Do you want faith that moves mountains? Have you felt your faith isn’t strong enough, or you have great faith, but it didn’t make the problem/mountain move? Girlfriend, you are not alone.
Jesus told His disciples, after the inability to heal a young boy with a demon, that all they needed was the faith of a mustard seed to command mountains to move. “Nothing will be impossible for you,”said Jesus.
I wonder how many of the guys walked away confused because they thought they had at least a mustard seed worth of faith.
Surely we have that much. Have you seen a mustard seed?
As I’ve studied this story and Jesus’s promise through the years, I’ve wondered if we’ve misinterpreted His meaning of mountains or faith itself.
Mountains Beyond Problems
After my own disappointments in prayer when I felt I had tons of faith, I’ve spent much time studying, and I found something that has helped me understand Jesus’s promise better.
Mountains were symbolic of power and influence.
King Herod actually made one hill (small mountain) higher than any in the area so his palace could be seen from everywhere. Sherri Gragg explains this on her blog:
He wanted to build a fortress palace there that could be seen from Jerusalem and the surrounding areas so that the Jews never forgot he was always watching. He also wanted to be sure it was the absolutely tallest thing in the surrounding landscape. So, he narrowed his building site down to two hills (small mountains) which were near each other.Sherri Gragg
Then, he simply used forced labor to pare the top off one to add to the top of the other to make it bigger. One pail full of dirt and rocks at a time. He literally moved a mountain.
Though Herod’s mountain was a literal one, we can’t forget why he “moved” it. His mountain moving tactic symbolized his power. Could this be what Jesus referred to rather than hardship or illness? If so, what would the mountain of power or influence be that believers could move? Remember, they were trying to free a boy from the demon that terrorized his life. Prayer was their tactic, but they could not succeed. Jesus walked onto the scene, rebuked the demon, and healed the boy in a second. The demon could not resist God. Hold that thought.
Understanding Faith Better to Move Mountains of Influence
First, we’ve unpacked the “mountain” imagery, now let’s dig deeper to understand faith better. This is where the rubber meets the road, my friends. If we don’t understand faith, we will never move those mountains in our life where “self” wants to reign.
The word “faith” has been translated from Pistis. This Greek word means more than believe. It also means to trust.
Take a long, deep breath. Some of us understand faith as gritting our teeth forcing positive thoughts or naming and claiming what we want, but that’s not what true faith is. True faith is trusting in God’s power, goodness, wisdom, love, and kindness. True faith is trusting that we don’t have enough power or faith, but Jesus does. It’s the belief that, “He who lives in me is greater than He who lives in the world.”
Faith Positions Us for Blessings
There’s a battle going on for power. We see it in our world, but it’s a raging war in the heavenlies too, and it’s a battle for our trust. But something truly powerful happens when we cross over from a head faith and graduate to a heart faith–trust. We can learn a lot about this kind of “heart faith” in the book of Ruth.
This is our eleventh week digging deep into the beloved story. Last week we were introduced to Boaz. This week he meets Ruth. Last week Ruth’s courage, bravery, and humility amazed us. But this week Boaz’s kindness humbled her and sent Ruth to her knees. When she questioned his generosity Boaz explained his kindness and blessed her with these words:
Refuge Under His Wings
How has she taken refuge under God’s wings? Again, this is a phrase, like “moving mountains” that holds a deeper meaning than the eye can see. We must read the Bible with our hearts, not just our eyes. The word translated as refuge is Chasah (kaw-saw) which means “to trust.” So, Boaz spoke of Ruth’s trust in the One True God, the God of the Jews.
How did she gain such trust in God? I think she’d watched Naomi’s faith for many years. Surely she had seen something that persuaded her to choose faith in Naomi’s God. But after awhile, faith must become your own. At one point, Ruth made a choice to place herself under God’s wings despite the tragedy she’d experienced in her own life. I know what that is like.
Assuredly other people’s testimonies have inspired me to keep on keepin’ on. But my faith has grown because of those desperate days when I made a choice. I could do things my way or God’s way, be mad at Him or trust He is always good. I could demand my way or wait, quit or keep believing. That’s the hardest and most wonderful thing about trust. It’s always a choice.Ruth Key Word Bible Study, 104
Three things to do for Mountain Moving Faith
- Choose to trust in God’s goodness no matter what.
- Run to God under His wings, not away from Him where there is no refuge.
- Don’t give up.
The disciples gave up when they tried to heal the demon possessed boy. I wonder if this was part of Jesus’s frustration with them. Their focus was on their ability, but they also thought it would be easy. I think Naomi had also given up, but Ruth didn’t. She was willing to do the hard work needed as she placed her trust in God.
Bite of Bread Reading Plan on Faith
If you are using the Ruth Key Word Bible Study: A 31 Day Journey to Hope and Promise, we are working through pages 99-105. (It’s on sale right now on CBD.com!) If you don’t have the book, just click the links below for the Bible Reading Plan printable/digital copy. I’ve used scripture and prompts from the Ruth Bible study.
Monday: Ruth 2: 12
“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Prompt: If “take refuge” means to trust God, has there been a time in your life when God blessed you for trusting Him? Explain.
Tuesday: Psalm 91: 1
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Prompt: What will those who “dwell in the shelter” of God do? Could you use some of that?
Wednesday: Psalm 91:2
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Prompt: Why can the psalmist call God his “refuge and fortress?” Have you experienced what it’s like to have peace in the midst of a storm? Write that memory down, if not, write a prayer to trust God more each day.
Grab the Printable/Digital Plan
Thursday: Psalm 91:3
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
Prompt: When you dig under these words to the ancient Hebrew, “snare” means “trap,” and “pestilence” refers to disease and plagues which often followed God’s judgment. Rewrite this verse in your own words using our new understanding of snare and pestilence.
Friday: Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Prompt: How can God’s faithfulness be our protection? Do you trust His faithfulness?
Don’t forget the printable/digital format available for your quiet time alone with God.
Join Me Tuesday Morning!
Summer brings company and the need for flexibility. This week I’m teaching our online study on Tuesday morning at 8:30 ET. If you’ve never joined us, and you are free in the mornings, just follow me on Facebook and visit my personal timeline a little before 8:30 Tuesday (7/9/19) to tune into our fellowship. Bring your coffee! Wear your jammies, if you want. I can’t see you, but I wish I could!
Be a Threat to the Enemy!
Go out there friends and be a threat to the enemy as you trust God deeply, hide under His wing, and move those mountains of power as you trust His. Don’t give up. Don’t quit praying. He’s got this.
Now it’s your turn, leave your thoughts about mountain-moving-faith. Have you experienced it?
Digging Deep in Faith,
[…] week we discussed how Ruth trusted God and how her faith positioned her for protection and blessing. I always think of Ruth spunky and […]