When Jesus declared that faith the size of a grain of mustard seed could move mountains, what mountains did he have in mind? Mustard seed is the least of all seeds; so, faith the size of a grain of mustard seed is just a little faith. Yet, even a little faith can give us the power to say to a mountain, "Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove." Indeed, with such faith, Jesus declared that "nothing shall be impossible to you" [Matt. 17:20].
Stone Mountain is one of the seven wonders of Georgia. If you have never ridden the cable car to the top, you should make it a point to do so this year. The mountain covers 583 acres, that is 25 million square feet of exposed granite. It sits 1,683 feet above sea level and rises 825 feet above the surrounding area. On the face of Stone Mountain are the memorial carvings of three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
Why would anyone want to move Stone Mountain? Did the Lord mean for us to literally move a mountain such as Stone Mountain? I do not think so. Yet, there are mountains that must be moved. And faith is the key to removing those mountains.
A mountain like Stone Mountain can be circumvented. We can find a way around it; we can go over it; and, if need be, we can go through it given our modern technology. But there are mountains in our lives that we must deal with that meet us whichever way we turn. They cannot be tunneled through because they are not physical; yet, they are very real. They are our problems. They are our obstacles.
On only two occasions did the Lord use the illustration of faith moving a mountain. The first was in the deliverance of a child from the wickedness of the world. The second was in response to a fig tree that failed to yield fruit in its season.
The boy was considered a lunatic. His father testified that the child had often thrown himself into both fire and water, attempting to do himself harm. Knowing that Jesus and his disciples were nearby, he had first brought the boy to the disciples. Unfortunately, they were unable to help. He then brought the boy to Jesus. The Bible declares that Jesus rebuked the spirit that had been vexing the child. The evil spirit left the boy, and "the child was cured from that very hour" [Matt. 17:18]. When the disciples asked the Lord why they themselves could not help the boy, Jesus told them, "Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" [Matt. 17:21].
The "mountain" that needed to be moved was the hindrance to the health and wellbeing of that child. It was the wrong spirit. Most of the "mountains" we face are in that realm. We are often afraid, when we need to have a godly boldness about us. We are often anxious, when we need the peace of God in our hearts. Men can become self-destructive, despising the very act they repeat without recognizing the spirit that tempts them to drink or to use drugs or to dissipate.
Regarding the fig tree, Jesus saw it in the way and came over to eat of its fruit. He was hungry, and this was the season for fig trees to yield their fruit. Unfortunately, this fig tree was barren. It had the leaves that made it look beautiful; but it had no substance. When the Lord found it barren, he said: "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever." And presently the fig tree withered away [Matt. 21:19].
When the disciples saw it, they marveled at how soon the fig tree had withered away. Jesus then told them that the key to such power was to "have faith and doubt not." Indeed, he will tell them this great truth: "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" [Matt. 21:22].
Those things that are unfruitful in our lives can be removed. They can be replaced with that which is a blessing to us, if we will ask in prayer, believing. We can move the right mountains.