Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Talk to Your Mountain


Tonight I’m thinking about the mountains that lie before me. A mountain can be a sickness or a disease like cancer. A mountain can be some job that you have to do that seems way too big, something you can’t handle. Your past experience can’t get you through it. Your knowledge today can’t get you through it. A mountain can be a marriage that’s in turmoil. Every day, you fight with your spouse over finances or the kids or over the trash—the smallest of things—because it’s in turmoil. You don’t know what’s going on. You were once in love, and now you’re not even sure you like your spouse anymore. Those are mountains.
                           
I look at my mountains that lie before me today, and I sit here and think about how our perspective influences the way we view our mountains. What lens are we looking through? If you have to climb a mountain and you don’t like to climb, you’re thinking, “Ugh, I can’t climb that mountain. It’s too big. It’s too big for me to do. I don’t even know what tools to buy, what shoes I should wear, how I should dress. Is it cold on top? I don’t know the temperature. What kind of supplies do I need? What do I need to be safe? Do I need ropes? Do I need a professional to help me? Should I get some training? How long should I prepare before I actually climb that mountain?”

But maybe I’m a mountain climber. Maybe I’ve climbed rocks my entire life and it’s one of the thrills that I love, so I look at that mountain with anticipation. My adrenalin starts pumping, and I think, “I can’t wait to stand on top of that mountain. I’m going to take my picture out there. I’ll prepare my photography equipment in advance. And how will I get down? I’ll probably need a helicopter to pick me up.”

The professional climbers know exactly what equipment they need to climb the mountain, and they probably already have it in their tool chest. They have all the tools they need to climb that mountain. They know exactly how they are going to get to the top of that mountain. They know which shoes to wear, and those shoes are already broken in and comfortable. They love those shoes, and they can’t wait to get those shoes on the grooves of the mountain. They have all the ropes, and they have a belayer, somebody who will hold the rope and keep them safe and tight. They have confidence. They’re not afraid at all.

The beginning climber, on the other hand, is shaking in his shoes, thinking, “What if I fall? What will happen? What will happen to my family? Maybe I won’t make it.” He doesn’t have the confidence and experience of having climbed a mountain before whereas the professional knows he is going to get to the top of the mountain because he did it before with that other mountain.

Maybe you decide not to climb at all. You think, “I do not like heights, and I refuse to climb this mountain. I’m going to dig my way through this mountain. There must be a way through it.” How are you going to get through this mountain? It’s 25 miles wide—I don’t know how big a mountain is—it’s one mile wide, maybe. It’s one mile wide, and it’s made of rock and earth and heavy structure. How do you get through that?

If I dug a mine before, I probably know what tools and how many people I need to get through the mountain. If I’m a beginning digger, I’m probably thinking, “Do I need a shovel? Should I call my buddies and offer a pizza party if they help me dig my way through this mountain?”

So many times, we look at the mountain and think about how we’re going to conquer it with the resources that we have today, the physical resources that we have on hand and our own power and might. Well, I propose there’s another way to look at the mountains we face.

The Bible says that God will give us the tools. He not only gives us the tools, He also sharpens them (see Isaiah 41:15). He makes them of great quality to use. He gives you the tools, and they’re so sharp that you won’t need to climb over the mountain or dig through it; the tool is going to chop that mountain down to a flatland (also see Zechariah 4:6–7). There won’t be a mountain anymore, just crumbles of dirt.

Jesus told His disciples, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23 NIV).

Speak to your mountains? How are you going to speak to a marriage that is broken or in turmoil? How can you speak to cancer? Speak to it? What good does that do? Chemotherapy helps cancer, not speaking to it. Maybe it’s the homeschooling that you think you are called to do. How am I going to homeschool my kids? I can speak to it? Is that really practical?

Well, let’s put this into a practical application. God created the world in seven days. How did He create it? He created it through His words, and He holds it together with His words. All things are held together by God’s word.

A lot of people will tell you how to attack your mountain. They’ll tell you, “Look at your mountain. Size it up. Talk to a doctor if you have cancer. Do everything they say, follow their plan, and you’ll probably be okay.” If your marriage is in turmoil, people will say, “Go to marriage counseling. Keep a check on your marriage. Make sure that you’re paying attention to it, that you spend time loving on your spouse. Figure out how your spouse best receives care and love and respect from you.” There are all kinds of books written on how to care for your spouse in a better way. Females like to be loved in this manner, males in that manner. There are all kinds of ways out in the world to attack your mountain. Every day there are people trying to tell you what to do.

One of my mountains was my marriage. I’d been married for a little while. Every relationship I had before completely fell apart. I always thought it was everyone else’s fault, but I came to find that it was mine. It was my fault. It was all my fault. Why? Because I tried to let my marriage complete me and make me whole and make me someone that I wasn’t.

I tried to let my marriage be my rock and my hiding place. Well, guess what happened? After I got married, my husband wasn’t all he said he was, all he seemed he was going to be. Suddenly my hiding place had cracks in it, and I was exposed in places I didn’t want to be. This brought out emotions I didn’t really like. You know, like you hear me saying, “Are you kidding me? Are you serious?”

I really didn’t think I liked my husband anymore. I’m stuck to him, married to him, but I didn’t think I even liked him. Then I saw this book that said, “Maybe marriage is meant to make you holy, not happy.” It didn’t matter how many hours I could have gone to marriage counseling or how much I worked on my marriage and loved my husband more or did more to meet his needs. I missed that my number one covenant was with Father God.

The only way to conquer your mountain is by the Spirit of the Lord (see Zechariah 4:6). You can spend all day long listening to people’s advice or trying to figure out how to build a train around your mountain, how to climb your mountain, how to get to the other side by your might and your power. But the only way to conquer your mountain indefinitely, completely, and perfectly is through the Spirit of the living God and through Jesus Christ!

We read in Zechariah 4:7, “What are you, O great mountain [of obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who will rebuild the temple] you will become a plain (insignificant)!” (AMP). Wow. How many times have you heard that saying, “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill”? Well, God says you have a mountain in front of you but He is going to make it a molehill. Let’s look through the vision of God at our mountains and let’s see what’s really there. Physically standing in front of us, we might see a mountain. But by God’s Spirit, it’s a molehill.

That’s how we conquer our mountains.

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