Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Moving Mountains

 

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.

(Matthew 17:20 NKJV)

 

Can We Move Mountains?

The answer to that question is yes!  But in order to move mountains we need to understand the conditions required for the prayer to be answered and we need to understand what the Lord meant by mountains.  This verse is not meant to make us feel guilty for our lack of faith but it is intended to give us confidence that if we pray the way the Lord wants us to pray for the things that He has told us to pray about, we can be sure that our prayers will be answered in the affirmative.

 

What is Faith?

Faith is always confidence in something or someone.  In this case faith is confidence in a promise that the Lord had made to his disciples.  He had sent them out with power over demons.  In Matthew 10:8 we read his commission to the twelve apostles, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”  So the twelve had been given a promise and power and yet when He and three of the disciples came down from the Mount of Transfiguration, they found nine of the apostles (which included Judas) powerless when it came to casting out this particular demon.  For some reason, they didn’t have the ability to exercise faith in the promise that the Lord had given them in this case.  So we need to make sure that the Lord has given us the authority to move a mountain which in this case involved casting out a demon. 

 

What is the Mountain?

The Lord spoke in parables at times.  That is He often used a story to illustrate a spiritual principal.  I believe His miracles literally happened but that they too teach us lessons in a figurative way.  We know that the Lord spoke in figurative language so that those who wanted to understand could understand and those who didn’t want to understand could find fault.  In this case, He has just come down from a mountain and that would tend to make us believe that mountains could represent the coming powers in the final battles between good and evil just before the Lord sets up His kingdom.  It would give the Jews assurance that even though powerful men would arise to try to deceive and control the world, they should be sure that their faith in the Lord would be rewarded.  They would be able to make a difference in the world conditions of that day. A faithful remnant will be saved for the coming Righteous Kingdom.

 

The mountains could also represent literal mountains but frankly I don’t think that is what the Lord is teaching here.  So in the context, the mountain was the problem that the disciples were experiencing.  They couldn’t do what the Lord had told them they could do.  And that is a mountain that many of us experience.  Sometimes, we simply need to wait for an answer, but we get impatient.  Sometimes, Satan is attacking us and trying to get us to lose confidence in promises that the Lord has fulfilled in our lives many times.  In those cases, we need to resort to prayer and fasting.  And we need to bring the problem to the Lord.  That was the cure here.  The disciples were told, “bring him here to Me.”  And the Lord did for them what they had been commissioned to do. 

 

Faithless and Perverse (Obstinate )

The disciples were called faithless and perverse.  Are we like that today?  How many times have I heard teachers of the Bible tell us that the New Testament principles connected with the church do not work today.  They say we need new practices for a new generation.  I wonder when I hear these things if we should be able to depend on the way of salvation as presented to us by the Lord and his apostles or has that changed as well?  Did the Lord who made heaven and earth provide us with a blue print for the building which is His church that doesn’t work today?

 

In addition,  we have conferences on how to keep our young people which is one of the mountains we are facing today.  Perhaps we need to bring them to the Lord and perhaps we need to realize that the problem is with those of us who claim to be Christians.  The problem is not with the instructions that the Lord has given us and the problem isn’t even with the young.  The problem is with those of us who have lost confidence in the simple truth that the church is the house of God, it is His temple, it is His garden and we don’t have the right to make it our church when it is His.  We might also ask ourselves if we are presenting the Gospel the way it is presented in the New Testament or are we presenting it the way the religious world presents it?  Do we still believe in the “repent and believe” Gospel or are we presenting a “sign up for a good time” type of Gospel? 

 

We can move mountains when the Lord gives us the authority to do so.  When we can’t seem to move a mountain that we should be able to move, we can and should bring that problem to the Lord.  He is faithful even when we are faithless (2nd Timothy 2:13).

 

Bruce Collins

 

Meditation for the weeks of October 7and October 14, 2018

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