The Mountain in Our Way

Michael Beck

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17)

A mountain is an obstacle. It stands in the way of us getting to a destination. There are times when God would remove the obstacle – the mountain would become a plain, and we would go straight forward. All things with God are possible!

But what could be is not always what should be. Removing the mountain is not always in God‘s plan for us. Sometimes, He would have us climb up and over the “Hill of Difficulty.” Other times, He would have us go around it. While Jesus saw fit to curse the barren fig tree, He didn’t choose to curse the Samaritans who refused Him passage through their village.

The problem with much prevalent theology is that there is little understanding of how the will of God might vary in a given circumstance. A “one size fits all” approach is always ready to cast the mountain into the sea, or call down fire from heaven on those who interfere with our advancement in kingdom business. It sees only one way for God to glorify Himself – always in a display of power that obliterates obstacles and vanquishes enemies.

Paul had a foe – a messenger of Satan, who certainly made the great apostle’s life miserable. No doubt, this thorn in the flesh was a distraction at best and an impediment at worst. The apostle prayed fervently for this hindrance to be removed; but God had other plans for its use – keeping it embedded where it was. Likewise, mountains that God has set in our path will remain standing despite how much we command them to go.

The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ was not designed to turn us into “supermen,” who can can control the elements and make whatever we choose conform to our will. Jesus was sent into the world to create a holy nation, a royal priesthood, who would worship God in spirit and in truth. A godly people know their God. They command only when given liberty to do so. Their power depends upon their remaining under the authority of their Lord. Jesus did not give His disciples permission to wipe out those who stood in the way of their progress. He has His reasons for allowing them to take the hard route toward their destination.

May we not lean to our own understanding when facing an obstacle. The Lord has His reasons for weakening our strength in the way. (Ps. 102:23) Look to Him for wisdom as to how to tackle the mountain. His answer may surprise you. He may want you to discover more of His real power and all sufficient grace.

Our greatest blessings often come by way of the prayer God didn’t answer. The wise acknowledge Him in all their ways, knowing that the mountain standing in their way might be a perfectly positioned part of His plan. Get wisdom. Get understanding. Let the Lord direct your path forward!

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.