Thank you for joining me today!  I’m Debbie Wallace, and this is Girl Church.  

Today we’re talking about MOVING THE MOUNTAIN.  Yes, moving the mountain.  Do you have a mountain in your life?  What do I mean by “the mountain?”  Well, I’m talking about those extended trials — not just the little short-term ones.  Not just a little bump in the road.  I’m talking about those long-term trials that seem like they last forever, and won’t go away.  You’ve done everything you know to do to change the situation, and you’ve prayed, and you’ve prayed some more, you’ve fasted — you’ve done everything you know, and it’s just sitting there.

You know, it’s funny that during the happy times of life, when everything’s going well, and we’re prosperous, those are the times we don’t tend to use our faith as much, we’re not inspired to push our faith.  But during the difficult times of life, that’s when we really bring our faith out, and we begin to stand on the Word of God, and we begin to quote scriptures and begin to pray.  We use our faith more during the difficult times.  

But what happens when we pray and we ask — because the Bible does say “ask.”  It says “You receive not because you ask not.”  So, if you’ve asked, but you’re not receiving, what you think is an answer to that prayer, you might ask yourself, “What’s wrong?”  And after enough time you might begin to doubt.  You can doubt yourself, you can doubt your own faith, you can even begin to doubt God.  Have you ever done that?  I have.  And if you’re honest with yourself, chances are you have too.

This is what it sounds like when you begin to doubt God…

     Where is God?

     Did He cause this?

     Why does my life have to be so hard?

     Why did God allow this to happen to me?

     Is God going to rescue me?

     Does God have a reason for this?

See, we begin to bring God into it.  You know, no matter what your mountain is, I want you to know that, basically, some of these questions have no answers really.  And I’m gonna express that to you today in four short points.  And I’m gonna start with the first one that I think will help you with a lot of your questions.

#1 — Life and God are not always the same.  So DON’T GET LIFE AND GOD MIXED UP.  Life has it’s own version of TOUGH.  Even Jesus said that if you’re alive on the Earth, you’re gonna have some trouble.  You’re gonna have trouble in this life because life is like that.  We deal every day with a thing called the “flesh,” which is part of our fallen nature.  It’s associated with he sin nature, which never really goes away, even after we’re saved.  And sometimes we make mistakes that bring us hardship.  And that brings us tremendous trouble later on.  Sometimes the mountain that you’re facing is really your own self — or sometimes, you caused it.  You really can’t blame God for that.  And even when you didn’t cause it, again, it’s not God that caused it.  It’s God that uses it.  And that’s where, I think, we get confused.  Because life brings this stuff.  God knows life is gonna bring it.  You don’t even have to be a Christian.  You can be an unbeliever — it doesn’t matter if you’re a believer or an unbeliever, you’re gonna have some trouble in this life.  So God knows that.  It happens to everybody.  But at the same time, God will use those things to make you a better person.  And I think sometimes when God does that, and He brings good out of bad things, it looks like God was in it from the beginning.  Well God was in it from the beginning, but it’s not that He caused it, it’s just that He uses it.  So always remember that life is life and God is God.  And God is gonna help you with all the things that happen in your life, but God doesn’t necessarily cause everything that happens in your life.  You gotta know that.  

#2 — DON’T SIT AROUND AND WAIT ON YOUR MOUNTAIN TO MOVE.  Now this is a big one.  Do not sit around and wait on your mountain to move before you start living.  Girl, if you do, I’m telling you, you’re likely to be sitting there for the rest of your life.  You have to get up and be fruitful, in the face of your mountain.  And that’s what it means to “face” your mountain, did you know that?  God doesn’t want you to turn and run from your mountain, He doesn’t want you to do that.  He wants you to face it.  And when you operate in faith and do what you know you’re called to do in spite of that mountain… Listen, God has given you certain attributes in your life.  He’s given you some gifts and some talents, He’s put a calling on your life.  He’s given you a passion and a burden for something.  I know He has.  You may not be able to operate in that to the fullness right now, you may not be where you want to be, but you can do something about it.  God wants you to be fruitful in your life RIGHT NOW.  Don’t be waiting on that mountain to disappear or get up and walk off.  And I want to remind you, too, that God won’t live your life for you.  Sometimes we tend to be “waiting on God,”  and “waiting on God,” and “waiting on God,” when really God is waiting on us.  Just a step of faith in the right direction sometimes is enough to change your whole situation.  So stop sitting around waiting on this mountain to move, and get up and do something in faith.  Just let God know, “I’m acting in faith today, God, and I believe that You’re gonna help me be fruitful in spite of this mountain until the mountain is removed.”  

#3 — Understand that GOD WILL USE YOUR MOUNTAIN TO CHANGE YOU.  Now this is really the heart of this message today.  And I want to start out by giving you a quote by one of my favorite people, and that is the Reverend Bishop TD Jakes.  He’s one of my favorite preachers ever, and this is what he says about mountains.  Quote:  God isn’t trying to change your mountain.  He’s using your mountain to change you.”  And that’s exactly right on point.  A lot of times, God leaves the mountain where it is, because He wants you to deal with it.  Like I said, He isn’t gonna live your life for you.  We want God to come and take care of everything for us.  That’s what babies do.  Babies let Mommy and Daddy come and change their diaper and fix their lunch, and get their bottle ready, and provide and pamper them.  God wants you to grow up to a spiritually mature individual so that He can use you for some things that matter.  God’s in the people business!  And He needs who are grown up enough to be in the people business with Him.  And you gotta be tough to do that.  So what God wants to happen… He wants to mature you in this process.  Let’s go to…

James 1:2-4 — Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So yes!  If there’s a purpose for your trial, if God is using that mountain, or that wilderness experience — some people call it the pit or the prison, whatever it is that you call it, if God is using that, it’s for perseverance, which the scripture says will make you into a mature person.  You have to get it right.  

Sometimes I refer to this experience as “the oven.”  I’ve felt like God has just put me in an oven and He’s turned on the heat.  I remember one time in my life, I was in there so long I felt like I was just gonna burn up.  I thought, “I’m just gonna burn up in here, and when God pulls me out I’m just gonna be a charred pan of crumbles.  There’s not gonna be anything left of me!”  And really, that’s kinda what God wants, because He wants our will to be conformed to His will.  And the only way to do that, ladies, is through some pain.  Pain is like emotional fire.  God uses pain to soften our hearts so that He can mold us and shape us.  Now I know that’s not what we like to endure, but it’s God’s way of doing things.  God will let that mountain sit right there.  He will let you stay in the wilderness.  He will put you in the oven, until you get your heart right, until you let God begin to shape you and form you into His image and mature you.  So you have to make sure that while you’re in there that you get it right.  Get it right.  Don’t ever think that this is not a test.  It’s a test alright!  You have to let God mold your heart so that you get better and not bitter.  

#4 — STAY TO THE FINISH.  Ladies, don’t quit.  Stick it out.  Stay to the finish, endure to the end.  You’ve got to make sure that you do this.  You know, that last sentence in the scripture that we just read says, “Let perseverance finish its work…”  Perseverance.  What is perseverance?  Well it’s endurance.  Stick-to-it-iveness.  Hanging in there.  It’s the opposite of quitting.  I’m going to stick with it until I get through with this thing.  I’m gonna do it God’s way.

How can you quit?  Let’s talk about some ways that you can quit.  Well, it could mean that you just do whatever comes easy.  Do whatever’s an easy fix.  And for women sometimes that means marrying the next guy that comes by, without really waiting on God’s will.  Or maybe it means going out and getting in debt again because of something that you want or need.  Whatever it is that’s a temptation in your life, and there’s this need that you have, the easy way is usually not what you need to do.  So think about how God would want you to stay to the finish.  What is it that God is requiring of you?  Because He’s gonna use your mountain to change you, but if you bail, guess what — You’re gonna fail the test, and what will happen after that is that you’ll just have to take the test again.  Yes.  You won’t like that.  You don’t want to take the test again.  Let’s get it right this time!  

Ladies, thank you for joining me today.  I just want to share with you that God loves you.  I just want you to know that the wilderness experience and the mountain, and the pit and the prison, it’s all uncomfortable — I know that.  I’ve been there, we’ve all been there.  But it’s not that God enjoys leaving you there.  He’s not casting you off because He doesn’t have time to deal with you right now.  He doesn’t enjoy seeing you suffer.  He’s not putting you over here in the oven and letting you bake for the fun of it.  God’s love for you is greater than anything that you could ever imagine.  And He has your best interest at heart.  He’s not going to let that mountain come down and crush you.  He’s not gonna let you wither away and dry up in the wilderness.  And He’s not gonna let you bake to a crisp in the oven.  He’s really not.  He’s got your best interest at heart.  God loves you, and He wants you to grow up into a full mature adult so you can be of use in His kingdom.  You know, God’s needing people to partner with.  He wants to do that, He wants to use you.  And He’s designed something called a purpose and a destiny for your life.  And actually, what He’s doing during this process — this uncomfortable process of dealing with the mountain — He’s using that to get you ready to do that which He’s called you to do.  And I know that you want to be a part of that.  So listen, have faith!  Have faith and know that God is on your side.  You are first on His mind today.

Thank you for joining me.  Share this video with a friend and tell her, “You need to hear this!”  And I’ll see you next week.