Mark 11:23-24 ESV /
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I read with some degree of horror, this week, about a pastor who had been in the news
before for having live snakes in his church in an attempt to prove faith.
Mark 16:17-18 records, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will … pick up snakes with their hands.”
Turns out that there is some debate about not only what is being said, here, but also about
whether these particular verses were part of the original bible texts. For whatever the reason, this pastor and I am sure there are others, risk life and limb in an attempt to
prove faith in God.
The Bible is the word of God; it is truth; yet, there are parts that, quite honestly, are written with symbolism and cannot, in my opinion, be taken absolutely literally. There is no
question that God did and does provide unbelievably miraculous outcomes. The
outcomes are the result of God's ability to do anything He chooses to do. This does not
encourage me to rush out and jump into a den of lions. Now I have a house-cat named
Samantha that presents some degree of danger due to her unpredictability and a set
of unforgiving claws, but she is not a lioness. I, also, am not Daniel!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, also I am not. I don't even cook on the stove without
gloves and pot holders at the ready. Again, God is not limited in any way.
But we have to be careful not to assume that all language and statements in the Bible are
literal. I don't know about you, but I am having difficulty imagining my ability to stand
before a mountain of any size, pray fervently that it can be moved, and watching it
change locations. Not even a molehill!
I can show my faith by works that provide proof that my heart is set on doing the work
of God and bring glory to Him. I, being human and pretty old, am limited by those
factors and feel no need to attempt to preform any amazing fetes designed to prove
faith; I just need to live a life that shines with the light of Jesus, as best I can.
I will leave the cool stuff to God. He isn't limited by the size of the mountain!