When I was little and heard this verse talked about in sermons and lessons in Sunday school, I always imagined myself standing before a jagged mountain with a snow capped top. I would stand there in my vision, put my index and middle fingers of both of my hands on my temples and telekinetically move the mountain with my mind three feet to the left.
Even in my imagination I don’t think I ever moved a mountain.
I still have that same vision when people talk about that verse. It is one of those ingrained things about being a Christian, having to see things the same way for a long time. It’s really hard to break these paradigms. I will always see myself in front of a mountain trying to move it with my mind, how I’ll blink or something and the mountain will be somewhere else. I will always imagine myself not moving it most of the time too.
I’ve gone on record multiple times as saying that Jesus is dumb in the way he does everything backwards.
When I was younger, I tried walking on water. It’s the same principle as moving mountains, at least as a sermon outline. Have a tiny amount of faith, move mountains. Keep your eyes on Jesus, walk on water. It’s all BS really, because I’ve tried walking on water and I’ve tried moving mountains and it never works. Does this mean I don’t have any faith in Jesus?
Again, Jesus is backwards.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that faith is easy. In fact, if you read the same copy I have, it says quite the opposite. You read the book of Job and you realize that life and faith in God are difficult adventures. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the mountain is going to move three feet to the left without a little work, however there may be preachers who tell you otherwise.
In the backwards gospel of Jesus, moving mountains by faith requires us to climb to top of that snow capped mountain, grab a handful of rocks, go back down the mountains, go three feet to the left and drop the rocks. Faith kicks in the moment you drop the rocks and go back up to the top of the mountain, grab a handful of rocks, go back down the mountain, three feet to the left, drop. Back up the mountain, handful of rocks, down the mountain, three feet to the left and drop.
This is faith.
Faith isn’t expecting Jesus or the mountain to do all the work for us; it’s getting our hands dirty. Faith happens when you’re 10 handfuls in and you’re questioning why the hell you’re moving a mountain to begin with. Faith is continuing to do it regardless. Faith is dropping the F bomb when you think about God, but still carrying the rocks. Nowhere in my Bible does it say moving a mountain is instantaneous.
Not to say that God has us do meaningless tasks for his pleasure and to teach us a lesson, this is all relevant and applicable to our lives. Faith is the mountain itself.
Up the mountain, handful, back down, three feet to the left, drop.
Faith has never come easy for me. It’s an ongoing process of moving rocks by the handful and questioning the whole time what the point is. For me, faith isn’t a task at hand as much as it’s a hopeful thing. It isn’t about moving the mountain for the purpose of moving a mountain; it’s about moving a mountain to find out who you are along the way.
Moving the mountain isn’t about developing faith in the hopes that one day you may have faith in Jesus, it’s about having faith in Jesus. Period. You’re not going through this life in hopes that one day you can have faith, you’re not going through life by the handful to understand you have faith right now, you’re doing this so you can have faith right now.
Jesus isn’t telling us to move mountains with telekinesis, he’s telling us to climb a mountain, grab a handful of rocks, take it down the mountain, go three feet to the left, and drop it. Rinse and repeat.
When we pick our heads up along this journey of moving mountains, we will realize Jesus has been there the whole time when we are cursing him and the journey under our breath. He’s been there when we take long breaks. But even better yet, he’s been there the whole time climbing to the top of the mountain with us, grabbing a handful of rocks with us, going down the mountain with us, three feet to the left with us, drop, and back up with us.