Are you known as a person full of faith? If Jesus watched your life, would he be impressed by your faith? Would it cause him to take notice and respond? In other words, do you have mountain-moving faith?
Scripture: Mark 2:5 (NIV)
“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
How to Cultivate Mountain-moving Faith
Immediately following college I managed to acquire some credit card debt. I didn’t have a job lined up, but I knew in my heart that I should take a summer missions class in California. I had faith that I should go, but I didn’t see how it was possible. As I shared this God-shaped desire (at least I thought so), I saw God provide the exact amount I needed for the class through the generosity of my parents, my local church and a tax refund check from Uncle Sam. It was down to the dollar.
God rewarded my tiny faith with a God-sized answer that has been an anchor in my life as my faith sometimes falters. [clickToTweet tweet=”God has shown me many times how faith like a mustard seed can turn into a mountain-moving faith.” quote=”God has shown me many times how faith like a mustard seed can turn into a mountain-moving faith.”]
In Mark 2, we see a tremendous story of faith as a paralyzed man is lowered by his four friends to Jesus. These friends cared deeply for their friend and believed Jesus was the only solution. So they creatively acted and found a way to get Jesus’ attention! They weren’t cheating as much as overcoming the reality that they couldn’t possibly move their friend through the crowds to get to Jesus in any other way.
I often I see blockades to my plans and dreams and am tempted to give up too easily. Can you relate?
If I had been one of these four friends, I might have started to question whether it would be worth the effort. Will Jesus notice him? Won’t he rebuke us and tell us to wait our turn? That would be embarrassing.
Faith is one thing Jesus notices. He said that if you have faith you can move mountains. Well, these friends moved a mountain of dirt out of love for their friend.
What mountains need to be moved in your life? Where does that faith come from?
Faith is a gift from God but here are three sources of mountain-moving faith:
1) Character – Faith is founded on the character of the person you’re believing in. Does this person’s track record earn my trust? Are they full of integrity? Do I believe they will follow through on their promises? In the case of God, he says about himself, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Num 23:19) God is the only person worthy of our unwavering faith.
2) Competence – Does the person I’m placing my faith in have the skills, competence, and track record to do the things they say. If I were the paralyzed man’s friend, I would look at all the miracles already performed by Jesus and it would be easy to believe. Having access to all of the Scriptures, I can see that Jesus has the power to walk on water, feed the thousands, raise the dead, calm the storm, and rise from the dead himself. He also created the universe and delivered Egypt through the miracles of the Exodus. Jesus definitely has the track record and skills needed to do anything I ask.
3) Holy Spirit – We don’t ever know if God will act as we desire. If we did, I suppose we wouldn’t need faith. But the Holy Spirit grants us the gift of faith for whatever circumstances we face. He enables us to pray with faith.
For more insights on cultivating a mountain-moving faith, see this book by John Eldridge called Moving Mountains.
In Mark 9:14-29 a man brings his son to Jesus to be delivered from evil spirits. After the disciples are unsuccessful, Jesus arrives. The man’s faith is shaken and he haltingly asks Jesus “if” he can heal his son. Jesus answers, “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
As you go to prayer today, this song by Audrey Assad echoes the prayer of the boy’s father and hopefully ours:
Prayers for Today
Self: Lord, help my unbelief. I know who you are and I trust your history, but I don’t always believe you will act in my circumstances. I often feel it’s up to me and I doubt that you will bring your sovereign resources to bear in my life. Forgive me. Grant me the gift of faith. Help me to respond to disappointment with continued faith and trust in who you are and your good purposes. May the Holy Spirit fill me with a confident belief that you are building your kingdom around and through me.
Family: Father, I bring to you (name of unbelieving family member). I confess that my prayers for <him/her> have been halting and weak. I’ve stopped believing. I realize my error today and know that just as you raised Jesus from the dead and transformed Saul into your greatest apostle, you can save anyone. Fill me with confidence and perseverance. I pray you would do a miracle in my family as we pray without ceasing for our lost relatives.
Work: Master, I admit that my faith is most confused at work. Confidence in my abilities can replace faith, but it can also lead to blindness. I know you are constantly preparing heaven for me and all those who call on you. Because you are continuously working I call on you to intervene in the lives of my co-workers who are facing really hard times right now. (Pause to pray for some co-workers by name.)
Church: High King of Heaven, I ask that you shepherd our church today. Forgive our weak faith, strengthen our pastors and comfort the weary. May we boldly proclaim the Gospel every week knowing this is the only hope for our city and world. May we grow confident in your ability to provide for our needs.
Community: Open my eyes to the needs of those around me. In every conversation may I have ears to hear and grant me faith to respond. Show me how to love and care for my neighbors, my friends and even the strangers around me.
World: Lord, I pray you would raise up many men and women to take your gospel to all corners of the earth and bring the world to your people. Give your church energy and faith to be used to change our world.
Lord, help us to overcome our unbelief and grasp mountain-moving faith.