Thursday, January 29, 2009

Moving Mountains With a Word

"Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it." (Hebrews 11:1, New Century Version) We today have never seen Jesus Christ. However, the words in the Bible are so powerful that we cannot help but "see" him in a spiritual sense nor can we help but love him. Our sentiments match the words of the Apostle Peter: "Though you never saw him, you love him. Though you are not looking upon him at present, yet you exercise faith in him and are greatly rejoicing with an unspeakable and glorified joy."-1 Peter 1:8

Peter saw Jesus Christ. He knew him intimately and loved him. We do not have the privilege but we still love our Lord and Savior. The same goes with Jehovah God. We have never seen Him and yet we still love Him. Our faith is what keeps that love for both of them intact. We know that the Bible is God's Word and that everything it says is true. It, like our God and like our Lord, has proven itself many times.

Yes, faith is powerful.

How powerful, though, is faith? Jesus Christ said, "Truly I say to you, If you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, 'Transfer from here to there,' and it will transfer, and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20) Was Christ being literal here? How can we truly know? Has anyone ever moved a mountain before? We can confidently say no. Perhaps, too, Christ was trying to make a point as to how powerful faith actually is.

One reason that we can possibly take that statement seriously is found in an account where the power of faith was made manifest.

"[Jesus] compelled his disciples to board the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowds away. Eventually, having sent the crowds away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. Though it became late, he was there alone. By now the boat was many hundreds of yards away from land, being hard put to it by the waves, because the wind was against them. But in the fourth watch period of the night he came to them, walking over the sea. When they caught sight of him walking on the sea, the disciples were troubled, saying: 'It is an apparition!' And they cried out in their fear. But at once Jesus spoke to them with the words: 'Take courage, it is I; have no fear.' In reply Peter said to him: 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you over the waters.' He said: 'Come!' Thereupon Peter, getting down off the boat, walked over the waters and went toward Jesus."-Matthew 14:22-29

Faith is a powerful thing. It enabled a man to walk on the water. Yet, notice something further about Christ's statement in Matthew 17:20. He said, "If you have faith the size of a mustard grain..." The mustard seed was the smallest known seed in that area of the world at that time. This is an excellent point.

To illustrate: Imagine yourself on an airplane. Across the aisle you see a businessman who is very calm, perhaps typing on a laptop. You can tell that he has been on many flights. Next to him is a little old lady who has never been on an airplane before. You can tell that this old lady is very scared. You realize that she must have had a small amount of faith that the plane would not crash or she would have never gotten on. Just then the plane takes off and you make it to your destination safely. Although the businessman had more faith then the little old lady, both were carried through. Their faith got them to their destination because, if they had no faith, they would have never gotten on the plane.

Now, if Jesus' words are literal, and if you even have the smallest amount of faith to move a mountain, then what is keeping you from it? Well, a lack of faith. You know Jesus' words and you even believe them. Somewhere, though, there is something in the back of your head that doubts. If you remove all doubt, you may find that you can move mountains.

And really, is moving mountains with a word so hard to believe. Faith made a man walk on water. When he lacked that faith, he could no longer do it. (Matthew 14:30-31) Further, any amount of faith that we have can work wonders through us. The Apostle John said, "This is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith." (1 John 5:4) Think about it. Because of our faith, no matter how big or small, we conquered the world! We conquered Satan and the demons, we conquered opposition, persecution, materialism, governments, and the spirit of the world! If we can conquer this with our faith, is moving mountains with a word really so awesome?