"What are doing here" boomed the giant "These are my woods and you must stay here forever". The little boy stammered "I only came in here to dig for worms 'cause I am going fishing".
"Hmmm" the giant said - "I'll tell you what! I will give you three chances to think of something I CANNOT do. If you win, you may go - but if you lose, you must stay in my woods forever."
The little boy thought for a long time. Finally he had an idea! "Bet you can't pick up that boulder?" - The giant threw his head back and laughed - "Simple" he said and picking up the huge rock threw it clear over the trees and out of the woods.
The little boy sighed "Two more tries" said the giant. "Bet you can't bend that big old oak tree so that it touches the ground?" said the boy. "Simple" said the giant and grabbing the tree bent it back so far that the big tree snapped in two.
"Phew" said the boy and sat down and thought. "That's two said the giant with a wicked grin - one more to go". The little boy didn't want to live in the woods forever he had to think of something!
"I know something I can do that you can't" he said to the giant - "I can move that hill and put it right here next to path". The giant laughed and laughed. Finally he stopped laughing and said 'watch this' - he put his arms around the hill and pulled - he yanked this way and that way - he tugged at that hill until he was breathless.
He couldn't move that hill no matter how hard he tried. Finally he gave up. "Okay" said the giant at last "if you can move this hill you may leave the woods".
How are you at moving mountains?
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said "Because you have so little faith! 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."
So.... how come I don't see mountains moving??
Jesus was speaking figuratively obviously. Moving mountains was exactly THE type of miracle that the Pharisees and 'religious' teachers of the day were expecting of Jesus. Jesus never used miracles to prove a point or to exhort Himself among others to win their approval and make them awestruck.
Jesus' miracles were helping and assisting people of which he performed so many - we must have only a fraction recorded for us in the New Testament. But moving mountains and casting them into the sea WOULD have satisfied the Scribes and Pharisees of the day - a miracle of humongous proportions clearly equalling the fire consuming sacrifice of Elijah and also the sun standing still episode of Joshua.
Jesus was clearly teaching His disciples here that there is unimaginable power available to them through their FAITH in Him. He said in John 14 "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My name, I will do it".
So what is the key here - our FAITH of LACK of it? I truly believe that the key to this question is when Jesus said "IN MY NAME". I believe the requirement for receiving is to ask (in Jesus name) according to His purpose and will.
In James 4, James warns us never to ask anything of God with the wrong motives. We need to have faith in God alone not faith in our plans, or aspirations. The only way to receive anything of God is to ask according to His plans and His motives.
So to have mountain moving type faith is to aim for and work towards unselfish, non-doubting and absolute confidence in God and Him alone. It's believing and having faith in His truth and absolute power while striving to do His will. And why do we live like this? So that God's name may be glorified.
The other part of 'mountain moving' type faith is to believe that God is working in your life to remove your personal 'mountains' that have grown in your life.
I know I personally have a 'mountain range' in my life that is being slowly whittled away as I move closer to God. Like the little lad in our story your mountain may not disappear straight away but with God's help and reliance on Him every mountain will be laid low.
So let's not despair about our 'mountains' but hand them over to our Heavenly Dad and have faith that according to His time and purpose these mountains will eventually be removed for ever.
And let's have faith that His will and purpose for our lives is in His hands. let's pray that our faith and His will collide and that whatever we ask of God, that it will be done according to His plans and His pure motives.