“Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.’” — Mark 11:22-23 (NLT)
When the first transcontinental railroad was being constructed through the Sierra Nevadas, railroad crews had to find their own way through the mountains when going over or going around them was impossible. So, with that, The Central Pacific Railroad was challenged with the digging of what is called “The Summit Tunnel” which runs through the top of Donner Pass. Workers did what they could with picks and shovels and with a little smarts vertical shafts were drilled so that debris could be removed as the digging went on BUT then came good-ole’-fashion technology.
Nitroglycerin arrived on the scene and KA-BOOM!!! Rock and earth moved away real fast. Unfortunately many died because this stuff was unstable. The builders of the Central Pacific Line stopped using it for the remainder of construction. Granted, a problem may have been solved but it came with a huge sacrifice. That’s how it goes when men come face to face with mountains being in their way. Good thing Jesus does things differently.
If you’re familiar with the Gospel of Mark you know it’s a right-to-the-point Gospel. In the 11th chapter Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, the people are astatic, a fig tree gets cursed and when He shows up at The Temple, He sees what is going on and man is He upset. “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves’” (Mark 11:17). Tables get turned over…night falls…morning rises…enter the fig tree. And Peter says, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died” (Mark 11:21).
By criticizing the worship in The Temple, Jesus denounces Israel’s worship of YHVH and with His cursing of the fig tree He is denouncing them as a nation. The Pharisees did a mighty fine job of negotiating with Rome in order to keep their place as religious leaders in The Temple, but they effectively became the very thing that separated YHVH’s people from YHVH. Hmm…so it’s back to the action, after all this is Marks Gospel account. Then Jesus turns to the Twelve and says, “Have faith in God.” Now maybe they didn’t get this right away but here is a tasty nugget for ya.
“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” We can think that because Israel has its mountains we are getting a lesson in the amount of faith we need to have in God and that isn’t off the mark but that isn’t all of it. Ya see, mountains happen in our life and they can separate us from God (like a bunch of Pharisees). They are those circumstances that overwhelm us and just stand right in our way of spiritual progress. (Just as a side note here, I’ve had those times in my life when I moved those spiritual mountains with metaphorical dynamite and relationships just went KA-BOOM!!! Be warned.)
Anyway…We know Jesus made a triumphantal entry into our lives and we celebrated His arrival, but when it got hard this mountain showed up and made it hard to see if Jesus was even still around to help us. Jesus encourages His disciples to keep their faith in God because that will be the key to drive us to prayer. God wants us to name the mountain, ask for it to be moved, then stand back and watch what He does, “But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”
There is a risk in handling the way we tunnel through life’s mountains if we chose to handle it ourselves. Secularland has proven that metaphorical explosives do more damage than good, but God doesn’t do things our way and we gotta put our faith in that more and more each day. We do so much nonsense outta fear of the outcome that we prove ourselves pretty wreck less but we gotta be like The Central Pacific Railroad and eventually give up the way we are handling the tunneling.
The instruction is simple, “you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” (Mark 11:24b-25). So many say “Jesus take the wheel” but so few will let “Jesus handle the fuse.” Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “How are we going to escape fear, when there are legitimate dangers that lie all around us? Well, here’s what the man of God says: “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7