I never cease to be amazed at the distance between what Jesus meant in His words, and what we (choose to) hear and understand.  Too often, something, even everything, is lost in the translation.  Mark 11:23 is one such example, and a good friend gave me a wonderful insight of just how we can so easily miss His meaning, or at least, insert our own.
     Jesus says to His disciples, "Have faith in God.  I assure you that you can say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and your command will be obeyed.  All that's required is that you really believe and do doubt in your heart." How many of us have claimed that promise, perhaps numerous times, only to look, and sadly, the mountain was still there?  Is Jesus misleading us, even lying to us? Is it because we simply haven't worked up enough faith yet, and so aren't pleasing Him, therefore, the mountain is still there?  Or, could it actually be that we might be missing what He wants us to hear and see in these words?  
     I know that for so long, I have understood them to mean that whatever obstacle, blockage, difficulty, and impossibility that stands before me and where I want to be, what I want to have when I get there, and who I want to be in the process, will be removed if I just have, speak, with enough faith.  My part is to have sufficient faith (willpower?) and His part is to come through in making my impossible desires and dreams come to pass.  If this doesn't happen, then my choice is to either condemn myself, or Him.  The mountain is bigger than ever, and my faith weaker than ever.  How close to your experience is this?  I think a great need within all of His followers is to not only hear the words He speaks, but to also know what He means as He speaks them.  This is a lifelong journey.  I think we hear His words, but not His voice and heart.  If this is so, we miss everything.
    That brings me back to my friend and his understanding of these words.  He felt that the mountain Jesus speaks of is not really that which blocks the way to what we want, but that which blocks us from seeing Him.  Think on that for a minute.  Which do you think is more important to Him; that we get what we want from Him, or that we get Him?  That we see all the things we desire be ours, or that we see Him in every place?  Where Jesus is, there is no impossibility.  Death, in all of its forms is banished.  There is only life.  Having everything in Him takes the place of having everything we want, and we find then, that what we want is Him. Having Him then brings us into the realm of what my friend calls "Nothing is impossible."  When every mountain that stands between He and us is removed, then so is every mountain that stands between us the life He created us for as well.  When this happens, the mountains that seek to keep us from Him are removed with a word, and I think that word may simply be "Yes."  We say yes to Him, and He says yes to us.  Our yes brings us to Him, and His yes brings all His desire for us.  It's no longer about ourselves, and the fulfilling of all our desires, goals, and plans.  It's about entering into the fullness of a life that His word tells us, "Cannot be destroyed."  The mountains that seek to keep us from that life become powerless as we live in the power of that life, and become "more than conquerors" in the midst of all of them.
    What mountains do we seek to remove?  The ones that stand in the way of what we want, or that which stands in the way of seeing, hearing, and having Him, and all the abundance of life He brings?  In our hearts, which choice do we really desire to make? 

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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