Last night I attended a Christmas celebration with about 400 other women at Ada Bible Church. Our speaker was Chris Manion who talked about trusting God when we see a mountain ahead of us. She said if you aren’t facing one now, you will sometime in the future and you have sometime in your past. True that! Guess what I wrote on the comment card. “How timely!” Chris, with over 30 years of being a pastor’s wife, and being a student of the scriptures even longer, still faces mountains and has to repeatedly renew her trust in God. Those same experiences are mine. Are they yours too? We’re on a mission, we’ve planned our work, we’re working our plan with enthusiasm when wham! We fly right into the side of a mountain! Really? Now what?
This is not part of your plan. Wait a minute. This doesn’t even make sense. How can this be happening? The path was clear and now here’s this mountain that sprang up out of nowhere. We begin to replay and dissect the situation, trying to remap the terrain so the mountain disappears, but instead of fading, it grows. Our faith takes a beating and our trust in God wears a little thin. “That mountain is too big. I’m exhausted I can’t deal with it this time.” The enemy of our soul could win this battle because he strikes us at our place of vulnerability; in the places most important to us. He draws us into the cycle of defeat and then confuses us into fear, discouragement, frustration, doubt, anger, even despair.
Where is our armor? Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Where is our protection? Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Where is our incentive for climbing the mountain and planting a victory stake at the top? Mark 11:23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” This is an illustration of what we can do when we turn our mountains over to God and trust him while he works everything out. God gets to decide anyway, so why not just give it over to him and stop taking it back? I know. It’s a tough one.
What do you say to the mountain? “You illness, You financial burden, You destructive relationship, You painful situation, You mundane, depressing day, You will not defeat me. You will not suck my faith from me. You will not deplete my trust in God. You will not rob me of my joy.”
Let’s not be dragged to the bottom of our mountain, too weary to start the climb. Life is a contact sport and sometimes we get beat up pretty bad. God allows mountains in our life to increase our recognition of him and strengthen our reliance on him. Would we prefer another method? Sure! But God’s ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord. God wants one thing from us; our hearts – our committed hearts. 2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the Lord look throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
What about that mountain?