[forthright] What is the Name of Your Mountain?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 03:51:12 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel answers the question, "What Must I Do 
to Be Saved?" Learn for yourself or share it with 
those you hope will be saved. 
http://tinyurl.com/24859rj


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

What is the Name of Your Mountain?
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

In our lives, we travel on smooth ground until we turn
a bend and suddenly a mountain looms before us. We step
back intimidated, wondering how we will overcome this
incredible obstacle. Yet, we can face it bravely or
turn and surrender.

These mountains constitute the formidable challenges we
face in our lives. More than annoyances or conflicts,
they are the ones that alter our lives and threaten to
spin us out of control. They may be marital problems,
car accidents, legal, financial, family or health
issues. In their specific contexts, all of them can be
devastating.

Scripture brims with people who faced their mountains.
Abram faced complete disruption when God commanded him
to leave his home (Genesis 12:1-2). God called Moses
to overcome his fears and stand before Pharaoh to lead
an entire nation (Exodus 3:7-12).

Job faced the loss of everything (Job 1:13-22), while
Daniel and Joseph found themselves suffering for being
righteous (Daniel 6; Genesis 39:5-10). Paul dealt with
what he called the thorn in the flesh and the
limitations it placed on his ministry (2 Corinthians
12:2-9).

Esther faced the possible loss of her life by standing
up her for people (Esther 4), while Abigail overcame
the ignorance of her husband and the probable
destruction of all that she knew (1 Samuel 25).

Jesus' daunting challenge came in the Garden of
Gethsemane (Matthew 26:31ff) while Peter's and Judas'
mountain loomed large in the fog of deception (Luke
22:54-62; Mark 14:43-47).

How do we surmount these mountains?

First, we must soberly address them. When we see them
for what they really are, they lose some of their
mystique. Our mountains arise because of our
weaknesses, because we do what is right or for no
discernible reason. They may be there simply because
Satan's construction company has been busy.

When we see them for what they are, we become empowered
by their diminishing size. We lose our fear and begin
to develop a plan to conquer the foe. If the mountain
is because of our weaknesses, we begin correcting our
mistakes and putting things right again.

Second, we turn the mountain over to God and allow him
to lead us to safety. He strengthens us and remains
with us every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5; Ephesians
1:19).

We know that, "Without faith it is impossible to please
Him" (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV). Faith tells God that we are
completely dependent upon the wisdom, power and
abilities of the Lord (James 4:10).

We can conquer our mountains through the persistence of
faith and our unstoppable Savior. Through him, the
mountains become smaller until we are able to step foot
on solid ground with the defeated mountain in our dust.

Christ then goes with us as we face more challenges on
our path to the Promised Land. In so doing, we find
that every mountain we conquer makes us stronger and
more resolved to defeat the next.

Through Jesus, we become transformed (Romans 12:1-2)
and able to handle whatever stands before us because we
"can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]"
(Philippians 4:13). 

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