In the pursuit of Moving Mountains, we must first identify which mountain God wants us to move.
The question to start with is: “Will the mountain I want to move lead to helping anyone besides myself?”
A mountain that just makes us personally better often lacks long-term motivation to change. I grew up in Florida and always wished that I could see mountains like the one pictured here, Mount Rainer, in Washington State. After moving to Seattle, I attended the University of Washington to pursue my life goal of becoming a wealthy, famous, independent architect. I overcame the mountains of past abuse and financial struggles to achieve my personal dreams but they were empty without the purpose of helping others.
Recently I was able to identify the Mountain of Fear, specifically my fear of conflict. This fear has kept me from caring for others by being honest. An example of this is my relationship with my dad. I experienced a lot of anger and conflict in my home that I chose to avoid by hiding in my room. After I moved away from home, my fear of conflict continued to create distance in our relationship. By studying the Bible with friends, I learned that I had to make a decision that I needed to have our relationship, even if it meant experiencing conflict. After finding out my dad had cancer last year, I was able to spend some good time with him expressing truths of my heart and gratitude for our relationship.
God has helped me to identify this mountain and helped to move it out of the way so that I can have a sincere love for others. When Moving our Mountain makes a difference in the lives of other people, that inspires us to keep on going. Although it was difficult to experience his passing, I was grateful for God’s help to overcome my fear of conflict to express my love for my dad to him. The courage to share my heart with him inspired my siblings to follow my example in openness, too, and has created closer relationships with us.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2
Once we have decided to love others, we can learn from Jesus how to identify the Mountain we need to move…
At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. – Matthew 17:14-15 (NLT)
First Jesus took his disciples to the foot of the mountain to see the needs of people around them.
So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” 17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. 19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “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 17:16-20 (NLT)
To specifically identify the mountain we need to move, we need to ask the question the disciples did. They asked Jesus “Why couldn’t we…cast out the demon?” It led to them identifying that the mountain they needed to move was their lack of faith. The mountain they needed to move was rooted in the Sin of Unbelief (Romans 14:23).
What is preventing you from loving people?
Often, it is rooted in one of the following areas:
- Sins (We are having a difficult time changing)
- Fears (We are so afraid of someone or something, that we don’t change)
- Life Challenges (We are overwhelmed by health or relationship challenges, we feel helpless to change)
When I considered what was preventing me from loving people, I recognized that I had a fear of courageously leading that was hurting my wife, my family, and my friends.
Next, specifically ask “Why can’t I change (the thing that is preventing me from loving people)” in four areas:
- Ask Yourself – Lamentations 3:40
- Ask God in prayer – Psalm 139:23-24
- Ask God in His Word – James 1:22-25
- Ask Others – Isaiah 30:20-21
I asked the question, “Why Can’t I…Lead Courageously?”
- First, I asked myself “Why can’t I lead courageously?” I kept considering, wondering, and writing until I saw I couldn’t lead, because I was too afraid of conflict, I saw every conflict as a bad thing, although that is not true. Conflict is a helpful part of building relationships.
- I also prayed, “God, why can’t I lead courageously?” I asked him to show me the answer through the Bible & relationships.
- Then I asked “Why can’t I Lead Courageously?” when I was reading the Bible. I referenced courage, and I found Scriptures that exposed how much my lack of courage was because I was afraid of people more than God. (Deuteronomy 31:6/1 Corinthians 16:13).
- I also asked my wife and daughter and friends “Why can’t I lead courageously?”, and they helped me identify that I have a fear of conflict, and I had not taken it on.
So by asking “Why can’t I lead courageously?”, I identified my mountain to move – Fear of conflict. And once I identified my mountain, I could learn how to move it with God’s help.
Try answering these questions:
- “Will the mountain I want to move lead to helping anyone besides myself?”
- “What is preventing me from loving people?”
- “Why can’t I change…(answer #2)” (ask this to yourself, God, and your friends)
Now that you have identified your mountain, check out the article by Ray Kim to learn how to move your mountain.