience church growth in certain areas because they are already “saturated” with godlessness due to a supposedly pervading anti-Christian sentiment or bias against religion. Some Christian leaders see many secular college institutions in towns or regions and believe it to be a waste of time entering there and evangelizing the Word. They see these areas as not fertile enough for Christian activity.
There are those in some church circles who believe that any campaign or preparation to witness in various locations will not produce “enough” disciples. They rather go instead to places they perceive as more fertile. Therefore, these “hard to witness areas” to them are like mountains that cannot be moved.
Yet, these same Christian leaders are acutely familiar with how the mighty Roman Empire changed from being a pagan society which persecuted Christians to one which became fully Christian and elevated the church. The secular Roman Empire with its many gods and goddesses converted to Christianity. It soon became known as the Holy Roman Empire. Whether or not you believe it was ever holy or not is not my point here. But, again, a huge mountain, the Roman civilization, moved from paganism to Christianity.
Moving mountains of those who are the lost is a huge undertaking. It is mostly accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit. And it takes much prayer, fasting and patience for them to be harvested.
Future Mountain To Move
Here is an Old Testament prophecy that will be fulfilled soon in the future.
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. (Zechariah 14:4)
Is this passage symbolic (figurative) or will this event literally occur? I believe it is an actual future event. When Christ returns, His feet will actually stand on the Mount of Olives. But why did He split and move half of the Mount of Olives in one direction and the other half in the opposite direction? Hmmm….
From the Matthew 17:20 passage about moving mountains quoted above, we can ask the following two questions:
1) To whom were these words being addressed? Answer: Christ’s disciples.
2) When did Jesus speak this words? Answer: Before the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost.
The disciples who were weak in faith were transformed mightily upon the receiving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. So it makes sense to ask for the Spirit’s guidance when trying to move mountains requiring faith.
Just because a moving of mountains seems impossible to do does not mean that it cannot be done. It is all about Jesus Christ and what He can do through you. It is faith in Him that causes Him, through the Holy Spirit, to move mountains; not your own strength or power.
What I have discussed is just the tip of the iceberg. I will, God-willing, post more about mountains in the near future. Stay tuned.