Matthew 17:20 - "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Pastor Mark Batterson shared his powerful testimony of how God miraculously healed him from a lifelong struggle with asthma and encouraged Christians to believe that God is willing and able to move such "mountains" in their lives, as well.
Batterson, New York Times bestselling author and the founding pastor at National Community Church (NCC) in Washington, told his moving story in a sermon delivered on Sunday titled, "Enough is Enough" based on Deuteronomy 1:6 - "You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites."
A lifelong asthmatic, Batterson never expected to be healed. He shared how, at three years old, he woke up in the middle of the night and discovered he couldn't breathe, prompting his father to take him to the hospital: "My inhaler became my best friend for the next 40 years," he said. "Every single day, I would take a puff of that inhaler multiple times - never went anywhere without it."
Seven weeks before delivering his sermon, the pastor had challenged congregants to pray the "bravest prayer you can pray."
"God can move that mountain," he said, admitting he had repeatedly asked God to take away his asthma: "I've been hospitalized for more weeks than you can imagine, I've taken more puffs of an inhaler than anyone can possibly count, and it's frustrating. I've prayed every prayer and I've tried everything. But I want you to know, that I'm going to keep speaking to that mountain, because I believe in a God that is able to heal."
At the time, the Batterson asked his fellow church members to pray that the Lord would touch his lungs and heal his asthma - and something miraculous happened.
"In the last couple of weeks, I've had to take my inhaler," he said. "But... I went four days without taking my inhaler - it's been years and years and years that I went four days. And I hiked Cadillac Mountain without a single puff of my inhaler."
He continued: I'm not going to wait for a 100% healing, I'm going to celebrate the improvement - I'm gonna celebrate when I discern God is moving, I'm gonna believe God for complete healing, because I know He is able."
The pastor admitted that some may find his testimony "crazy," but said, "I think, when I preached that weekend, I actually believed what I preached. And I think I came to a point where I said, 'Enough is enough. I've stayed at this mountain long enough.'"
"I want you to know I haven't taken my inhaler since then and now," the pastor said, tearing up. "It's been fifty days without taking my inhaler. If you add up all the days that I haven't taken my inhaler, it wouldn't add up to 50."
Throughout the Gospel, miracles happen in a number of different ways. The pastor said he believes God did that intentionally, so that humans wouldn't reduce miracles down to a formula: "It's so unbelievable and unexplainable to me," he said of his healing. "But that's what a miracle is, right?"
Batterson encouraged congregants to "pray like it depends on God, but work like it depends on you."
"Only God can deliver you from certain things, but deliverance has to be coupled with due diligence," he explained. "Deliverance has to be coupled with disciplines. I believe God healed me, but I'm going to back it up with discipline."
He asked: "What are you tolerating that's robbing God of his glory? What are you tolerating that is short-changing the price that Jesus paid on the cross? What are you tolerating that is less than God's good and perfect will? We gotta stop tolerating those things."
"I believe that God can move that mountain in your life," the pastor concluded. "Talk to God about your mountain, and you've gotta talk to your mountain about your God - who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Advance to your destiny that God has for you."