from Stories from Home
When the disciples could not drive a demon out of a boy they came to Jesus and asked Him why they could not drive it out (though He had given them the gift of miracles). Jesus’ answer was that they lacked faith. He said to them, “…for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:20-21).
So what should we make of this? How should we apply it? Does Jesus mean that we can actually move a mountain if we have enough faith? Well, if it were His will for us to do it, then I think yes; we would be able to do it if we had faith. And He would help us to have that faith if we pray and fast.
But what if it isn’t His will for us to actually move a mountain? Then how does this verse apply to us?
Well, after Jesus said that we can move a mountain by faith, He seems to give us His explanation. He says, “And nothing shall be impossible for you.” So this is what He is saying to us: nothing is impossible to us if we have enough faith.
But we must qualify that statement because Jesus doesn’t mean that He will give us the power to do anything we want. Everything we do must be under the umbrella of His will. If a thing is in His will, He will give us the power through our faith to do it no matter how hard it is to do. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
But then there is the question of our faith. How do we get the faith it takes to bring answers to prayer and to give us the power we need to do His will? The answer is in verse 21. It is by prayer and fasting. Therefore it comes to us when we dedicate ourselves to Him, when we surrender to Him and abide in His Word (Jn. 15:7).
If we take the mountain in this story as symbolic (which I really think it is) then here are some question you should ask yourself:
What are the mountains in your life? What things seem very hard for you to do? What are the impossible things you want to do that you know He wants you to do?
1. Perhaps it is to lead a life of purity. And it seems impossible.
2. Perhaps you want to share the gospel with someone and you are afraid to do it.
3. Your friend is addicted to drugs. He just can’t seem to kick the habit. And you don’t know how to help him.
What are some things that you know is God’s will for you to do, but they are very hard to do? Do you have them in your mind? These are the mountains you can move through prayer. Pray and fast over them. Then be confident that God will hear your prayers and answer them.