I like mountains—from a distance that is. When they are covered in fog, feathered with green-bluish leaves, covered in snow, or simply snuggled beneath puffy white blankets of clouds. However, when they become synonymous to life’s struggles, I can’t say that I like them. More than likely you can’t either. We may use different lexicon to color our struggles in life, but one word we will agree adequately describe our problems is mountains…and, aren’t they hard to climb?
Nature’s mountains are great and grandeur, as for life’s mountains…well, they are gruesome and grueling. But, thank God that He still turns any kind of mountains into plains.
Are you facing life’s mountains right now? Turn your eyes to the God of mountains; both nature’s beautiful ones and life’s frightful ones.
Zerubbabel had some mountains to overcome in his life. He along with many other people were just returning from Babylonian captivity. Jerusalem, was in ruins. “Things [were] not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They [were] in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire” (Nehemiah 1: 3). Zerubbabel had the privileged task to rebuild the temple. Amidst those ruins, I don’t think that he felt privileged. He had mountains to face, especially those in the form of enemies who constantly sent them threats. Therefore, God sent Zechariah to give him hope and encouragement.
Zechariah’s message to Zerubbabel in chapter 4 is the same message that God wants to share with you while you face your mountains. I pray that you will meditate on them, believe in them and then rise up with God’s strength and conquer your mountain.
- We cannot move the mountains in our own strength: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (vs 6). Imagine trying to shove one of nature’s mountain out of your way. Some of life challenges are so very out of our reach, our wealth, our control and our power. God makes it clear that only through His spirit will we be able to conquer those mountains. Only by His spirit can you find peace in poverty, comfort in pain, and strength in trials. If mountains are in your way, you will falter in your climb trying to do it on your own. Through ceaseless prayer, seek the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts who will work in and through you to conquer them.
- God will make the mountains become plains. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain (vs 7). God had placed it upon Zerubbabel’s heart to rebuild the temple. If God gave Him a commission, then it had to be God’s responsibility to move the mountains. What is a mountain, before God? Today, He says to you, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32: 27). If God has placed something in your heart to accomplish, then He will turn your mountains into plains. God doesn’t always say how or when He will do things, but He gives us the assurance that He will. Who is it that God has given a task and has not made the way to accomplish the work?
- God wants you to finish what you started, inspite of the mountains. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it (vs 9). The people laid the foundation just about 17 years ago. They faced some challenges and then stopped; instead they began building their homes. Their passion for God’s work was crushed by the mountains. God ignited a passion in Zerubbabel and the work restarted. God is so patient. Seventeen years, God waited for the hands that started the work to finish it. He will ensure that He finishes the work He started in us. What work God has called you to do, but you halted because of mountains? You can decide to finish it now, because God will ensure that you do. The earlier you give Him the mountains and surrender to His spirit, the better.
Mountains will stand in our way. Job is one person who faced mountains after mountains. Moses and Joshua lived among them. David found refuge in them. Noah stood tall on a mountain after battling deep waters for months. Mountains are not so bad. Certainly, we prefer to do without them, but God knows that we need them. Besides, Isaiah tells us God “will make…mountains into level paths” (40: 19). Jeremiah tells us that “mountains tremble in the presence of God” (4:24). But if there is any word that can bring you hope, I think David’s words will. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Always remember that before we had mountains of any sort, God was God and God is still God.
“The Lord is King, let the earth rejoice…the mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth” (Psalm (97: 1, 5).