“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.”
In those previous posts, I discussed the word mountain to have several symbolic meanings. Besides just a mountain that can be moved through faith, it could also mean:
1) a trial, persecution or hardship.
2) a place of peace and rest.
3) heaven, or a place where God is.
I have contrasted it with the word valley which is often interpreted to have at least two symbolic meanings:
(a) a time period or place of trial and testing or
(b) a restful place; a time of peace.
Each application of the words mountain and valley depends on how they are used in context.
But in this post, I want to describe the mountains that do not come from God but that we ourselves are responsible in building and which “move” and follow against us. These mountains tend to block our love relationship toward God and neighbor. Let me continue.
The ancient Israelites, after departing from Egypt and beginning their journey in the wilderness to the Promised Land, soon created an image representing a god. Was this image these Israelites made the God of Moses? No, of course not. But they probably thought so. It is amazing how after being delivered from slavery, only a few days afterwards, the Israelites created an idol made of gold and began worshiping it. Why would they do this? How could they ever do this? And so soon? Didn’t they see the wonders of God working before them? Also, why did the Israelites choose a calf to be made of gold? How did they ever believe God looked like a calf? Click here, Golden Calf, for a link.
While slaves in Egypt, the Israelites were familiar with several Egyptian gods. As a matter of fact, the ten plagues that the Egyptians underwent (Exodus 7:14 -12:29) were each a representation of each of their gods. The frog, the locust, the lice, the Nile river all were each highly regarded as deity by the Egyptians. Click on the link, The 10 Plagues – Jehovah Versus the Gods of Egypt for a pdf file. Please do more research here!
Anyway, what’s my point? Well, how can any of us Christians today, after enjoying the comforts of God’s blessings and the precious freedom of knowing the truth, begin taking on vices that we may or should know is unhealthy for us? How can many Christians quickly fall into deadly sin after being born again!
For example, how many Christian marriages have been dissolved over the idolatry of lust toward another person outside of the marriage union? Was not a covenant vow before God made at the commencement of the marriage? Sadly, we Christians are not totally immune from this. This still occurs. Is this a poor example that I am using?
The point here is that there are many bad results due to poor choices that we bring on to ourselves that have spiritually and physically hampered us in one way or another. I can label these consequences as mountains that we create.
There are the mountains of illicit drugs, abuse of lcohol, ungodly sex, and reckless gambling. We too often get caught up in the mountain of lies and deceit against others that soon catch up with us. Sins are committed by us that create mountains against us that are difficult to overcome.
Are you getting the picture?
The biggest reason our mountains are so harmful is because they affect the mind of individuals who practice them. The individual loses much devotion away from God and away from a loving concern toward neighbor. These are just my thoughts here. What do you think?
Who Is Responsible?
Let me now focus on myself and see if it also applies to you. Who is responsible for any mountains that I have created? Who is the cause; who is to blame for my behavior and my actions? Is society to blame? No, it is not! It’s me.
Not my father, not my mother, but it’s me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
Not my sister, not my brother, but it’s me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
Not my neighbor, not my teacher, but it’s me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
Not the deacon, not the preacher, but it’s me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
Not the white cop, not the black cop, but it’s me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
Not the pistol, not the rifle, but it’s just me who is responsible for any of my sins and bad attitudes.
How about you? Are you taking responsibility for any of your sins and bad attitudes?
So what is a Christian (or anyone else) who has built mountains of pain, trial and obsession against himself to do? Let me repeat, he must first accept responsibility for his behavior. But you must also accept there has to be accountability to someone here – especially if you have a mountain that will lead to harming the innocent, including harm to yourself. If what I now say is “the shoe that fits you” – applies to you – then please take action and look to God to work on your behalf.
Christians, and even non-Christians, often must, if necessary, seek outside help. It is between you and God (God is also interested in you, unbelievers). It is between you and God on how to seek further help. Seek God, yes, but also seek a prayer partner, an accountability partner, a professional counselor, a pastor, a social worker – whoever it is God is pointing out for you.
There are so many ways and ever newer methods in our modern world that currently foster escapism and ease from pain or guilt in many people’s lives. Just recently on the news report, I learned about a new kind of drug substance called, K2, which is a synthetic form of marijuana with a more dangerous and magnified potency than regular marijuana. It is dramatically hitting the streets of several US cities. I saw on TV the gruesome effects this drug was immediately having in the community. I saw numbers of people walking in a daze. Others I watched writhing on the ground with confused minds. Some under its influence were going through seizures.
You are responsible for your actions. And the more quickly you understand that and take positive steps for change, the better off you will be for yourself and for your loved ones.
Many of you may be shouting: “But my father abused me when I was a child!” …Or … “My bigger brother always used to beat me up.” … Or… “The football coach did such and such to me.” … Or… “A teacher in elementary school said I was stupid” . …Or… “My husband left me without a good reason.”
Okay, yes, there were things that happened beyond your control in your life. I apologize if I seem to be under-stating your experience, but please note that very likely these other people that negatively mistreated you have mountains of their own – ugly baggage that they carry – that they have vented out or transferred against you.
What are you to do? Is taking solace with alcohol solving anything? Does injuring the innocent – your children, your spouse, a police officer, a group of people of another race solving your situation?
Again, be accountable. Understanding the Bible message to “Confess your faults one to another” (James 5:16) is an excellent start. There are professionals who are ready to help. And they really care about you. God will guide you tremendously here. But you must repent (another word for change) of your way of thinking by first accepting responsibility for all that you do – especially toward others. Amen? Amen.
Is It Satan’s Fault?
Whether you believe this or not, there are supernatural beings, Satan and his demons, who constantly get involved to broadcast their evil intentions that cause us to be tempted to sin. Yes, Satan is “the prince and power of the air” who broadcasts evil motives and bad attitudes such as hatred and murder on humankind (Ephesians 2:2). Any of these temptations within the minds of all men, when acted upon repeatedly, can become mountains of trial in our lives.
But is Satan responsible for you sinning? Question: Who does God want repentance from, you or Satan? Answer: It’s you (and me) that God wants to repent and to believe on Him so that mountains can be moved – moved aside by Him.
I, as a Christian, am not immune to Satan’s broadcasts. I still struggle and fall in my journey to the “Promised Land” called the Kingdom of Heaven. But, thankfully, because of Jesus’ shed blood on the cross and God’s grace, I can get up again and continue forward.
A Thought I Leave You
If you, a Christian, do not understand anything in this post, at least meditate on this thought: Yes, we Christians may never become perfect in this life, but one day we will have perfect bodies – bodies that cannot be enticed, seduced, controlled, adversely taken advantage of by another individual or abused by spirit forces.
Our human nature will become extinct. When Christ returns, all lusts will be gone. All that cause addictions will be gone. The sources for all hangups will be gone. What leads to dependencies and co-dependencies will be gone. All evil inclinations will be gone.
Those of us who are Christians are now a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) who will experience ultimate change when Christ returns. Our mortal bodies will put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53), bodies that will be impervious to any evil.
Jesus Christ was the only man who never succumbed and committed sin or did evil. He did not have the human nature we have. He never created or brought on Himself any evil mountains. As man, He was tempted as we all are but He never sinned. He was also God on earth. Just as Jesus looked to His Father in heaven by constant prayer while on earth, we with our human nature, through prayer, can to look to Christ.
Once again, man’s mountains, his own “Tower of Babel” (Genesis 11:1-9) that he now constantly creates and that stands against him, will be removed by God and replaced with another mountain, the kingdom of God. Praise be to God! Praise be to the Lord!
Below is a scene from one of my favorite science fiction movies, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977). Here Roy Neary, (Richard Dreyfus), and a woman are obsessed with a mountain image they have in their minds which they soon learn is “Devil’s Tower” located nearby. Apparently, they had been inseminated some point earlier with some kind of extraterrestrial calling from an alien being who wants to have a close relationship with mankind. This alien finally lands by this mountain, Devil’s Tower, and shows himself in a sea of white light. Hmmm.
With me, this movie conveys several Biblical themes and imagery. Nevertheless, the close encounter that is best, the close encounter that has been around since the days of Genesis, the close encounter that will soon visibly come to earth once again is of the God Kind which is now most evident through Jesus Christ in us Christians.
Let us not be concerned or become overly weary over our weaknesses and mistakes. Avoid building mountains. Instead, let us repent and keep our eyes and hearts focused on the gentle leading of God who loves us and encounters us through His Son, Jesus Christ.