Mountains represent beauty, majesty, stability, and greatness. Mountains provide a refuge in times of danger and are referred to as pillars of heaven in Job 26:11. Mountains are not only a blessing but strength for the weak, loving kindness for the depressed and deliverance for God’s people from danger. Many people have either met or experienced God at the top of the mountain:
- Noah’s ark rested on Mt. Ararat after the flood.
- God revealed himself and gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.
- Elijah challenged the false prophets of Baal and won on Mt. Carmel.
- Jesus was tempted by Satan on Mt. Quarantal
- Jesus was transfigured on Mt. Tabor
- God provided a ram in the bush for Abraham on Mt. Moriah
- Jesus was crucified on the northern side of Mt. Moriah
- The Last Supper was eaten on Mt. Zion
- The Garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of Mt. Zion
When people met God at the top of the mountain, their lives were changed! However, instead of viewing them as a place where lives are changed, we view them with the natural eye as unclimbable, impenetrable and insurmountable. We tend to think of mountains as negative and path blockers. Why? Well, we have heard that they are “so high that you can’t get over them.” They are “so wide that you can’t go around them.” They are “so low that you can’t go under them.” They are “so hard that you can’t go through them.” We have even deemed hard situations in our life as mountains because we just can figure out a way to overcome them. When we relegate our thinking to this view, we don’t want to do the work necessary to climb the mountain because we believe it will take more effort than we want to give, it will take longer than we want to wait, or it will require us to sacrifice more than we to give up.
Then there are those who have been waiting on God to deliver on a promise He has made, yet you don’t see anything on the horizon. Day, weeks, months, and even years have passed and still no evidence or fruition of the promise. They also see an insurmountable, impenetrable, and unclimbable mountain that is impossible to overcome because it is not happening as quickly as they had hoped. Society has enticed us to want and expect things to happen quickly and easily. When quickly gives way to slowly, we begin asking God questions. When will you deliver God? When will you come through? I see other people being blessed or receiving their promises, when will it be my turn? To you the mountain just seems to get bigger. Maybe this is too hard for God or maybe I don’t deserve it… Perhaps, I have fallen out of grace!
God said it is time to change our perspective of mountains…
I like the lyrics Inez Andrews sang, Lord, don’t take away my mountain, but give me the strength to climb. And Lord don’t take away my stumbling blocks but lead me all around!
You see Ms. Inez knew about the mountain. She knew that if she wanted to be delivered out of her situation, the mountain was necessary! If she wanted to be delivered, she would either have to climb it or go around it!
Now climbing a mountain ain’t easy; people have died trying to climb mountains! It requires experience, athletic ability, and technical knowledge. You will encounter some rough terrain and dangerous slopes on your way up and you need to be equipped to handle it.
One of the best mountain climbers to me was David. One of the mountains he had to climb was fighting Goliath (found in 1 Samuel 17). The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. Goliath, the Philistine champion measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. Saul and the whole army were terrified of Goliath.
One day, David’s father sent him to check on his brothers who were in battle. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his defiance and he how terrified the men of Israel were. David responded, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?”
Right away David knew something had to be done and he determined that he was just the person to do it. He was going to climb this mountain!!! In order to climb the mountain, the first thing David needed was a different perspective.
A Different Perspective (1 Samuel 17: 26)
Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?”
David’s faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God’s point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God’s perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight or “climb” more effectively.
Next, David needed to turn a deaf ear to criticism.
Turn a Deaf Ear to Criticism (1 Samuel 17: 28, 33)
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”
If God is for you, who can be against you? Many will discourage you with their negative comments. Some will say it is too dangerous to climb the mountain because they themselves are scared. Though most of the time not intentional, they will impart their fears on you. BUT…. Climb anyway. Remember, lives are changed at the top of the mountain.
Next, David needed to realize he was made for this!
Your Past Served a Purpose (1 Samuel 17: 34-37)
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”
Your past provided the training needed to climb the mountain. Your pain and your pleasures were all necessary to prepare you for this moment. Recall everything you have gone through and see how God’s hand was working back then to prepare you for now.
Lastly, David needed to get rid of the extra weight.
Travel Light (1 Samuel 17: 38 – 40)
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
You cannot climb the mountain with excess stuff; only take what is necessary. God specializes in doing mighty miracles with miniscule materials!
When you do all the things mentioned above– Get a different perspective, Turn a deaf ear to criticism, Remember your Past and Travel Light—reaching the top of the mountain is inevitable! Remember this ability did not happen overnight and you can only climb a mountain by practicing the climb on smaller mountains. The fight with a lion (a mountain) and the fight with a bear (a mountain) prepared David for his big mountain (Goliath). What mountain must you climb? Don’t despise the mountain! They are there to strengthen you, provide refuge and protect you.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
To God, mountains are boulders; nothing more than big rocks! The story below from an unnamed author sums this up!
A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might….
So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might!
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing discouragement, the adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: (He will do it every time)!
‘You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn’t moved.’ Thus, he gave the man he impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
Satan said, ‘Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.’ That’s what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of Prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I have labored long and hard in Your Service, putting all my strength to do that which You have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?’
The Lord responded compassionately, ‘My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.
Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed…
But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back shiny and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be Obedient and to push and to exercise your Faith and trust in My Wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock.’
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He Wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the Faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God Who moves the Mountains.