Mark 11: 23,24 “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.


     When I was young I did geological field research in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  However these beautiful mountains never got in my way or dragged me down.   The mountains that cause me to stumble, the mountains that hinder me, the mountains that stop me are the mountains that I create in my head.  The mountains that chain my spirit are called guilt, self-doubt,shame and anxiety to name a few.  These mountains are no less imposing and forbidding because they are made of thought and emotion; perhaps more so than material mountains as you can’t move even a tiny bit of them with a shovel.  Those are the mountains that I need to toss themselves into the sea.  How do I do that?

     Matthew Henry says that prayer has the power to create tectonic shifts in the bedrock of our minds;  It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God.”  For quite a while now I have been carrying a mountain that has placed a heavy burden on my heart.   Working at Harvest House with drug addicts I have been confronted with the struggle of these young men.  In listening to them work through their moral inventories (Step 4’s) and their confessions of the harm they have done to others  I started taking my own moral inventory.

     Over several years of a simple ministry of listening I find that there is no great difference between us;  Other than they became addicts and I didn’t!  The lust, the anger, the arrogance, the poor self esteem, the paranoia, the pride, the sloth, the greed, the self pity all live in me as well.  They are not fallen because they are addicts.  They are addicts because they are fallen.  Addiction is one expression of the greater universal disease – the fall of humanity.     An addict stops ‘drugging and drinking’ by working their program but how can someone recover from a condition that is soaked into a person’s very bones and DNA?  “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  (Romans 7:24) My friends and I were trapped in fallen bodies doomed, doomed, doomed to struggle and fail until we died.  This had become a mountain in my mind!

      I prayed that God would cover my eyes with His blood so that I could see what He wanted me to see.  THE NEXT DAY, as I was struggling with these thoughts – my eyes were openened!  I was readling Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”;  Its great powerful import unfolded within my mind.  A heavyness like iron chains fell away from me and my spirit leapt!  Tears came to my eyes.

     Why?  For several years now Satan has been accusing me of being no more than my ‘old man’.  And I have listened to him.  I have taken the  205 pound dead rotting squirrel of my ‘old man’ up on my shoulders and gotten into a big ‘hampster wheel’ and been running with it all this time.  What a fool I’ve been!  I believed Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  but stopped short – not realizing that God follows through in all things.  God covered my sins with His blood AND dealt with my sinning nature on His cross.  In my stupidity I’ve been tormenting myself when I stumble walking forward by looking backward and agreeing with Satan that all I am and ever will be is what I was.  All the while forgetting about the cross!

I can now throw the carcass of that big dead rotting squirrel off my shoulders, step off this exhausting wheel and LIVE!

Will I do that perfectly? No.   And when I stumble – I’ll repent.

I intend to practice my new life everyday and all day!

Praise the Lord!

    

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