When Mountains Move

When Mountains Move

Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountain fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

“The mountains quake with their surging…” I wonder what our response might be to the moving of the mountain beneath us when the Lord starts to break apart the foundation of doubt that once was our security as pride kept us in complete control. The smallest step in faith will produce a profound rumble in the ground beneath our feet. Faith is not logical. It is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of the unseen which makes it intangible. In fact, sometimes the smallest movement of faith in our life produces an avalanche of circumstances as the enemy fights to keep us from attempting another. Fear is a fortress with an unlocked door. It binds us in the dreadful expectation of something that may not ever be a reality. Faith produces a refuge in the Presence of God that endures the moving of our mountain as the earth gives way to eternity.

It seems as though the more I desire to live by faith the more uncertain life becomes. God is an ever-present help in trouble because His Spirit lives in us. The reality of God’s Love shines from those who encounter it, engage it and somehow endure to the end. It is up to me to fan the flames of His Spirit and keep the light shining brightly even on the darkest days. I must feed my faith the Word of God to continually nourish and strengthen it. I must water it with the Word to keep it supple and growing. I must protect my seed of faith from the things that want to choke it and kill it such as fear, anxiety, stress, worry and cares. Life is hard. There is no question that everyone faces difficulties in life. The outcome is determined by our response to adversity. Do I run for cover or run to my refuge. God is with us. He is working for us. He will never let us down. He must be the place of comfort and rest when the mountain starts moving.

Psalm 46:4-7 (NIV) There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Faith displaces fear in our life but doesn’t stop the world from turning. The world is headed for destruction. There are wars and rumors of war just as the Lord predicted when He was with us. Just because you have faith doesn’t change the current conditions or natural consequences in the world, it changes us. It conditions our soul, mind and body to respond to God’s Word and His Faithfulness rather than reacting to the situations faced on any given day. I didn’t realize until today that the words, “God is within her, she will not fail” were actually words of encouragement tucked in the Bible. I needed some encouragement today. If God lives in you, you will not fail. It’s true. If we could only believe that His Word is true and relevant in our life – we just might wait to see what happens.

Haggai 2:6-9 (NIV)  “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Why shake things up? I believe that the shaking is to keep us from settling. Comfort and complacency produce a sense of control that is contradictory to allowing God’s Spirit to work in us and through us. God is determined to give us His Very Best. He doesn’t cut corners or compromise. We must press and push to stay in the Presence of God even in the midst of violent storms or shifting sands. In Luke 6:38, it talks about being “pressed down, shaken together and running over.” The giving of our life in full surrender to faith produces this kind of movement in our life. It is not a bad thing. It reveals the true wealth of our life. We have the opportunity to become refined and purified as gold.

Psalm 46:8-11 (NIV) Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Is the ground beneath you moving? Are the winds of change blowing like a hurricane through your life? Do you feel unstable? Could it be that your faith is producing some movement in the mountain of doubt you have been climbing? Faith moves mountains even in the smallest form. The changes and conditions that seem to be threatening you might be the very things moving you from complacency to confidence and producing the hope from the ashes of unmet expectation. You cannot expect to be transformed and not moved. It would be contradictory. Stagnancy is not a Kingdom condition as His Spirit flows through our life. Changing us and the outcomes of each trial. The Lord is moving us into a refuge of faith that produces confident hope that in the midst of shaking all around us – it produces a stillness just knowing that He is God. He is Good. His Love for us is unending and unconditional. He will stop at nothing to show you how much He desires you. If the mountain is moving today, do not let it move you. Keep the faith. Remain committed to confident hope. Hold on to Him with both hands. The Lord is for you. You will not fail!

Psalm 62:8 (NIV) Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

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The Other Side of the Mountain

The Other Side of the Mountain

Matthew 17:19-20 (NIV) Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “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.”

Many years ago, I decided I wanted to experience real faith. The kind of faith that produced miracles in life. There was a couple at our church who exuded that kind of faith. It was evident in their worship and life. He was one of the pastors responsible for visiting congregants who were in the hospital. He would not stop at just the person on the visitation list but had to go into every room on the floor. When he was in the emergency room with his own child, his wife couldn’t keep him from praying for all the sick people in the waiting room. He had reckless and limitless belief in God as His Healer, Provider and Deliverer just to name a few. Shortly after my declaration to be a woman of faith, our youngest child developed rapid onset asthma that perplexed her doctors. It came on fast and her respiratory system quickly was compromised beyond anything in their medical protocol. We literally were at the doctor daily for weeks. It was then I decided that if medicine couldn’t heal her faith would have to. I sought the assistance of the powerhouse couple from church. Two simple words – “teach me.”

I never correlated that our daughter’s illness was an opportunity rather than life-threatening. It had the life-giving potential to produce faith even though we were all concerned about her health. Did the Lord allow our daughter to contract a disease to teach us how to have faith? Is it possible that a good God would allow such distress? People get sick every day. They take over-the-counter medications to soothe their symptoms. If that doesn’t accomplish the task, they visit their doctor or the local medical facility for relief. If things become unmanageable or medically impossible to heal – then what? Prayer is the last ditch effort to overcome the impossibilities in our life. Why? Because we have little faith in God and supreme faith in our circumstances.

Nothing is impossible for the one who believes. It’s the Word of God for our life. But maybe if we stopped saying it for just a moment and tried to comprehend the true meaning, it would actually become a declaration in our life. A place where we could live, thrive and prosper. God has given His Son, Jesus all power and authority over death and the grave – the real game changers in life. A member of our church just experienced a tragic house fire that claimed all of their worldly possessions and a beloved family pet – in a recent social media post they shared that in moments like these they understand the value of people over things. Why is it that it is experiences such as these that make us understand the importance of our relationship with God and people?

Through the experience of our daughter’s illness, I began to study faith. Not just “faith” the word but “faith” as a lifestyle. I wanted to see the “impossible” happen. So throughout the extent of her illness, I began to study and pray. The faith couple continually encouraged me, prayed for us, and kept in close contact. One morning I woke up from yet another endless night of coughing, crying and treatments, but something was different. The same medical protocol initiated the day before had yielded mild improvement but our little baby was completely swollen from high doses of prednisone and barely breathing in an acceptable fashion. But for some reason, on this day, I wasn’t annoyed or irritable. Could this be the first day I decided to walk by faith and not by sight? Who knows? The pastor called to check on our little one. He detected a change in my voice. He asked, “Is it gone?” I said, “No”. For some reason, I decided that on that particular day my faith would overcome my fear and I would walk in peaceful joy anyway. I couldn’t decide if it was faith or insanity because sometimes saints it feels the same. He laughed. He declared something good was about to happen. It would be the day that our daughter was miraculously healed by the Hand of God.

What made the difference that day more than a decade ago is only now beginning to make any sense at all. Those circumstances and situations that look like a mountain in our life. The insurmountable challenges labeled “IMPOSSIBLE” are not the issue at hand. It all boils down to our faith. What have we planted our faith in? Where is our faith invested?

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Faith is confidence in what we hope for. What are you hoping will happen today? The everyday wishes and dreams that are just out of reach. Faith is defined as confidence or trust in a person or thing, belief not based on truth, belief in God, belief in anything, and obligatory loyalty to someone. Now if faith can take on so many forms, how do I know I have the right kind of faith? Is the impossible becoming the reality in your life? See faith in God produces miracles, signs and wonders. It dissolves mountains and calms seas. It heals diseases and casts out demons. It makes us whole, complete and lacking no good thing. If you are not experiencing such a life as a believer, it is time to decide whether your faith is in the mountain or in God. What is on the other side of the mountain? What are you seeking as a result of the miracle? Is your desperation for a better life or eternal life? It makes a difference.

Confident hope is in eternal life. It is in the life beyond this one that I cannot perceive with my eyes yet may experience within my heart. If the mountains are standing only in the way of creature comforts and a mediocre life – why would God move them? Just so you could die without Him. His Love is too great for you and me to move a mountain and give us an easy life that leads to death. If the mountain comes down, will it bring you closer to the Lord? If the storm ends, will you forget your first love…again? See we cry out for faith asking God to do the impossible but if our perception of faith is only for the natural without increasing our supernatural relationship with Jesus Christ – I am afraid the mountain is staying right where it is.

2 Corinthians 4:13-17 (NIV) It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

What is on the other side of your mountain? It is the thing you desire most. I believe that God will move any mountain with a mustard seed of faith. But here is the kicker – it is our desire. What do you desire it is the very thing on the other side of it? What is the mountain keeping you from? If God doesn’t move the mountain will you still love Him? Will you still serve Him? Will you still worship Him for Who He is? This is the kind of remarkable faith that will cause the mountain to crumble before you. The faith that says, “I put all my faith, trust and confidence in You today, God!” It is the prayer of not my will but Your Will! It is human nature to walk around things that are in our way. What if the mountain was to get your attention? To slow you down long enough to hear Him or even look for the Lord? We get so busy in the chaotic snare of busyness and self-importance that we forget that God will move mountains to be closer to us. Jesus will stop at nothing to give us a rich and satisfying life. He longs to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think but not if it will deteriorate our relationship with Him or cause immediate death.

Do not lost heart today. The mountain before us is of our choosing. We decide if faith will move the mountain or keeping it right where it is. The desire of our heart will determine the outcome. Do we desire God and loving relationship in Christ or do we want things to change so badly we invest our faith in the mountain? Faith is foundational. If our faith is in the Lord, and what He has to offer on the other side – that sucker is coming down. But if our faith is in the substance of the mountain – we will hold it there by our belief in it rather than God. Think about it today. Visualize your mountain and what lies on the other side. Seek the Lord. Father give us faith that moves mountains today rather than keeping them locked in place. In Jesus Name!

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

 

When Mountains Move

When Mountains Move

Matthew 21:21-22 (NKJV) So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

When our youngest child was a toddler, she developed rapid onset asthma. It came on out of nowhere. She had not experienced any symptoms before the day of her first attack. Over the next several weeks, it grew worse and worse. We were at the doctor’s office every day to adjust medications and check for complications. She could not far from a nebulizer. Taking her anywhere was strongly discouraged as a secondary illness could compromise her life. Meanwhile, my husband and I were learning about faith. Tangible faith that changed things. Coincidental? I don’t believe in coincidences since meeting Jesus Christ and getting to know His Ways. I was perplexed that while serving God and seeking Him wholeheartedly, how could this be happening to us? Our mentors began to sow seeds of faith in us and teaching us how to pray believing that God would answer our prayers. We prayed often but now it was time to put our money where our mouth is. For weeks following medical advice and praying for our child, begin to build confidence. Unaware of its productivity, I sat in a doctor’s office awaiting yet another list of protocols. Of course, he delivered. And then he did something that changed everything, her doctor wrote “forever” on the prescription pad. The word was underlined. The medications had finally yielded a slightly positive result. Heaven and hell clashed all around us. I was infuriated that an unknown curse was leveled against my child. Walking to the car with her in one hand and the wretched piece of paper in the other, I began praying with angry words reciting laced with complete indignation. An absolute intrusion into God’s Territory opened an unseen doorway to the realm of hope called impossible. When I was done and out of breath from praying in known and unknown languages, a still small voice declared it finished and I was instructed to stop all medications by the Great Physician.

This is our testimony of the healing of our daughter. I do not in any way justify going against medical orders unless you hear the Voice of God spoken directly to you in an audible voice. God still talks to people – directly! I did not share this true story to incite you to spontaneous faith that jumps off mountains heedlessly. The real test came after I heard God tell me what to do. I did it. After months of life threatening situations, I had to decide whether or not to believe the Word of the Lord which meant stopping the medication she had survived on. I did it. Terrified and trembling, not sleeping for days, I did it. Our daughter has never had another asthma attack or any similar symptoms. In fact, she hardly ever even gets a cold. I am sharing this to say that faith is not easy. It is probably the hardest thing that we will ever do. To defy the logic innate and engrained in us to see the Glory of God. Jesus told his disciples that “whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” We must have faith that does not doubt when it comes to a place of action. Heavenly manifestations can be very vulnerable and scary transitions. When Heaven comes to earth, mountains begin to move, and pathways are made straight produces a physical reaction in the atmosphere that removes us from convenience, comfort and control to produce godly change. We want it. Now we must walk it.

Matthew 17:20 (NKJV) 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.”

Faith is a seed that grows in our heart. It doesn’t stop in our heart but by believing pushes through conditions and circumstances to change an ordinary life to extraordinary. It defies the natural to produce supernatural results. The exhilarating rush of putting our faith and trust in the Lord is followed by moments of hesitation when change does not occur rapidly or the conditions only worsen. God works through the impossibilities of life to produce His Glory. If man can do it, there is no reason for hope. Confident trust in the Lord takes us to the edge of self and complete undoing of our mind, will and emotions to take one more step into the unknown place. It causes us to challenge everything known about God and decide if it is credible enough to take a chance.

Isaiah 54:10 (NIV) Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

When seeds of faith grow into fulfillment it produces movement and change in our life. It is not always a peaceful transition and never a comfortable change. Moving mountains shake the foundation of our life. Hills being removed present unforeseen challenges moving us from good to glory! The steadfast security in all transition and change is the unfailing love of God for us and His Covenant of Peace that keeps us. We must learn to trust God completely so that when nothing in life adds up to what He has shown us in His Word or spoken to our heart that we do not abandon our post of waiting and watching for His Arrival.

Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

His Thoughts are higher. His Ways are too. (Isaiah 55) We must learn to look at our life from a heavenly perspective found only in the Presence of God. His Spirit will tell us the secret things of God when we invest our life in living from God’s Account of how our life could be rather than the conditions around us. The transition is inviting but getting from here to there will take many steps that are not logical and demand us to make a choice between believing and doubting. Doubt immobilizes our faith but when we believe it mobilizes the impossible making all things possible. The movement of such shifting and changing produces unsettling shaking of our life that can cause us to become fearful. God has not given us the spirit of fear but confidence born of trusting and believing God at His Word.

God is our refuge. He is our strength. Hope is the anchor of our soul when the boat starts rocking and we are called to step out of it. (Hebrews 6:19) If your life is shaking right about now, the earth seems to be moving beneath your feet, and things are not going as expected – don’t stop believing! Just step into His Presence and let God be your peace! He will keep you safe in the storm. He is working His Plan to His Perfection not your preference. Discomfort, inconvenience and when things are beyond our control are all signs of something far greater working in us and through us – Christ Jesus! Moving mountains make a sound and cause a reverberation. It is our faith in God and belief in His Authority and Power over our life that keeps us steady in the process!

Hebrews 12:26-28 (NIV) At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,