“Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was.” – Dag Hammarskjold
“The hardest mountain to climb is the one within.” – J. Lynn
“You can’t move mountains by whispering to them.” – Pink
A few years back as I arrived a little early for work, I stood at the time clock waiting to punch in to start my shift. My mind that particular morning was consumed by the problems surrounding my life – the mountains that seemed impossible to climb over, rise above or maneuver around. In the midst of this small, one-man pity party, God spoke directly to my heart. In a soft, gentle manner, I heard Him say deep inside my spirit, “Look around Scott….Everyone has a mountain to climb.”
As I scanned the crowd of peers, managers, and fellow associates, the mountains God was referring too began to surface in my mind. One friend was dealing with a drug-addicted spouse – recently sent to prison – attempting to explain that to their small child who didn’t understand why Daddy wasn’t home anymore. Another person was dealing with the news of a parent’s terminal illness – contemplating what life would be like as the treatments began.
As I continued to look at the faces surrounding the time clock and break room, I stopped seeing faces and started seeing mountains….the horrible divorce, the unknown, haunting health concern, the wayward child, the life-changing injury, the unexpected loss of a friend, the pain and suffering of loneliness, shattered relationships. Instead of seeing the faces of friends and colleagues, I saw the mountain they were attempting to conquer.
God was right. Each and every one of us has our own mountain – that thing in our life that looks insurmountable, immovable, and impossible to scale.
What is the mountain in your own life right now? How are you attempting to rise above it, move around it, or tunnel through it?
Zerubbabel had a mountain of his own. He was in charge of rebuilding the temple in Judah after the defeat of the Babylonians in 539 B.C. Due to political pressures, disheartened workers, and rising fear, the work on the temple stopped for a period of sixteen years.
As a leader of the people, Zerubbabel had to feel hopeless and discouraged during this long, empty period. He must have felt the need to do something, anything to get the project moving again. This mountain must have looked overwhelming and beyond overcoming.
Zechariah was sent to encourage Zerubbabel and what he said has profound meaning to each of us as we face our own mountains and challenges:
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain [a mere mole hill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, ‘Grace, grace to it!’” – Zechariah 4:6-7 (Amplified Bible)
We Don’t Conquer Mountains….God Does!
As Zerubbabel sat in the midst of his discouragement, Zechariah reminded him that the temple wouldn’t be finished due to his own might and power but by the Spirit of God! God was in charge of scaling the mountain – not Zerubbabel.
When we face our own mountains in life, we need to be reminded that God is the Mountain Climber, the Guide, and the Sherpa. It is only by His Spirit that we ascend – not by our own power, strength or determination.
It isn’t up to us to fix the wayward child, to figure out a cure for our sickness, or to find a way to piece together the broken relationship. We must trust in and rely upon God to conquer our mountains for us! If we rely on our own abilities or solutions, the mountains we face will be impossible to climb.
As I’ve gazed in bewilderment at my own mountains – wondering how I could ever scale them myself – I’ve failed to realize I am not alone. God knows each contour, each valley, and each hidden canyon of my mountain – ready to guide me if I surrender my way to Him. He will do the same for you my friend 🙂
Speak to the Mountain!
I’ve stared in fear at my mountains, felt intimidated by them, complained about them, and even prayed in earnest about them, but I never spoke to them until now 🙂
I love how Zechariah says, “For who are you, O great mountain? You shall become a plain – a mere mole hill!” In essence, he was speaking with faith and expectancy – knowing no mountain or challenge was too big or impossible for his God!
Jesus himself has commanded us to speak to our mountains – using the power behind our words of faith to move them out of the way.
“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.” – Matthew 17:20 NIV
The Apostle Paul describes a God who “speaks, and something is made out of nothing” (Romans 4:17 NLV), who “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” (Romans 4:17 NKJV)
God wants us to express our faith by speaking directly to our mountains – calling circumstances that are currently bleak, uncertain, and overwhelming as if they are settled, under control, and already conquered. There is no better way to express our trust in God than speaking words of expectancy!
“Loneliness….You are not a part of my life anymore. God is always with me (Matthew 28:20)… He knows the desires of my heart (Psalm 139:1 & Proverbs 21:27) and He will provide me with the perfect mate in His perfect timing! (Genesis 2:18, Proverbs 18:22, and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)”
Sickness….You cannot defeat me! God is my Redeemer and my Healer! (Jeremiah 17:14 and Exodus 15:26)
Confusion and uncertainty….You cannot remain! God is the source of my wisdom and peace (Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 9:10 and Philippians 4:4-7) and He has given me a sound mind – absent of any fear or doubt! (2 Timothy 1:7)
Speak Grace to Your Mountains!
“And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, ‘Grace, grace to it!’” – Zechariah 4:7 (Amplified Bible)
Grace is God’s favor – His underserved, unconditional love and support for each of us. Grace isn’t earned, it is freely given.
Like me, you may be responsible for some of the mountains in your life. You decided to leave the smooth, straight path and venture out on your own – eventually leading a life that seems like an uphill battle.
You might think it sounds wonderful that God conquers mountains, that one should speak to their mountains as if they didn’t exist – trusting in God to eliminate them, but when you hold some personal accountability for the presence of those mountains, it becomes hard to believe God will jump right in and make them disappear. Guilt and condemnation associated with our self-imposed mountains can leave us wondering if God really cares if we conquer them or not.
This is where grace comes in! 🙂
The Judeans knew, after sixteen years of apathy and fear, that grace was the only thing that could get that temple built. They shouted, “Grace, grace to it!” – acknowledging God’s undeserved love and help in conquering their mountain.
You may have had that addiction since you were a teenager. You’ve tried, really tried to stop it on your own but couldn’t. It became too easy to slip back into what you always did. It is time to shout “Grace, grace to it!” – letting go and letting a gracious God help you conquer that mountain!
Maybe your own weakness led to the affair, which led to deception and lies that created the mountain of your family’s demise. You tried to fix the broken relationships on your own, but all the lies you’ve told only add to your family’s mistrust and disbelief in what you have to say. It is time to shout “Grace, grace to it!” – trusting in God’s grace and forgiveness, changing hearts and resurrecting what seems dead and lifeless. God is in the resurrection business 🙂 He has already conquered that mountain and by His grace, He can do it again!
Help us to realize that we cannot climb our mountains in our own might or by our own power, but only by your Spirit! Give us the strength to boldly speak to them – calling that which does not exist currently as if it does – expressing our faith and expectancy in you! Thank you for your grace as we face the mountains we have created ourselves – knowing with confidence you love us, forgive us, and give us the power to conquer the impossible!
God bless my friend!