Mountain Moving Prayer (Pt 2)

Perhaps the greatest request the apostles ever made to Jesus was for increased faith. When they did this, one might have expected Him to provide a list of assignments and exercises to help accomplish the task. Instead, He answered, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6).

It’s not only a tree floating through the air that makes this teaching so intriguing, but also Jesus’ suggestion that they speak directly to it. The Lord is encouraging a command of faith, known in some circles as authoritative prayer. According to the prolific author on prayer Wesley Deuwel, “The command of faith is not an alternative to prayer. It is an additional step of obedience which normally grows out of prevailing prayer or prayer warfare.”

If you’re a little skeptical about this concept, consider that Jesus spoke similarly on two other occasions. After He cast the demon out of a boy, He said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move” (Matthew 17:21).

Just days before His crucifixion, a hungry Jesus spotted a fig tree and searched it for fruit. Finding none, He rebuked the tree, saying, “May no one ever eat from you again” (Mark 11:14). The next morning, the disciples found the tree withered from the roots. He performed this unusual miracle, the only destructive one performed during His entire ministry, to set the stage for His teaching on faith. Looking upon the dead tree, the Lord said, “Have faith in God,” which literally means, “have the faith of God” (Mark 11:22).  “There is a sense in which God-given faith is made available to us by God, but we must act on it or command because of it. True faith is primarily a matter of the will,” writes Deuwel. Jesus went on to add, “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).

Although objects of beauty, mountains often symbolize life’s trials and difficulties. God allows them, even places them there, for the purpose of spiritual growth. Deuwel says these mountains  “May slow down your progress, but they will build your spiritual muscle, strengthen your faith, and develop your skill in prayer as you learn to prevail until God’s answer comes.”

Realize, though, that the enemy uses mountains as well. He’ll do anything in his power to delay, discourage, debilitate, and even destroy you. Certainly, you have the option of asking God to move us beyond the mountains. Yet there may be times when He allows and expects you to speak to them directly.

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