Haughty eyes and a proud heart–the lamp of the wicked–are sin. [NRSV]
The saintly Scottish preacher James Denney said, “No man can bear witness to Christ and so himself at the same time. No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.” That quotation should be printed in large letters and displayed in every church sanctuary and conference auditorium where God’s people gather. It might humble some of the preachers and musicians who call so much attention to themselves that the hungry sheep can’t see Jesus. If the greatest sin is the corruption of the highest good, then people who use the Christian religion to promote themselves are guilty of great transgression.
Does your life point to Jesus as the answer for everything? Or to yourself? Or to a book? Or to a method?
The fig tree represents Israel, having the appearance of holiness, but not doing what they were really made to do.
We are made to glorify the Father by producing fruit–giving truth and acts of good; to have a fruit producing life.
The Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit… (John 15)
“Mountain” could represent power, the earthly Jewish power of the day. In Christ, we can remove any earthly power God would will to have removed. With faith, we have nothing to fear. In faith, we can be confident that we can do whatever it is God would have us to do.
Whatever “mountain” may be in your way, can be removed. Mountains turn into mere excuses over time because of fear. Because of the avoidance of the effort it will take to remove it. Tho it is in Christ’s power, it is a different kind of effort. A heart effort, which takes a different kind of energy than we may be use to putting forth.
I know I have probably grown most thru meditation and contemplation these past three and a half years since Jesus really got a hold of me. In one sense, meditation is very simple, seemingly effortless. Seemingly. It does indeed require a level of presence and awareness to God in the moment that takes great focus and even training to dial into. But it is so worth the effort.
So these mountains in our way can be removed, and it is worth every ounce of work involved to remove them. Ask anyone who has lost a significant amount of bodyweight if it was worth the effort put in.