READ: Psalm 125, Zechariah 4, Matthew 7, 1 Timothy 2

MOUNTAINS

Mountains Around. The Lord surrounds His people as the mountains surround Jerusalem (Psalm 125:2). As we move closer to Jesus’ coming again, the minions of evil will move closer to us. Darkness and injustice are going to become more common, not less. If God’s people are not intentional to live in faith, the fingers of fear will steadily drive them backwards and into corners of silence. On the one hand we need a clear-eyed realism that recognizes the steady advance of evil; on the other hand we need the single eye of faith which recognizes we are surrounded by God. Yes, we are ringed by enemies (many layers of them), but we are also surrounded by fire, angels, and almighty God Himself. We have nothing to fear from the darkness; it cannot touch us. Evil might touch our bodies and possessions but it will only touch our soul if we allow it to do so.

Mountains Removed. The Word of the Lord promises Zerubbabel that the mountains before him will become a plain (Zech. 4:7). The reality of the last days is that good will increase as much as bad–it is not an either/or. The worse things get, the more people come to Jesus. The more the Church suffers, the more Jesus is revealed. The more martyrs perish, the more persecutors repent. Evil and Gospel are rising together in a mighty titanic struggle, each growing, each swelling, each advancing ever onwards. Mountains rise and loom before us. God still delights in Caleb-like men and women who believe that mountains can be removed by the Spirit of God (v. 6). Incredible obstacles before us are flattened as precursors of that great day when God destroys the curse.

Mountains Begun. Mountains are not crossed in a single bound. They are climbed slowly and steadily, and each climb begins with small steps. We dare not despise the day of small beginnings (v. 10). Many have made the five-day trek to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I did it with golf clubs and hit some drives off the summit. But Kilimanjaro is not climbed in a day. Kilimanjaro is not climbed by the swift either. Those that climb too fast get altitude sickness and falter. Slow, steady, small steps are the way to remove mountains. There is actually nothing exotic or spectacular about mountain moving. In these last days before Jesus comes, there are mountains He wants flattened. Everybody should aim to move a mountain. If mountains are moved by the Spirit, through days of small beginnings, then anyone is qualified to do the impossible, for we are all small and we all have access to the same Spirit. If every follower of Jesus adopted a mountain, there would be one last great Spirit shaking to welcome Jesus back. Then Jesus will bring forth the capstone and we will all shout “Grace, grace” (v. 7)!

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