WHEN THE MOUNTAIN DOES NOT MOVE…

II CORINTHIANS 12:8-10: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: What do I do when the mountain does not move? What is the attitude of my heart when my plans do not go the way I want them to? Do I see God’s plan in the midst of the situation? Am I positioned to receive God’s grace?

I like to move mountains! I love the words of Jesus when He said – “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” (Matthew‬ ‭21:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬). Yet, in reality, there have been mountains in my life that did not move.

If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. The great Apostle Paul found himself in the same predicament. Paul was a man of prayer. When he faced his “thorn in the flesh” (his mountain), he prayed earnestly – three times for this mountain to be removed. Yet, the mountain did not move. Paul learned a valuable life lesson.

If the mountain does not move – God has a purpose in it!

Let’s be honest. If we could move every mountain in our life, by simply quoting the right Scripture or praying the perfect prayer, we would not need to depend on God. Our faith would be focused on our formula and not on God. This is where many find themselves today. They are trusting in methods more than in Jesus. If anyone could have been tempted to do so it was Paul.

Paul had been used mightily by Jesus to work signs and miracles as he proclaimed the Gospel and planted churches. Paul was even given revelations that the Lord told him never to share. If anyone was a candidate for pride – it was Paul. So, to keep Paul humble, the Lord allowed the enemy to buffet Paul with, what Paul referred to as, a “thorn in the flesh.”

I am sure books have been written trying to identify what this was. Yet, Paul did not reveal what it was. The only thing he revealed was – “…I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from being proud.” (II Corinthians 12:7). How did Paul respond? He prayed earnestly three times for the Lord to remove it. Paul wanted the mountain moved. Yet, the response he received from Jesus was,

  • “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

There is one thing the Lord will not give to another – His glory! The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who should receive the glory in our lives. Pride is the biggest obstacle we all face that tries to keep us from the grace of God by the temptation to receive glory and praise from others. Yet, when we rely on our glory we find ourselves outside of the grace and power of God.

God only shares His glory (His goodness) and gives His grace to the humble!

In 2003 I moved to Weatherford, Texas to plant a new church. The church had been closed and the building was empty for months. We did not know a single person in this new town. I had so many ideas and plans on how to accomplish this task. ALL OF THEM FAILED! I was brought to my knees, humbled, crying out to the Lord, and then I heard these words,

  • “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

As I positioned my heart in humility God began to pour out His grace. He began to lead my path and all along the way He was glorified. I could not point to any method I had created that began to build His church. The church was built on prayer, worship, and a sincere trust in the day-to-day leading of the Holy Spirit. The weaker I felt the more of His power I experienced. As I look back on it know I rejoice at His all-sufficient grace.

Today, I am back in the same place as I was in 2003. Filled with a new vision I began to lay the groundwork for a ministry to help churches in their process of discipleship. I had wonderful plans and strategies on how to do this. One by one I began to face mountains that would not move. One of these was COVID. It shut down churches and put all of my plans on hold. Once again I was brought to my knees. Once again I needed to understand this important truth.

  • “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

Today I feel like I am beginning all over again. Yet, God is doing some amazing things. Some wonderful doors are opening that I never expected. The Lord has used some setbacks to give renewed vision. He has used people in my life to sharpen my vision and guide my steps. Today I am filled with hope and expectancy. It is not based on what I have planned. My hope and expectancy flow out of my weakness and the realization that His power is coming!

Mountains that do not move are opportunities to position our life for the grace and power of God. They are not setbacks. They are merely realignments. When the mountain does not move God is reminding us to rely on His strength and not ours. Together, with Paul, we find ourselves living with new hope and perspective.

  • “That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I do not know what the future holds for this season in my life. All I have are the gifts He has given me, the tools He has allowed me to create, and a willingness to share them with others. The degree to which I will be able to accomplish this is fully determined by His grace. My prayer is that I will not fall short of the grace of God in any way.

Lord, this morning I humble myself before You! I confess that I am weak, my vision is limited, and I am fully dependent upon Your grace. Pour out Your grace upon me and allow me to stand in the strength of my Lord Jesus Christ! Today, I choose to rejoice in every mountain that has not moved and trust that You are creating the pathway before me.

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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