Matthew 20:21-22 (NLT)
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Who doesn’t want faith that can move mountains? I certainly do. It would come in handy in the midst of our son’s fourth round of cancer treatment. But the mountain I am moving is not called cancer. It has another name all of its own. Cancer is the weapon formed against us which cannot prosper according to God’s Word unless of course allowed to be nurtured by fear and doubt rather than overcome by faith in Jesus Christ who is our Healer. Many times in the course of this journey, I have reflected on Abraham and his son, Isaac. I am in no way the uncompromising righteous person that this man was in the Hebrews Faith Hall of Fame but oh how I would like to be. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, the image of this man’s life replayed in my heart and mind. Obviously the Holy Spirit has something in his story that will be useful in my life. Our son has been diagnosed with cancer four times now. All four times in very different ways, God has healed every single spot. The Glory of God surrounds him and he does not experience the usual side effects of treatment not a single time. He does not have the nausea or chronic fatigue. In fact, over the course of the two years we have been climbing this mountain – his health has improved. His blood count remains stable as he continues to attend college classes throughout the whole process. His latest scan revealed no cancer. The previous one eight weeks earlier showed five prominent radiating tumors that were deemed quite aggressive. The doctors hoped that the chemotherapy would stop the progression and slowly over time reduce the tumors. But God had different plans and the impossible occurred, all five tumors were completely gone. No sign of where they had been. Glory to God in the absolute highest because doctors are stunned as this was “impossible”. I wish I could say that this was the end of this journey, but not quite yet. As we continue the course of eight additional treatments, we cannot help but be cautiously aware of the potential once chemo stops again. More tumors. The Word of God says that “you can pray for anything and IF YOU HAVE FAITH you will receive it! I believe it. It has happened many times in my life but I am after a more lasting effect. I am tired of living a mediocre, average, normal existence and desire the supernatural life that I have been promised. Abraham is helping me find my way over the mountain to God’s Promise on the other side.
Galatians 3:5-9 (NLT)
I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
Faith in Jesus Christ produces the same blessing in our life that Abraham received. Abraham not only was given the child he had longed for to continue his heritage but he prospered in every aspect of life. Abraham did not live such a life because he obeyed the Law of Moses even though he did his best – like us all he fell short of the Glory of God, too. The difference with Abraham is that he lived in covenant with God. He was not afraid to approach the “holy mountain” of worship, praise, obedience and service to God. In fact, when the Lord approached him as Abram the man did not run from God but fell facedown before Him. (Genesis 17:1-3) God asked this man to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Abram answered with submission and was given a brand new name “Abraham” and a promise to be the father of numerous descendants. Abraham was 99 years old. Time was running out in the natural. Naturally and humanly, Abraham asked if God would include Ishmael, his son born out of wedlock to his wife’s servant, but God said, “No!” (Genesis 17:17-19) This reveals that Abraham entering his covenant with God had some faith to grow. It is human nature to try to help God out to support our doubt and unbelief but the Lord has bigger plans and promises for you that do not allow for substitutions as they are complete lacking no good thing. So as the story goes the Lord visits Abraham to tell him the plan, and even his wife thinks God’s Way is humorous and laughs it off as impossible due to their advanced age. (Genesis 18:10-14) People are going to think us a bit crazy if we live by faith but are you willing to go the distance? Abraham was. He even prayed for others to be fertile in his barrenness. (Genesis 20:16-18) Faith was growing inside of him and would soon be tested so his promise would be manifested in his life. Abraham’s blessing arrives and he names the boy, Isaac. (Genesis 21:1-3) He is overwhelmed and captivated by the Goodness and Faithfulness of God, but wait there is more. Then comes the mountain, God calls Abraham to sacrifice his only son. What a climb that must have been? Abraham knew God’s Promise for his life and I am certain declared it in every step believing that if he was indeed required to plunge a knife through the boy’s heart no matter how painful that the Lord would raise the boy from the dead and return him to Abraham. Who has that kind of faith? As I watch my son fight the good fight of faith valiantly, I desperately pray God help my unbelief. With each diagnosis, I struggle to gather enough to further my climb as a desperate mother. I struggle to follow the Lord and my ancestor Abraham believing the Promise yet still walking out the Word.
Genesis 22:13-14 (NLT)
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Yahweh-Yireh means the Lord will provide. On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. Whoa, wait a minute?! I thought that we are supposed to move mountains. I never considered that I might have to climb it first. Faith moves mountains. Faith requires endurance to gain the longevity it needs to accept salvation. We are to live by faith and not by sight. Abraham did not sit at home when God called him to the mountain begging and pleading with God for another way. No, Abraham put on his “big boy” pants and grabbed God’s Covenant including ever promise and hauled his carcass up the mountain believing God’s Faithfulness every step of the way. Rather than avoiding mountains, I believe God wants us to climb them increase our faith and gain confident hope overcoming doubt and fear then they are no longer obstacles in our life. Abraham didn’t put on a show. He didn’t bring the whole tribe with him. This righteous man decided just took his faith and started climbing. I am certain that there were many tears shed along that journey for he loved the boy as much as a parent who has lived in barrenness would with a special appreciation for the miracle of his birth. God caught his tears and returned in the showers of blessing that would follow as I am sure there were many. (Psalm 56:8) The Lord will provide everything you need when you need it to make it to the top of the mountain where He is waiting. The blessing is at the top. Abraham had one son going up that mountain surrendering all that he had sacrificially to God, but the man came down the father of nations with numerous descendants including you and me.
Romans 4:1-3 (NLT)
Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
Abraham was an ordinary man. He had extraordinary faith. His faith provoked him to remain uncompromisingly righteous to God. This is so important in this world of watered down Blood and convoluted Grace. All, one must do to be saved is call on the Name of the Lord AND believe in our heart. We are calling on God but refuse to allow faith to produce confident hope allowing us to live what we believe. Surely salvation no longer requires sacrifice. Sorry but this is simply not true. It is the sacrifice of a life for a life. Jesus died to give us a brand new life, we must surrender our old life to obtain it. (Galatians 3:13-14) Abram gave up his old life to become Abraham. He chose to be righteous even though he couldn’t figure it all out but put all his love, trust and faith in God. All of it. God is this world’s last resort or final option but when He becomes one’s priority – the impossible becomes probable. Abraham made his relationship with God a priority exemplified by a lifestyle of faith in action called belief. You live what you believe. If you believe that God is real and Jesus died to set you free, it would be foolish to remain in bondage to sin when freedom offers so much more. (Psalm 103) The New Covenant that we have through Jesus Christ does not require religiosity as before but through the Blood of Jesus Christ we have direct access to God, the Father who is able to do everything that He promised because He is God. Now, it is all about faith. (Period) “So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.” (Romans 4:16)
John 8:58 (NLT)
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!
Strength of our covenant is Jesus Christ. He was before Abraham. Jesus says, “I AM!” There is no beginning or end to His Power. He overcame the world so you have nothing to fear in faith because now you are an overcomer, too. Without opposition and resistance, what is there to overcome? There are going to be some mountains. The mountain is not named your situation or circumstance but it is called unbelief. If we can overcome our unbelief, all things are possible for those who believe. (Mark 9:23) Before any mountain ever rose up, God was God! (Psalm 90:1-2) God holds every mountain in the palm of His Hand. (Psalm 95:4) Mountains melt in the Presence of God accessible only by faith and confident hope. (Psalm 97:5) He controls the movement of every mountain. (Psalm 104:8) God has given you promises that He intends to keep. You just have to get where He is. He is taking you higher. The mountain before you will elevate your faith to meet God’s Potential for your life. He hasn’t changed His Mind about you and never goes back on His Word. Faith gives you strength to make it up that mountain and confident hope keeps you there until He comes. (Hebrews 6:13-20) “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” (Romans 4:18-22)
James 2:21-24 (NLT)
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
You will never know the size of your faith until it is tested. If faith is what we need to please the Lord, then it is of vital importance. To say that one has faith, but not to live what they believe is lying to yourself. This lie can potentially kill you. Faith requires a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ that says a life for a life. Your life including everything you do should be impacted by your commitment to Jesus Christ and evaluated from such a perspective. Mountains will rise up to challenge your faith and test your hope. Embrace each challenge and seek to know the Lord more and more. Your promise awaits. I must admit there are days when my strength wanes and whining takes over. How much farther Lord? He whispers “all the way to the finish line”. I am going to make it to the top of this mountain and conquer unbelief. My life depends on it. Future generations hang in the balance. I will not give up even though there are days my flesh cries out what’s the point. Religion failed me a long time ago, but my relationship with Jesus Christ has remained secure. Faith is the only thing that has kept me this far. I believe God! I believe His Word! I have to! Life depends on it. I must live what I believe in the midst of heartbreak and despair knowing my Redeemer lives and is coming to meet me on the mountain!
Hebrews 11:8-12 (NLT)
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
The mountain in your life is called unbelief. God loves you and wants no obstacle between you and His Great Love. He will allow your faith to be tested so it will become fruitful and grow producing confident hope that will keep you anchored to the Rock. Abraham’s faith began with a promise. It would take his whole life to attain it including some mountains. The mountain before you is nothing more than another opportunity for the Lord to reveal His Faithfulness, Grace, Mercy and Glory in your life. His Purpose is to release every promise and blessing to satisfy the desire of your heart. Are you willing to meet Him on the mountain? I will race you to the top!