Building Your Faith: How To Move A Mountain

Stone Mountain Sunset

Have you ever tried to move a mountain using your mind?

It’s not as easy as you may think.  I know, I have tried.

When I was a kid, I tried to move Stone Mountain.  If you are not familiar with it, Stone Mountain is an 825 foot tall chunk of granite that is on the east side of Atlanta. Unfortunately, it didn’t move.

Jesus talked to the disciples about the faith it takes to move mountains in Matthew 17:20.

… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

When you read scripture over and over it has a way of speaking to you differently each time.  I have read this verse many times.  In context Jesus is talking to the disciples about their inability to cast out a demon from an ill boy.  He admonished them for not having a strong enough faith. However, I was struck with a different application of this verse.


 What if having the kind of faith that can move a mountain isn’t about moving the mountain at all, but to push against an immovable obstacle in order to strengthen your faith?


Consider it isometric exercise for your faith. Isometric exercise is a form of exercise where you use your muscles and cause them to contract, but the weight doesn’t move.  Isometric comes from the Greek “iso” meaning equal and “metron”, meaning measure.  Literally it means maintaining the same measure, dimension or length for the purpose of growth.

Here is the key:

isometric exercise builds strength

even when the weight doesn’t move.

So what does this have to do with moving mountains and having faith? As I see it, sometimes God may put a mountain in our path.  We may feel like we just need to have a little more faith in order to move it.  We may even feel discouraged when it doesn’t move.  We doubt our level of faith.  We may doubt God cares for us.  We may even doubt our relationship with him. But maybe the end result that God desires is not that we move the mountain. Rather, maybe he is simply putting the mountain there for us to push against.

Here is the key to mountain-moving faith: pushing against the mountain strengthens your faith even when the mountain doesn’t move. [Tweet this!]

It may be immovable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from our attempting to move it.

  • Sometimes the mountain may be there because God wants to strengthen us for other trials that may come our way later on.
  • Sometimes the mountain may be there so that we can sympathize with others when they are faced with a mountain that won’t move.
  • Sometimes the mountain may be there because God is allowing us to dig deep into his word and spend time on our knees before him in prayer.
  • Sometimes the mountain may be there to keep us from becoming too self-reliant and forgetting about our need to be connected to God.

There are many reasons that our particular mountain doesn’t seem to move, but there is one unifying thing about mountains:  they tend to drive us back to our Father. If you find yourself struggling today against insurmountable odds.  Take a look at who is right beside you.  Chances are the mountain won’t look quite so big in the hands of the one who made it in the first place.


photo credit: N07/5975607979/”>Gerg1967 via photopin cc


Are there any mountains that you feel helpless pushing against right now?