I live out east in the United States and have the privilege of traveling the Appalachin Mountains on a regular basis. The sight of mountains demand attention. The boldness of its size and the way it soars into the great blue sky can stop a person in their tracks to just gaze. Mountains aren’t an issue for those of us that travel near them, because people have made paths over, around and through them. However, back when our friends the Israelites traveled, mountains were brutal as they would travel with animals, family, and all their belongings. It would be a taxi ordeal for me to just hike our local Mount Summit without lugging the children and their book bags.
The Bible talks about mountains, too. It tells us that God can “move the mountains, ” and we read in Deuteronomy that God told the Israelites to stop “circling the mountains.”
“Then God said, “You have been going around in circles in these hills long enough, go north.” Deuteronomy 2:3
See the Israelites had been traveling on a very long journey, a journey of 38 years, a journey that should have taken them less than2 weeks. Have you ever been on a journey in life, planning to get some where and when you finally began your journey at some point you realized that you never ended up where you wanted. Why does that happen? Sometimes because we become “stuck” circling a mountain. We get side tracked on a path that goes no where but in a circle.
For each of us, the mountain that we can get stuck circling varies. For me, my mountain was insecurity, doubt, fear combined with low self -esteem. Your mountain might resemble people pleasing, the need to be needed, intimidation, gossip, rebellion, disobedience, disbelief, worthlessness, depression, worry, food, debt, anxiety, etc. On a recent episode of the Biggest Loser, a lady contestant, finally had her break through moment where she saw the “mountain” in her life and decided to stop circling it and turn north! She realized that she allowed everyone else’s needs to be more important than hers. She allowed people to walk on her, trample her feelings, and undermine her dreams. Finally, though, after hiding behind one hundred pounds of weight that she had now shed, she realized the mountain of obesity was connected to these feelings. The contestant had her”Mountain Awareness” moment and decided it was time to turn north. This isn’t something that we have to apply for a television show in order to discover and conquer. The Bible gives us very clear direction and answers; it is a matter of allowing the truth to penetrate our hearts and CHOOSING TO TURN NORTH!
My mountain of insecurity was a major distraction in my life. I clung to it in every situation and in all situations would blame “the mountain” for everything. However, whatever, whoever, and whenever something would happen – somehow it always came back to the fact that I was insecure in who I was. I am so grateful to have met and married my husband. He has been a key instrument used by God to help me stop circling this mountain and turning North. See, even as his wife, I feared that there would come a day when he wouldn’t think of me as the princess who wore the beautiful gown and had it all together; no, I feared the clock would strike midnight and the gown would be replaced by my true self, rag worn clothes that had holes that needed mending. That fear paralyzed me in so many ways that the list could take 3 days to read. But my hubby didn’t come to that point where he allowed the holes that needed mending to cause him to want someone else. Rather, it is as though he picked up needle and thread and said, I will help you mend these and make them new. With God as his guide, that is what he did one small stitch, note and word of encouragement at at time.
I woke up this one morning and headed straight for the coffee pot, like normal. But this day wouldn’t be normal, this would be a mountain awareness, earth shaking morning. After the first sips of coffee, I would awaken my senses to realize there on the back of my house door was a note . A note that was handwritten by Larry which read, “REALIZE YOUR POTENTIAL.” It rung through my body, even as I type, I remember the emotions that stirred in me and the shock that I experienced. I remember saying to myself, “Me? He thinks I have potential!” Where did this come from? What Larry didn’t realize was that this note of three words and 30 seconds of time would catapult me from circling a mountain to choosing to turn North and conquer these enemies of insecurity, doubt and fear. One step at a time, one foot in front of another, I was going to stop doing what I have always done, because I was tired of getting what I always got!
Over the next few blogs, I will be writing based on the biblical example given to us in the book of Deuteronomy. It is my prayer that we will form a group called “Mountain Awareness,” so that we can together turn our backs to the mountain and turn north heading in the direction of the land that God has laid out for us to inherit!
See the devil would like nothing more for us to keep circling the mountain! Why? Because when you are circling the mountain we are going no where. It’s like the cat chasing the tail. When we are going in a circle, the devil doesn’t need to give us any attention, because our attention isn’t on inheriting the land destined for us; rather, it is on the size of the mountain and all that holds that mountain together (whether we realize it or not)! We aren’t a threat to the enemy that roams like a lion, because our steps aren’t getting us to the land God intended. Instead we have become distracted by this path around the mountain. The circle goes round and round and doesn’t lead to a final destination… its a loopty loop that keeps on going!
Won’t you join me by taking a step with those pretty pedicured flip flop wearing feet and turn from the mountain! I’m ready to inherit the land, are you?